The winner will be selected from the more than 100 applications drawn from 18 African countries which were submitted for consideration before the close of the application window on November 15 last year.
Nigeria submitted the most number of the entries (at 23%) followed by Kenya (20%), Uganda (15%), South Africa and Tanzania (both with 8%), Ghana (6%), Cameroon (5%) and Rwanda with 4 % of the entries. The other countries – that is Ethiopia, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Malawi, Benin and Swaziland – each had one percent of the total entries submitted.
The Miss.Africa digital program is a gender-focused initiative targeted mainly at female youth audiences in Africa to increase their personal involvement in early technology use and adoption with a view to improving their digital self-awareness and empowerment, and overall self-esteem.
The programme is envisioned as one of the central pillars of DCA’s corporate social responsibility program. It is aimed at attracting more young girls and women to the Internet platform to enable them form a sizable demographic of Internet users in Africa, thereby involving them in complementary gender development initiatives that improve the lives of young girls and women.
While announcing the Call for Applications in July 2015, Ms Sophia Bekele, Founder and CEO, DCA Trust called on organisations and corporate entities to mainstream women in their efforts.
Stated Ms Bekele: “The gender gap is more pronounced in the developing world, where according to ITU, 16 per cent fewer women than men use the Internet, compared with only 2 per cent fewer women in developed world. What this means is, if you can create services that can be attractive to serve the gender gap, you can leverage these numbers to make revenue.”
The Miss.Africa Initiative, led by the DCA Academy, announced the Miss.Africa Seed Fund in Africa that will provide small grants to support women and girls in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields to launch or expand their own initiatives that will increase their digital opportunities in IT related training, jobs and leadership roles.
The program is interested in learning about successful activities that are currently supporting women and girls in STEM, and through this effort, we identify how we might support scalability and their impacts.
The inaugural 2015 Seed Grant of US $ 5,000 is meant to assist the winning initiative / project to start or expand its capacity.