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Addressing the Gender Digital Divide - Ambassador hosts BLUETOWN and Microsoft

 

On January 24th Ambassador Tove Degnbol hosted the Head of Microsoft Technology and Corporate Social Responsibility, Shelley McKinley and BLUETOWN Country Manager, together with the CEO of Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) and stakeholders from the National Communication Authority (NCA) at her residence to discuss how  digital inclusion can help improve gender equality and contribute to women’s economic empowerment. According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), while internet use continues to increase, more men have access to internet than women do. BLUETOWN, a leading Danish internet technology company that provides internet to small town and rural communities, is collaborating with Microsoft to bridge this gap.

In her remarks, the Ambassador reiterated Denmark’s commitment to supporting Ghana with its digitisation agenda through the Danish private sector. “Very recently, I hosted the launch of the digitization in agriculture project, which BLUETOWN is implementing with Care International and Danida in Ghana. The project seeks to promote digital transformation as an enabler for development by innovating and piloting digital agricultural services for Ghanaian smallholder farmers with a special focus on women and youth.  Today, we are delighted to be witnessing continuous collaboration between BLUETOWN and Microsoft to particularly address the gender digital divide”.

Head of Microsoft Technology and Corporate Social Responsibility, Shelley McKinley mentioned that only 50% of the world’s population is covered by fixed internet network, thus “connecting the unconnected” is very fundamental to Microsoft’s business. To connect the unconnected, Microsoft has entered into partnership with BLUETOWN to provide cheap, reliable, and fast internet to the unconnected. She also shared inspiring stories from her field visit in Ghana, about how people are using internet to impact their lives. In Aburi, internet connectivity is bringing teachers and students into the digital world and women entrepreneurs are able to grow their business and sell their products around the world.

The CEO of GIFEC, Mr Kofi Asante, stressed Government’s commitment to connect Ghana. GIFEC in 2017 entered into collaboration with BLUETOWN to commence the Smart Community project, where over 3,000 communities are being connected. Furthermore, under the Ghana Rural telephony project, over 240 community centres will provide access to the internet for the local communities.

 



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