Melinda Gates Pushes G7 to Close Digital Gender Gap in Africa
By Patrick Wintour
World leaders are to pledge to shape the technological revolution sweeping through Africa by acting to lift the threat of 400 million predominantly rural women being excluded from digital financial services.
G7 finance ministers meeting in France are to endorse a paper from the Gates Foundation saying there is a serious risk that digital technology and mobile banking will bypass millions of women in Africa, leaving them disempowered for a generation.
The initiative, requiring $255m (£205m) in initial funding and regulatory action across Africa,is designed to prevent “the inequalities of the past being insinuated into the future” as cultural and market barriers lead to women being excluded from mobile banking, e-commerce and smartphone technology.
A mobile money revolution in sub-Saharan Africa is under way in which the number of people with an account doubled to 21% in 2017.
Photo courtesy of DFID.