Welcome to the African Women in Technology page!
Imagine an Africa where a woman's hand hoe is a thing of the past. Imagine women with tools that increase agricultural yield and income while decreasing the labour and time required to ensure food security and promote economic empowerment. Imagine an Africa that could harness the freed time and energy, goodwill and smartness of millions of women thanks to the technology now available. In alliance together, we are in privileged position to catalyze this change.
Through the African Women in Technology (AWIT) initiative, UN Women is establishing a global alliance to promote upscaling of rural technologies for women. This initiative will generate data and connect relevant organizations for exchange of lessons learned and good practices. It will support the connections between rural technology innovators, researchers, investors and other market actors, such as distributors, industrialists, and community mobilizers. AWIT will drive a series of approaches and initiatives to promote technology enhancements and upscaling.
The ultimate goal of AWIT is for women to have access to technologies that boost agricultural yield, income and food security, eliminate food waste, while decreasing their labour inputs and time, and thereby empower women economically. Through innovative and accelerated partnerships and real time monitoring of progress, the initiative will also support women’s accelerated and value-added agricultural engagement, resilience and improved time use in households.
Countless small-scale innovations are being implemented in the Eastern and Southern Africa region, and these need to be shared, incubated and taken to scale. These innovative, women-led activities can inspire change and ultimately contribute to better agriculture productivity, enhanced livelihoods and improved household nutrition. Studies have demonstrated that by removing gender-related barriers and empowering women in agriculture to fully engage in regional economies can accelerate growth, reduce poverty and improve food security. Indeed, a 2014 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) report noted that agricultural technologies can increase global crop yield by as much as 67 percent and cut food prices to nearly half by 2050.
In May 2015 UN Women was granted to host a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center meeting with the aim to develop a strategy for technology upscaling to transform the lives of rural women and households. The meeting gathered experts and stakeholders from the UN, private sector, financial institutions, government, data generators, research institutions, incubators, industrialists, and civil society organizations. A key outcome of this meeting was the establishment of the ‘Bellagio Technology Promotion Group’, which is now in the process of developing a strategy on how to up-scale technologies that will increase productivity, save time, reduce post-harvest losses, and increase value-addition for women farmers to make women’s businesses more efficient and more profitable. The group will be operating through the evolving African Women in Technology (AWIT) initiative, which under UN Women’s leadership established a global alliance to promote upscaling of rural technologies for women.