ICTs as a key tool in the informal economy sector for women: UNESCO trains women in E-commerce

The e-commerce or electronic commerce, which is the set of commercial transactions taking place remotely through electronic and digital interfaces, is essential today as a major sales channel, especially in a country like Senegal where much of the trade takes place in the informal sector, where women have no bank account and, as business leader, they have access to internet only through their mobile phones.

As part of the month dedicated to girls in the information and communications technology sector (ICT), the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Senegal, in partnership with UNESCO in Dakar, organized a series of trainings that promoted women and girls in this field.

An E-commerce training, including 27 young women and 2 men, was organized on 26 and 27 April 2016 in the premises of UNESCO Dakar. The objective of the training was to target women in entrepreneurship and trainers in several Ministries of Senegal to provide them with useful tools to promote their products on the Senegalese market and spread the e-commerce as a viable and easy approach to encourage female entrepreneurship in the country.

Participants of the training came from the Ministry of Commerce, the informal sector, Consumption and Promotion of local products and SMEs from Senegal, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Senegal, the Ministry of Woman, Family and Children, the CEDAF ( the departmental center for the assistance and training of women) of Senegal, the Ministry of Tourism and Air Transport, the Ministry of livestock and Animal Production, the Ministry of Higher education and research, and the Press House in Dakar.

"The e-commerce training was very useful to learn how to manage the group of women with whom I work: we are transforming local products, and thanks to this training, I have a plan now on how to organize our team to benefit from e-commerce in the marketing of our products, "said Mrs. Fatoumata Diamanka, coordinator of the departmental center for the assistance and training of women of Dakar.

"It's a way for us to sell our goods via the internet. At the end of the training I would like to see someone that could create an e-commerce site for the flow of my fish products, "says Mrs. Coumba Dado Diouf, one of the transformative women of fishery products.

Promoting links between entrepreneurship, technology, and gender equality is a key aspect for UNESCO's program in the framework of the YouthMobile Initiative, which aims to promote the creation and the use of mobile applications to meet the sustainable development challenges.