UNESCO establishes a platform to promote women's digital entrepreneurship and innovation
On the 25th of September, a platform for dialogue based on the #i4Policy regional experience and initiative will occur at the Jokkolabs innovation hub in Dakar, Senegal, to encourage discussion between civil society and policymakers as it concerns ensuring favourable public policy for digital innovation and entrepreneurship, specifically encouraging engagement from youth and women. Social innovation hubs in Africa are critical spaces for engaging and connecting communities–youth, tech entrepreneurs and innovators–and bring forth innovations in the form of new companies, products and services that could drive visions for the digital development of the continent further. Many improvements need to be made before the continent can fully capture the potential for innovation that exists in its communities. And while some governments are working hard to encourage entrepreneurship, innovation and job-seeking youth, inclusive dialogue amongst policy makers, innovators and local communities, users and innovators is needed in order to create policy frameworks that foster local, bottom-up innovation.
In order to best contribute to Africa’s digital and social transformation, the #i4policy team has gathered recommendations and examples from innovation communities across Africa with the aim of sharing them with policy makers. The communique (https://i4policy.org/policy-recommendations/), which encourages Governments to adopt the African Declaration on Internet Rights and freedoms, offers suggestions based on the experience of entrepreneurs and innovators from across the continent. These recommendations will allow for the further development of strong social innovation hubs across the continent, accelerate digital transformation and, ultimately, contribute to a more equitable and sustainable development of African economies and societies. The communiqué aims to act as a bridge between the innovation community and the policymaking community to work together to drive digital transformation. In this framework, and in light of La stratégie "Sénégal numérique 2016-2025 coordinated by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Senegal, a dialogue will occur between policymakers present from Francophone African countries and Senegalese civil society on the strategy, communiqué, and possible platforms for reinforced cooperation to ensure women and girls benefit from an enabling policy environment to encourage their digital entrepreneurship and innovation.