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Challenging the norms in East Africa, many young women are tapping into their entrepreneurial potential. From developing apps and software, to founding non-profit organisations, women in East Africa are attracting African and global attention for successfully changing patriarchal societies.
Women in East Africa are often the key home care providers, juggling working, maintaining the family home, cooking and importantly, helping their kids to learn. Whether doing their best to ensure their children have access to education, or actually taking on the role of teacher themselves, there is no doubt that women are playing a central role in raising eastern Africa’s young people. Reach out to the Wives of the Soldiers (ROWOSA) is a project by women, for women. The Uganda-based organization assists wives of soldiers who lack employable skills and opportunities to earn a sustainable income, thereby securing their financial independence. Through technology-supported programmes, these women can learn a variety of skills including sewing, computer science, baking and farming. With lifelong skills, these women can not only ensure the effective financing of a household with a double income, but also pass the skills onto their own children, improving their future prospects.
From startup accelerator Nailab in Kenya, mobile communications enterprise Text to Change in Uganda and then north to elearning centre Camara Ethiopia, East Africa has a plethora of innovative operations opening up and changing lives in communities.
“The initial idea for the e-learning events was sparked in 2004 when I heard about optical fiber cables being laid in Ethiopia,” says Rebecca Stromeyer, founder and CEO of Integrated Communications Worldwide Events, which runs the annual elearning Africa conference.
The eLearning Africa Report 2014, launched this week by Edward Ssekandi, Vice President of the Republic of Uganda, claims that eLearning opens window on Africa’s education future.
“The mood of optimism among Africans is unmistakable,”says the Report. “Our survey… confirms that African eLearning professionals are feeling confident about the future. This is more good news for the continent because the combination of education and technology is clearly a powerful driver for growth.”
The report repeats the late Nelson Mandela’s view that “education is the key to everything”. It emphasises, however, that the prospects for African education will depend increasingly on good communications and connectivity.
“If education is the key to everything, the key to the education of the future is infrastructure”.