Senegal: a Women’s Digital Centre to combat digital illiteracy

How to give young women not in school a chance to find a job and become autonomous? In Yeumbeul, on the outskirts of Dakar, alongside several partners, we have set up a Women’s Digital Centre that provides digital training. We take a closer look at this integration project, the fruit of a collective ambition.

Women in the suburbs, the first victims of exclusion

There are high levels of social inequality in Yeumbeul, and access to basic socio-educational services are difficult, especially for women, who are particularly badly affected by unemployment. To help them, we have decided to offer digital skills training to young women by supporting four member organizations of the National Committee for the Development of Education networks in West Africa - Senegal (CNDREAO), represented by STAESEN (Students Travel And Exposure Senegal, chef de file du projet)

 

A training room
formation numérique dakar
Ludovic Issartelle, Director of Corporate Philanthropy at the Orange Foundation, alongside beneficiaries and the Women’s Digital Centre team, and Aminata Fall Sidibe, administrator for the Sonatel Foundation.

 

6 months of digital training, but not just that!

 

The first class at our Women’s Digital Centre is made up of ten young women aged 16 to 25 who received training over the last 6 months. These young women received training in using digital tools, but also in project management, entrepreneurship and personal development. Some of them now dream of setting up their own small business in silkscreen printing, computer graphics, or multi-service offers. Others want to find employment as executive secretaries. They have therefore not only developed technical skills in using digital tools, but also transferable and leadership skills to set up their own businesses. This first group, which started training in December 2017 and finished in July 2018, will be followed by ten new young women this month.

 

 

Digital skills are universal, transferable skills that open doors

For the national director of STAESEN, El Hadji Daouda DIAGNE,


“Digital technologies are a work tool that workers need to be able to use in specific areas of activity. The young women who have just received training are now proficient enough to use these tools in a work or business environment. This training could well help them on their way to achieving social and professional integration.”.

We must make digital technologies a tool for inclusion

According to Aminata Sidibe, general administrator of the Sonatel Foundation, a project partner, "access to digital technologies is becoming more widespread in Senegal and digital tools and uses are becoming increasingly important. But there are still major inequalities. A section of the Senegalese population, in particular women, remains excluded from the opportunities offered by digital technologies, sometimes through a lack of training, or a lack understanding of their importance. We must make digital technologies a tool for inclusion; this is the objective of the Women’s Digital Centre.”

The alarming figures announced by certain organisations, showing the high rates of girls not in school every year should encourage stakeholders to increase the number of initiatives of this type. Women from the suburbs often face issues relating to vulnerability, lack of education, unemployment and lack of qualifications. “We must act,” emphasises Khady Guèye, president of the Association des Femmes pour l’Appui aux Actions de Développement.

 

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