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Kenyans among top Africa techies in race for funding

Kenya is among top countries whose citizens have applied for the inaugural $5,000 seed funding for women-led tech projects in Africa dubbed Miss.Africa Women-in-Tech Initiative 2015 by DotConnectAfrica (DCA) Trust.

The winner, to be announced next month, will be selected from the more than 100 applications from 18 African countries that were submitted last November.

The Miss.Africa digital programme is a gender-focused initiative targeting female youth audiences in Africa to improve their self-awareness and overall self-esteem in technology.

“The gender gap is more pronounced in the developing world, where according to the International Telecommunication Union, 16 per cent fewer women than men use the Internet, compared with only two per cent fewer women in developed world.

“What this means is, if you can create services that can be attractive to serve the gender gap, you can leverage these numbers to make revenue,” said Sophia Bekele, founder DCA Trust.

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Ms Bekele said the initiative, led by the Mauritius-based DCA Academy, would provide small grants to support women and girls in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics to launch or expand their own projects that will increase their digital opportunities in IT related training, jobs and leadership roles.

Nigeria submitted the most number of the entries at 23 per cent followed by Kenya at 20 per cent.

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