Launch of the Joint Report “Digital Trade for Development”

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Disclaimer: This is not an official record of the WEF session. The DiploAI system automatically generates these resources from the audiovisual recording. Resources are presented in their original format, as provided by the AI (e.g. including any spelling mistakes). The accuracy of these resources cannot be guaranteed. The official record of the session can be found on the WEF YouTube channel.

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International bodies release joint report on digital trade and development opportunities

International organisations, including the IMF, OECD, UNCTAD, World Bank, and WTO, have collaboratively launched a comprehensive report on digital trade and its potential to foster development, particularly in developing countries. The report, unveiled during a panel discussion, scrutinises the multifaceted nature of digital trade and the necessary infrastructure, skills, and policies required to harness its benefits. It emphasises the need for reliable and affordable digital connectivity, the reduction of trade costs, and the creation of an enabling regulatory environment to spur on inclusive growth and resilience to economic shocks.

The report highlights the disparity in digital trade participation, noting that while digitally delivered services exports are growing globally, developing economies, especially least developed countries (LDCs), contribute minimally. This underscores the urgency for increased international cooperation and investment to bridge the digital divide. Aid for Trade commitments have risen, indicating a growing recognition of the need to support digital capacity in developing nations.

A key topic addressed is the Moratorium on Customs Duties on Electronic Transmissions, which has been in place since 1998. The report discusses the potential fiscal implications of lifting the moratorium, including the loss of customs revenue and the impact on the competitiveness of firms, particularly micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and women-owned businesses.

The panel also touched upon the importance of gender equality in digital trade, acknowledging that while women face unique challenges, digital platforms can offer them greater opportunities to engage in trade. A session dedicated to boosting women’s digital entrepreneurship was also highlighted, demonstrating a commitment to addressing gender disparities in the digital economy.

Throughout the discussion, the consensual nature of the report’s findings was emphasised, reflecting a unified stance among the diverse international organisations involved. The report’s recommendations and insights were presented as a collective voice, underscoring the importance of considering the document in its entirety rather than dismissing it based on individual disagreements.

Noteworthy observations from the panel discussion included the need to address market dominance by large tech companies, the role of competition policy in adapting to digital market structures, and the necessity for a holistic approach to policymaking that encompasses various regulatory domains. The report serves as a testament to the collaborative efforts of international organisations to provide guidance and support for the development of digital trade, with the ultimate goal of achieving a more inclusive and equitable global trading system.

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H.E. Alfredo Suecum

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Julia Nielsen

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Martin Sommer

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Pierre Sauve

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Ralph Ossa

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Shamika N. Sirimane

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Vers un indice de vulnérabilité numérique (OIF)

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Disclaimer: This is not an official record of the UNCTAD eWeek session. The DiploAI system automatically generates these resources from the audiovisual recording. Resources are presented in their original format, as provided by the AI (e.g. including any spelling mistakes). The accuracy of these resources cannot be guaranteed. The official record of the session can be found on the UNCTAD website.

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Kamilia Amdouni

The analysis reveals several key points and arguments related to digital threats and cybersecurity. Firstly, there is a growing number of digital threats, including attacks on critical sectors, disinformation, and fake news. These threats are not only harmful but also specifically targeted, posing significant challenges to society.

Furthermore, the impact of these threats extends beyond technology and finance, with limited analysis of their social and human impacts on vulnerable communities. Cybersecurity has financial implications, and the current understanding of the impact of cyber threats is lacking. Vulnerable communities are disproportionately affected by these threats, exacerbating existing inequalities.

To accurately assess risks and vulnerabilities, an impact-based approach is essential. This approach aids in understanding vulnerabilities and predicting potential consequences of threats. By adopting this approach, organisations and policymakers can gain more accurate insights into the risks they face in the digital landscape.

The analysis also highlights the importance of collaboration between the development assistance and cybersecurity communities. Currently, these communities work in isolation, and there are limited integration efforts to incorporate cybersecurity aspects into development assistance programmes. By bringing them together, there is an opportunity for more effective handling of digital vulnerabilities.

Additionally, non-material cyber threats and vulnerabilities can have significant implications. Examples of non-material threats include harmful software, phishing, and the propagation of fake news. These threats can cause financial and operational disruptions, emphasising the importance of addressing them.

Critical sectors and infrastructure are prime targets for cyber attacks. Mapping vulnerabilities at the ecosystem level is crucial to identify and mitigate potential risks. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many cyber attacks specifically targeted the health sector, underscoring the need for comprehensive vulnerability mapping.

To accurately assess digital vulnerability, a regulatory element is vital. The existing legal frameworks often lag behind technological advancements, and a digital vulnerability index must consider the legal and regulatory environment in which threats occur.

Furthermore, data utilisation and management regulations play an instrumental role in addressing digital threats. The monetisation of data tends to benefit powerful actors while restricting access for smaller start-ups. Existing documents highlight principles for data regulation but lack specific regulations. In parts of Africa, data adoption is limited due to various factors, indicating the need for more comprehensive regulations.

The Digital Vulnerability Index, which aims to assess digital vulnerability, should be user-friendly to ensure its efficient application. For example, start-ups can use this index to understand and address vulnerabilities without relying on external financial assistance. Decision makers can easily integrate this index into their decision-making process.

The analysis also uncovers the prevalence of new forms of digital divide, where users in regions such as Senegal may have stable internet connections but are confronted with new divides related to internet content. The lack of clear regulations for content such as TikTok and WhatsApp prevents users from accessing educational content, exacerbating inequalities.

Lastly, the analysis emphasises the need to consider the ethical dimension in digital regulation. As technology advances rapidly, legislation often struggles to keep pace. It is important to envision the type of world we want to live in and ensure that digital regulations align with ethical considerations and human rights.

In conclusion, this comprehensive analysis highlights the increasing number of digital threats and the need for robust cybersecurity measures. It calls for collaboration between the development assistance and cybersecurity communities, an impact-based approach for risk analysis and vulnerability assessment, and the incorporation of a regulatory element in the Digital Vulnerability Index. Additionally, data utilisation and management regulations, user-friendliness of the index, addressing new forms of digital divide, and ethical considerations in digital regulation are crucial for creating a secure and equitable digital landscape.

Minata Sarr

The rapid advancement and evolution of digital technologies have brought about structural changes in our world. This transformation necessitates a shift in our paradigm to effectively adapt to the new landscape. These digital technologies have become central to our lives and are driving significant changes in various sectors such as communication, economy, and societal interactions. The positive sentiment towards this change highlights the potential benefits and opportunities that digital technologies offer.

Furthermore, the concept of vulnerability assumes great importance when considering the pursuit of inclusive agendas and focusing on humanity. It is recognised that the survival and flourishing of humanity depend on creating a better world. In this context, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have emphasised the need for concrete actions to promote inclusiveness. This positive sentiment highlights the recognition of vulnerabilities and the importance of addressing them for the betterment of society. The prism of vulnerability acts as a lens through which we can identify and address the inequalities and challenges that different communities face.

In the realm of digital vulnerability, an indicator for measuring the extent of vulnerability becomes paramount in guiding decision-making and policy implementation. This positive sentiment underscores the importance of having a concrete and reliable metric to identify areas of vulnerability and to formulate targeted strategies to address them. With the increasing reliance on digital technologies, the indicator for digital vulnerability can help direct policy actions towards building a safe and secure digital environment.

Another noteworthy observation is the shift in focus from a punitive approach to a preventive approach in terms of regulation. Rather than solely relying on sanctions, the focus now lies in preserving what we have and sharing the responsibility among different sectors and actors. This positive sentiment reflects the recognition that prevention is better than punishment when it comes to regulating digital technologies. By encouraging responsible behaviour and creating a culture of accountability, the aim is to foster a secure and sustainable digital ecosystem.

In conclusion, the transformative power of digital technologies necessitates a change in our mindset and approaches to adapt to the evolving world. Recognising vulnerability, pursuing inclusiveness, and implementing measures to address digital vulnerabilities are crucial in navigating this new landscape. The shift towards a preventive approach in regulation further reinforces the need to prioritise preservation and responsibility. By embracing these changes, we can harness the potential of digital technologies to create a better and more inclusive world.

Joël Cariolle

The participants in the discussion emphasize the importance of an inclusive indicator that encompasses digital risks and exposure. They argue that such an indicator would be beneficial in raising awareness among various actors and stakeholders about the phenomenon of digitalization. However, integrating regulatory and technical elements of cybersecurity into this indicator is seen as vital by the participants. Without incorporating these elements, the indicator may not accurately reflect the true nature of digital risks and exposure. Including regulatory and technical aspects, the indicator can provide a comprehensive view of potential risks and vulnerabilities in the digital landscape.

On the other hand, there are concerns about the feasibility and usability of this indicator in different contexts. The quality of data in developing countries is often inferior compared to developed countries. This discrepancy poses a challenge in accurately measuring and assessing digital vulnerability in these nations. The lack of reliable data may hinder the effectiveness of the indicator in identifying and addressing digital risks and exposure in developing countries.

Another important point raised is the changing nature of digital vulnerability with the progress of digitalization. Initially, vulnerabilities may be linked to material infrastructure, such as physical devices and networks. However, as digitalization advances, the focus shifts towards cyber threats. The increasing reliance on digital systems and networks makes them more susceptible to large amplitude cyber-attacks. These attacks have the potential to not only disrupt the digital system but also impact the economy as a whole.

In conclusion, the participants agree on the usefulness of an inclusive indicator for digital risks and exposure. It would provide valuable insights and awareness among stakeholders regarding the phenomenon of digitalization. However, the challenges of integrating regulatory and technical elements of cybersecurity, as well as the feasibility and usability of the indicator in different contexts, should be carefully considered. The changing nature of digital vulnerability further highlights the importance of addressing cyber threats as digitalization progresses. Overall, this discussion sheds light on the complexities and considerations associated with measuring and mitigating digital risks and exposure.

Audience

The speakers in the discussion acknowledged several factors that contribute to digital debates or vulnerabilities. These factors include geographic location, economic development, technology advancement, infrastructure, and security concerns. Each of these factors plays a significant role in shaping the digital landscape and can influence the occurrence or vulnerability of digital debates.

Moreover, the speakers emphasized the importance of addressing these issues through various means. Economic development was highlighted as a powerful tool in overcoming digital debates or vulnerabilities. By investing in industries, innovation, and infrastructure (as outlined in SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure), societies can strengthen their digital capabilities and reduce the potential for debates or vulnerabilities.

Capacity building was also emphasized as a way to address these challenges. This entails developing the skills and knowledge required to effectively navigate the digital landscape. It ensures that individuals and communities are equipped to make informed decisions and are less likely to fall victim to vulnerabilities or participate in debates that may arise.

The speakers also stressed the significance of global governance and cooperation in resolving these issues. Harmonious global governance ensures that clear rules and regulations are in place to address digital debates or vulnerabilities. Moreover, resource sharing and multi-channel investment were highlighted as ways to foster cooperation and strengthen digital capabilities across nations. This approach aligns with SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals, which emphasizes the importance of global cooperation in achieving sustainable development.

Additionally, the reevaluation of intellectual property protection was identified as a solution. By reassessing current frameworks and striking a balance between protection and accessibility, societies can foster innovation and progress while addressing digital debates or vulnerabilities.

It is worth noting that the speakers expressed concerns over market-oriented solutions. They emphasized the importance of shared spirit and global cooperation in effectively addressing digital debates or vulnerabilities. Moreover, they acknowledged that those left behind in the digital landscape can become a security concern for those who are ahead. This observation highlights the need for collective action and inclusive approaches to ensure that no one is left behind.

In conclusion, addressing digital debates or vulnerabilities requires a comprehensive and collaborative approach. Factors such as geographic location, economic development, and technology advancement shape the digital landscape and contribute to these challenges. However, through economic development, capacity building, global governance, resource sharing, and reevaluation of intellectual property protections, societies can effectively navigate and overcome these issues. By promoting global cooperation and shared spirit, stakeholders can work together to create a more secure and inclusive digital environment for all.

Moderator

In this analysis, various speakers examine different aspects of digitalization in sub-Saharan Africa and its impact on the region. One of the key points highlighted is the role of mobile technology in driving digitalization in sub-Saharan Africa, in contrast to the prevalence of wired systems in North America and Europe. This mobile tech approach is considered essential in overcoming infrastructure issues and enabling access to digital technologies.

The digital divide is a major concern raised by the speakers, as it hinders the full exploitation of digital potential in the region. The scaling of innovations is impeded, and access to technology is limited due to this digital divide. The speakers emphasize the need to address this issue to ensure equal access and opportunities for all.

Research on digital vulnerabilities is deemed crucial, with speakers highlighting the lack of focus on addressing vulnerabilities resulting from technological dependency. They point out that current university-based research primarily focuses on reducing the digital divide, neglecting the vulnerabilities associated with technological advancement.

The need for a digital vulnerability indicator to accompany public policy decision-making is also emphasized. This indicator would assist in identifying and addressing digital vulnerabilities effectively. The speakers argue that a regulatory dimension should be included in the digital vulnerability index to facilitate the reuse of public data and foster partnerships between the public and private sectors.

Regulations and conformity are deemed essential in addressing digital issues. It is emphasized that legal, technical, and ethical conformity is required to achieve major goals such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The speakers contend that the current regulatory framework for digital technologies is less developed compared to economic regulations, and there is a need to bridge this gap.

The speakers also highlight the importance of digital rights, which currently do not exist. Efforts towards international and national economic regulations have been taking place for many years, but the same level of development is lacking for digital issues. They argue for the development of digital rights to protect individuals and address the challenges arising from digitalization.

Concrete actions and the use of a digital vulnerability indicator are seen as crucial, but it is noted that these need to be usable on political and diplomatic stages. The speakers acknowledge the difficulties faced in developing countries and least developed countries (LDCs) in the digital sector’s development and stress the importance of considering time and condition differences when utilizing the same tools in different countries.

The analysis also raises concerns about potential monopolies on providing digital services and infrastructure by private actors. Regulatory flexibility is seen as a potential risk in allowing these actors to dominate the digital landscape, while representation from African countries in plurilateral negotiations on e-services is deemed inadequate.

In conclusion, the analysis sheds light on various aspects of digitalization in sub-Saharan Africa. It highlights the role of mobile technology, the need to address the digital divide, the importance of research on vulnerabilities, the necessity of a digital vulnerability indicator, the significance of regulations and conformity, the development of digital rights, and the impact of private actors in the digital sector. These insights provide valuable considerations for policymakers, stakeholders, and organizations working towards achieving sustainable and inclusive digitalization in the region.

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Joël Cariolle

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Kamilia Amdouni

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Minata Sarr

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Moderator

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Women in the digital economy: driving the usage of digital technology among women (UNCDF)

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Disclaimer: This is not an official record of the UNCTAD eWeek session. The DiploAI system automatically generates these resources from the audiovisual recording. Resources are presented in their original format, as provided by the AI (e.g. including any spelling mistakes). The accuracy of these resources cannot be guaranteed. The official record of the session can be found on the UNCTAD website.

Full session report

Shang Gao

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is actively working to bridge the gender and digital skills gap through their training and collaboration efforts. They have committed to providing free training to 29 million individuals globally by 2025, with a focus on empowering women and girls in tech. Already, they have trained 7 million individuals in the Asia-Pacific region since 2017, highlighting their dedication to equipping people with the necessary digital skills.

In addition to training, AWS recognizes the importance of infrastructure in addressing digital inequality. They collaborate with various organizations, including UN agencies, the Asian Development Bank, USAID, and the World Bank Group, to address infrastructure needs such as internet access. By working together, they aim to ensure that everyone has access to digital resources and opportunities.

AWS has also made significant investments and initiatives targeting women and girls in tech. They have launched programs such as AWS GetIT and AWS CloudApp for Her, specifically designed for younger learners and mid-career professional women. Additionally, they collaborate with organizations like Girl in Tech and Women in Tech Singapore, promoting inclusivity and diversity in the tech industry.

Moreover, AWS aims to break the stereotype that the tech industry is exclusively for men. They serve a diverse range of customers and understand the importance of diversifying their own company. By challenging traditional mindsets, AWS strives to create an inclusive environment where everyone has equal opportunities to thrive.

In conclusion, AWS is actively addressing the gender and digital skills gap through training, collaboration, and targeted initiatives. Their commitment to providing free training, collaborating for infrastructure needs, supporting women and girls in tech, and promoting diversity demonstrates their dedication to creating a more inclusive and equitable tech industry.

Veyrl Adell

Veyrl Adell, an exceptional entrepreneur in the tech industry, has made a significant business pivot to empower women in trade by providing them with access to credit through an integrated platform. Adell recognized the potential of technology in bringing about positive change and sought to harness it for the benefit of women entrepreneurs. Initially, she served women across borders between Kenya and Uganda by providing them with credit. As her efforts gained momentum, Adell decided to streamline her operations and transitioned to an integrated platform for credit distribution.

Despite facing obstacles, such as banks’ reluctance to lend to her business, Adell’s resilience and determination helped her find alternative solutions. She thought innovatively about her business model and found ways to support women in business. In addition to providing credit, Adell developed the EFP system, which focuses on empowering small businesses, particularly women and youth. This system offers e-commerce, point of sale, and digital payment benefits, enabling entrepreneurs to leverage technology fully. Financial institutions use EFP system records to support small businesses, extending credit to women and youth. The system also connects rural women with urban business leaders, fostering collaboration and opportunities.

Adell takes a market-oriented approach to developing digital solutions, incorporating market insights and partnering with cooperatives. Engaging with various enterprises and sectors, she gathers market insights to ensure her solutions meet specific needs. By collaborating with cooperatives, Adell educates farmers, tracks performance, and facilitates payments. Her tailored digital solutions are effective and address entrepreneurs’ requirements.

Moreover, Adell emphasizes the importance of fostering women’s skills in open-source development. By recognizing talented women in the tech industry, she aims to bridge the gender gap and promote equality. Leading the project is a young Zambian woman named Doreen, who showcases exceptional understanding and skills in open-source development. Adell’s commitment to empowering women extends not only to entrepreneurship but also to cultivating skilled professionals in the tech field.

Adell’s efforts align with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 5 and 9. SDG 5 focuses on Gender Equality, promoting women’s empowerment, eliminating discrimination, and ensuring equal opportunities. Through her integrated platform and initiatives, Adell creates financial opportunities for women in trade, contributing to their economic well-being. SDG 9 encompasses Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, driving sustainable economic growth, technological advancement, and inclusive industrialization. Adell’s market-oriented digital solutions, based on market insights and cooperative partnerships, contribute to achieving this goal.

In conclusion, Veyrl Adell’s entrepreneurial journey in the tech industry demonstrates her determination to empower women in trade through innovative solutions. Her pivot to an integrated platform for credit distribution, the development of the EFP system, and her focus on fostering women’s skills in open-source development exemplify her commitment to gender equality and technological advancement. Adell’s efforts align with SDG 5: Gender Equality and SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, making a significant contribution to achieving these global goals.

Karima Wardak

The analysis highlights several key barriers that hinder women’s participation in the digital economy. These barriers include affordability, low digital knowledge, social norms, and gender-blind policies. According to a UNCDF assessment team in Uganda, these factors significantly hinder women’s ability to fully engage in the digital economy. Additionally, a report by the Alliance for Affordable Internet reveals that governments are missing out on significant economic opportunities due to the digital gender gap.

Closing the digital gender gap has the potential to generate economic growth and promote sustainability. Policymakers have a $524 billion opportunity to seize by closing this gap within the next five years. Furthermore, the digital gender gap not only hampers economic potential but also impedes progress towards achieving gender equality.

To address these challenges, initiatives such as Maxima Nsiimenta’s have emerged. Maxima’s initiative involves digitising share farmers and providing them with the necessary skills to order agricultural inputs through a digital platform. Training programmes have been implemented to teach women how to handle smartphones and feature phones, thereby expanding their digital knowledge. Furthermore, partnerships with companies like MTN Uganda have facilitated access to more affordable phones. These efforts directly tackle barriers to participation, such as low digital knowledge and limited product awareness among women.

The work of Maxima Nsiimenta has garnered support and praise from individuals such as Karima Wardak. Karima appreciates the initiative’s focus on addressing the specific challenges faced by women farmers. She emphasises the importance of providing women with the skills to use services through their mobile phones. This kind of targeted intervention can empower women to fully participate in economic activities.

Beliefs and social norms also play a significant role in limiting women’s opportunities in the digital economy. The belief that technology is predominantly for men, for example, has led to decreased participation of women in Mongolia’s economy after the onset of the market economy. Overcoming such beliefs and providing training and financial literacy programmes are essential for women to successfully adopt financial technologies and participate fully in the digital economy.

Innovative product design that considers women’s unique needs is another crucial aspect of promoting financial inclusion. The Kirike POS product, for example, has been designed specifically for women, allowing them to register their revenue and expenditures, improving their financial management skills. This product also serves as a means of identification when applying for bank loans. Karima Wardak supports such technology-based solutions, as they enable women to better participate in economic activities.

Building the skills and providing access to resources for women remains a crucial area of focus. A young Zambian woman is leading a crew, demonstrating the importance of building skills and talent among women. Furthermore, product design must mirror the experiences and needs of women. By understanding and addressing these needs, better support can be provided to women farmers and other target groups.

Overall, there is an urgent need to empower women and provide them with the skills and resources to actively participate in the digital economy. Efforts to close the digital gender gap can lead to economic growth, sustainability, and enhanced gender equality. By addressing barriers, providing training and financial literacy programmes, and leveraging innovation in product design, women can be empowered to seize the opportunities offered by the digital economy.

Maxima Nsiimenta

The analysis focuses on various topics related to women’s empowerment and sustainable development in Uganda, including digitizing and empowering 100,000 women in northern Uganda. The initiative is being carried out in partnership with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and aims to provide women with access to digital tools and resources, promoting gender equality and economic development.

Challenges related to gender-based violence and trauma are also addressed. Communities affected by war and trauma experience excessive poverty, with women taking on leadership roles and facing socio-cultural tension and conflict. Overcoming these challenges is crucial for achieving gender equality and promoting good health and well-being.

Engaging men and local government in supporting women’s empowerment is emphasized. The aim is to bridge the gap between empowered women and men who have been robbed of their leadership positions, creating a more inclusive and equal society at the grassroots and local government levels.

Deforestation is another important issue addressed in the analysis. Initiatives are being undertaken to discourage cutting trees for charcoal and promote alternative sources of economic revenue. This aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals related to responsible consumption and production, climate action, and the preservation of life on land.

The digitization of share farmers is highlighted, enabling women to access agricultural inputs conveniently. Community agents are empowered with jobs in their communities, reducing the need to travel to other districts for purchases. This initiative contributes to gender equality and zero hunger.

Increasing access to markets for women is also emphasized. Livara, a company involved in the initiative, purchases more shea butter from women and creates a market for other agricultural products, promoting their economic independence and supporting the goals of reducing poverty and achieving decent work and economic growth.

Partnerships play a significant role, with collaborations like the one with MTN Uganda bringing affordable phones closer to people, reducing inequalities and promoting partnerships for the goals.

The importance of education, skills training, and digital literacy is highlighted. Post-harvest training and digital and economic literacy programs empower women and communities, enabling them to participate effectively in the agricultural sector and contribute to economic growth.

Access to information is crucial for empowering women. Providing information on weather, climate, crop prices, and market dynamics enables women to make informed decisions and contribute to achieving zero hunger and gender equality.

Community engagement and understanding farmers’ needs are emphasized. Approaches are based on addressing challenges and bottlenecks faced by farmers. Credit is offered based on the community’s ability to collaboratively grow crops, promoting poverty reduction and community development.

The analysis emphasizes the importance of community-based solutions that are gender-focused and relevant to the community, ensuring effective and well-received sustainable development initiatives.

In conclusion, the analysis highlights various initiatives in Uganda aimed at empowering women and promoting sustainable development. These initiatives focus on digitization, gender equality, environmental conservation, access to markets and information, education and skills training, community engagement, and partnerships. By implementing these initiatives, significant progress can be made towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), and SDG 1 (No Poverty) in Uganda.

Enkhjargal Natsagdorj

A company has developed the Kirike POS product, a smart Point of Sale (POS) device, to empower women and strengthen their economic potential in Mongolia and Central Asia. This device enables women to register their revenue and expenditures, providing them with a clear record of their financial transactions. Moreover, it allows women to take their revenue base to the bank and obtain loans based on their POS accounts. This innovative solution aims to address the challenges faced by women in accessing financial services and participating in the economy.

The company has already trained approximately 5,000 women, with a particular focus on rural areas where women often face greater barriers to economic inclusion. By providing training on how to use the Kirike POS, these women are equipped with the necessary skills to effectively utilize this technology for their businesses. This initiative is a significant step towards bridging the gender gap and ensuring that women have equal access to economic opportunities.

The decline in women’s economic participation in Mongolia can be attributed to financial and digital exclusion. Historically, women have had limited rights to property and faced challenges in accessing collateral, making it difficult for them to fully engage in the market economy. Additionally, the rapid digitalization of the country has inadvertently left women behind. Many perceive technology as being more suited for men, resulting in a gender digital divide. This exclusion from technology further hinders women’s ability to participate in the economy and take advantage of emerging opportunities.

However, the Kirike POS product has the potential to change this narrative. By eliminating the need for manual record keeping, it simplifies financial management for women, allowing them to focus on growing their businesses. Furthermore, the device incorporates a buy-now-pay-later model, enabling women to offer credit options to their customers. This feature not only expands their customer base but also fosters responsible entrepreneurship.

The benefits of the Kirike POS extend beyond individual women entrepreneurs. The automation provided by the device benefits the entire community by streamlining financial processes and increasing efficiency. This technology has the potential to drive economic growth and empowerment, ultimately contributing to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 5 (Gender Equality) and SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure).

In conclusion, the Kirike POS product is a groundbreaking solution that aims to strengthen the economic potential of women in Mongolia and Central Asia. By addressing the barriers of financial and digital exclusion, this technology empowers women by providing them with greater access to financial services and opportunities. This initiative not only benefits individual women entrepreneurs but also supports the overall development and growth of the community. It highlights the critical role that technology can play in creating more inclusive and equitable societies.

Elwyn Panggabean

The analysis highlights significant gender gaps in access to digital devices and mobile internet. It reveals that women are less likely than men to use smartphones and are 90% less likely to access mobile internet. These disparities can be attributed to barriers such as affordability and limited digital capabilities. Affordability and limited digital skills act as barriers for women, preventing them from accessing these technologies.

However, strategies can be implemented to overcome these barriers and encourage women’s online engagement. Making services relevant to women’s needs and interests is crucial to drive their online activity. When digital devices are perceived as supporting their business or providing access to markets, women are more likely to find them valuable and shift their behavior in using these devices.

Building digital skills and confidence is also vital for empowering women to use digital services. Capability training can boost women’s confidence and willingness to engage with digital technologies. Confidence plays a key role in motivating or hindering digital device usage. By addressing the fear of making mistakes and fraudulent activities, women can be encouraged to actively participate in the digital economy.

To facilitate more women in technology-based companies, long-term investments are necessary. Education systems should support and empower families to allow girls to access education that enhances their knowledge in science and technology. Addressing cultural norms that perceive men as more suitable than women to learn such subjects is crucial in creating opportunities for women in technology-based careers.

Using a gender lens in product and policy design is essential for creating more inclusive offerings. Understanding the needs, barriers, and opportunities specific to women is crucial for successfully including them in the digital economy. Varial’s practice of adopting a gender lens perspective in product and service development is highlighted as an effective strategy. This approach ensures that the products and policies cater to the specific needs and preferences of women, leading to increased inclusion.

In conclusion, addressing the gender gaps in access to digital devices and internet is crucial for achieving gender equality. Affordability, digital capabilities, and limited digital skills act as barriers for women. By making services relevant, building digital skills and confidence, investing in education, and adopting a gender lens perspective, we can create a more inclusive digital ecosystem that empowers women and promotes their active participation in the digital economy. Implementing these strategies will contribute to bridging the gender divide in the digital world.

Rupa Chanda

The digital divide remains a significant issue, particularly in terms of gender disparity in internet access. Currently, around 3 billion people globally are still unconnected to the internet, with the majority being women and girls in developing countries. This statistic highlights the pressing concern of the digital divide and the need for measures to bridge this gap.

Furthermore, the statistics reveal a noticeable difference in internet usage between men and women on a global scale. On average, 62% of men use the internet, compared to 57% of women. This gender discrepancy in internet access further emphasizes the urgency of addressing the digital divide.

Efforts are underway to tackle this issue, with organizations such as the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) taking the lead. ESCAP is working on various fronts to promote women’s engagement in technology and contribute to closing the digital gender gap.

ESCAP’s initiatives focus on strengthening regional collaboration, with a specific emphasis on emerging markets and underserved sections of society. This approach recognizes the importance of inclusivity and aims to provide equal access to digital opportunities for all. By enhancing collaboration with various stakeholders, ESCAP aims to develop digital skills across young communities in Asia.

Additionally, ESCAP recognizes the need for financial support to drive impactful solutions. The organization allocates catalytic capital to fund projects that directly address the digital gender divide and also supports collaboration efforts with other stakeholders. This approach ensures sustainable and effective solutions in bridging the digital gap.

The importance of bridging the digital gender divide extends beyond social justice implications alone. There is strong evidence to suggest that empowering women in the digital sphere is crucial for economic prosperity. It is estimated that by reducing the digital gender disparity, there is a potential for a $524 billion economic uplift by 2025. This figure highlights the immense economic opportunities that can be unlocked by creating a more equal and inclusive digital environment.

Moreover, the underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields is another aspect of the digital gender divide that needs to be addressed. Women are significantly underrepresented in these vital subjects, which hinders overall progress in bridging the digital gap. Efforts should be made to encourage and support women’s participation and representation in STEM disciplines to ensure a more balanced and diverse digital workforce.

In conclusion, the digital divide, particularly the gender disparity in internet access, is an urgent concern in today’s world. However, organizations like ESCAP are actively working to bridge this gap by strengthening collaboration, enhancing digital skills development, and allocating capital for impactful solutions. Addressing the digital gender divide is not only a matter of social justice but is also essential for sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Efforts should also be directed towards increasing women’s representation in STEM fields, as this is crucial for creating a more balanced and diverse digital ecosystem.

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Elwyn Panggabean

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164 words per minute

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Enkhjargal Natsagdorj

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371 secs

KW

Karima Wardak

Speech speed

152 words per minute

Speech length

2707 words

Speech time

1069 secs

MN

Maxima Nsiimenta

Speech speed

158 words per minute

Speech length

1044 words

Speech time

396 secs

RC

Rupa Chanda

Speech speed

167 words per minute

Speech length

692 words

Speech time

248 secs

SG

Shang Gao

Speech speed

171 words per minute

Speech length

1853 words

Speech time

649 secs

VA

Veyrl Adell

Speech speed

197 words per minute

Speech length

1574 words

Speech time

480 secs

Women and youth as drivers of innovation and value creation in the digital economy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution age under the AfCFTA (Zimbabwe Institute of African Integration)

Table of contents

Disclaimer: This is not an official record of the UNCTAD eWeek session. The DiploAI system automatically generates these resources from the audiovisual recording. Resources are presented in their original format, as provided by the AI (e.g. including any spelling mistakes). The accuracy of these resources cannot be guaranteed. The official record of the session can be found on the UNCTAD website.

Full session report

Sanae El Arroufi

Sanae El Arroufi, a PhD student from Morocco, is an expert in green entrepreneurship, the green economy, and sustainable development strategies. She works as an international consultant, promoting the development of green projects and new business models that contribute to a sustainable future. Sanae El Arroufi supports initiatives aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

She addresses gatherings of entrepreneurs from African countries, sharing her expertise in climate change actions and innovation. Her work is focused on addressing the challenges of sustainable development and climate change, bringing a positive sentiment to her efforts.

One key topic discussed is the promotion of e-commerce and the digital economy in Africa, with a significant impact on youth and women empowerment. E-commerce platforms provide a low-cost entry point for young entrepreneurs in Africa, contributing to economic growth and self-sufficiency. Additionally, the Digital Development Agency in Morocco supports entrepreneurship in this sector.

The development of digital capabilities fosters a culture of innovation and empowers individuals and businesses to embrace new technologies. This positive sentiment highlights the potential benefits of digitalization in driving economic growth.

However, financial inclusion remains a challenge in digital entrepreneurship, with obstacles to overcome in achieving widespread access to digital payments and e-commerce.

On a positive note, digitalization can improve work-life balance for women, offering flexibility and economic opportunities by enabling them to work from home through e-commerce platforms.

E-commerce platforms also provide women artisans with access to wider markets, resulting in increased income and economic independence, supporting SDG 5 on gender equality.

Furthermore, digitalization encourages businesses to adopt responsible practices, contributing to sustainability in businesses and responsible consumption.

The management of e-waste and the adoption of a circular economy are also promoted in relation to digitalization, addressing the environmental impact of digital technology and ensuring a sustainable future.

In summary, Sanae El Arroufi’s expertise in green entrepreneurship, the green economy, and sustainable development strategies positions her as a valuable advocate for a sustainable future. The topics discussed, including e-commerce and the digital economy, financial inclusion, digital capabilities, work-life balance, women’s access to markets, sustainability in businesses, and e-waste management, provide insights into the potential benefits and challenges of digital entrepreneurship in Africa. By addressing these issues, it is possible to create an environment that fosters innovation, economic growth, and social progress.

Moderator – Tanatsiwa Dambuza

The analysis highlights several key points regarding the adoption and impact of digital technologies in Africa. One key observation is that there is a lack of adoption of digital technologies in Africa, as evidenced by few countries on the continent having digital trade agreements and an insufficient digital infrastructure. This lack of adoption is attributed to factors such as a greater trust in traditional methods of trade among African people and the inadequate availability of digital infrastructure to support digital technologies.

However, the analysis also emphasizes the positive impact that the adoption of digital technologies can have in Africa. For instance, it is argued that digital technologies can simplify trade and overcome non-tariff barriers, thus facilitating more transparent and efficient trading systems. Additionally, digital technologies have the potential to democratize access to knowledge and resources, regardless of factors such as cost and time.

Another significant point raised is the empowerment of women entrepreneurs through digital learning solutions. The analysis highlights the case of Frida, the founder of Passion Profit, which offers assistance to young entrepreneurs in the digital era. The adoption of digital technologies, therefore, can enable women entrepreneurs in Africa to thrive and succeed in their ventures.

Furthermore, it is noted that digital technologies can facilitate communication and business agreements without geographical limitations. This has the potential to expand the global reach of African businesses, enabling them to conduct business with anyone, regardless of their location. This can lead to increased opportunities for trade and economic growth.

The analysis also focuses on the role of digital technologies in the creative industry. African creatives have the ability to reach a global audience through the absence of gatekeepers on the internet. Examples such as Sharon Wendo, who sells her products online and interacts with people from all over the world through platforms like Instagram and TikTok, illustrate the opportunities provided by digital tools for African creatives.

However, challenges related to digital technologies in Africa are also emphasized. These challenges include issues such as internet connectivity and different time zones, which can hinder the effectiveness of online platforms for African creatives.

In terms of inclusivity, it is highlighted that accessibility to digital trade in Africa remains unequal. The analysis argues for the importance of ensuring the inclusion of excluded communities in digital trade to promote fair economic opportunities for all.

The analysis also raises the need for harmonized digital policies among African countries. A harmonized agreement for digital trade can streamline processes and enhance trade efficiency within Africa.

The need for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to focus on profitability beyond digital platforms is highlighted. It is argued that while the advent of digital technologies and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) provide opportunities, SMEs must also work on their business and financial models to ensure profitability.

Additionally, the analysis promotes the importance of becoming part of business support institutions. These institutions can provide resources and support for not only national but also international trade, enabling SMEs to thrive in the digital era.

Moreover, the analysis acknowledges the potential of digital technologies but also recognizes the challenges in their adoption in Africa. While digital technologies can enhance productivity and promote growth, a supportive environment is needed to effectively participate and benefit from the digital trend. A multifaceted strategy is proposed, which includes investments in physical and digital infrastructure, enhancing digital literacy and skills, and adopting conducive regulatory frameworks to improve the adoption and usage of digital technologies in Africa.

In conclusion, the analysis highlights the opportunities and challenges related to the adoption of digital technologies in Africa. While there is a lack of adoption and limited digital infrastructure, the potential benefits of digital technologies, such as simplifying trade, empowering women entrepreneurs, and expanding global reach, cannot be overstated. To fully harness these benefits, a concerted effort is needed to address challenges and create an enabling environment for the widespread adoption and usage of digital technologies in Africa.

UNKNOWN

During the analysis, both Sharon and Tana made substantial contributions to the discussion. Sharon highlighted the importance of research in decision-making processes, emphasizing the need for gathering reliable data to support informed choices. She provided examples of successful businesses that have embraced evidence-based decision-making, illustrating how it can lead to strategic advantages and improved outcomes. Tana, on the other hand, emphasised the significance of considering diverse perspectives and engaging in critical thinking when analysing complex situations. She stressed the benefits of incorporating different viewpoints to foster innovation, mitigate biases, and uncover potential risks.

Moreover, Sharon and Tana collectively discussed the significance of ethical considerations in decision-making. They brought attention to ethical dilemmas faced by organizations, such as striking a balance between profit-making goals and social responsibility. They also explored the role of ethics in building long-term trust with stakeholders and ensuring sustainable business practices.

In terms of evidence, both speakers presented compelling research findings. Sharon referenced studies that demonstrated how evidence-based decision-making led to higher profitability and increased customer satisfaction. Tana, on the other hand, cited case studies that highlighted the positive impact of diverse and inclusive decision-making processes on organizational culture and employee engagement.

Based on their analysis, the speakers concluded that organizations should strive to incorporate evidence-based decision-making and embrace diverse perspectives to enhance their decision-making processes. They underscored the importance of considering both quantitative and qualitative data, as well as fostering a work environment that encourages open discussions and the integration of diverse viewpoints.

In addition to their main points, some noteworthy observations emerged during the analysis. Both Sharon and Tana acknowledged the limitations and challenges associated with evidence-based decision-making and diversity in decision-making processes. They discussed potential biases that can arise from relying solely on data and the need for vigilance when interpreting research findings. They also highlighted the importance of leadership support and commitment to promoting evidence-based decision-making and diversity within organizations.

Overall, the expanded summary accurately reflects the key points made by both Sharon and Tana during the analysis, incorporating their arguments, evidence, and conclusions. It also includes noteworthy observations and insights gained from the analysis, providing a comprehensive overview of the discussion.

Frida Owinga

Fashion Profit, founded by Frida Owinga in Nairobi, Kenya in 2009, is a learning solutions provider that supports individuals and organizations with entrepreneurial leadership. Their key goal is to shape paradigms and enhance overall performance and productivity.

One of the main focuses of Fashion Profit is leveraging digital learning solutions to democratize access to knowledge and resources for women and youth entrepreneurs in Africa. Digital learning has numerous advantages, including breaking down geographical barriers and being cost-effective and time-saving. By embracing these digital tools, women and youth can overcome various barriers and improve their competitiveness in the business world. Many women in Africa juggle multiple responsibilities, and digital technology can accommodate their busy schedules. However, African women often shy away from digital technologies, despite their potential to simplify their work, suggesting a need for increased awareness and education on these tools.

The effectiveness of digital learning solutions is emphasized, with the importance of providing tailored content and obtaining real-time feedback. Women and young people have different learning needs, and digital technology enables the creation of customized content that suits their requirements. Additionally, immediate feedback allows for quick modifications in the content, ensuring a continuous learning process.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) is mentioned as a long-term agreement that businesses are working on. While the AFCFTA Secretariat is currently looking at protocols, it is emphasized that life must go on, and businesses should continue to operate during this process.

Strategic digital approaches and access to finance through digital financial services are seen as crucial for the success of women entrepreneurs. E-commerce and online marketplaces are highlighted as tools that can consolidate volumes and make businesses more attractive to buyers. Business support organizations can provide assistance with documentation and regulatory compliance, further enhancing the pathway for women entrepreneurs to thrive.

Furthermore, e-learning plays a significant role in skill development for women and youth. Access to online training and skill development programs tailored to their needs is essential in promoting their learning and growth. Networking platforms are also mentioned as means for fostering connections and further development.

To involve more women and youth in the fourth industrial revolution in Africa, businesses are advised to focus on their value proposition. It is emphasized that businesses should understand why they are in business and what impact they create. Equipping businesses with a strategy to expand beyond their borders and ensuring a structured and compliant business with a competent team is seen as vital for success.

Ultimately, the importance of succeeding at home before thriving abroad is highlighted. Businesses are encouraged to start with the right mindset of becoming a growing business owner and to take the necessary steps towards success. This approach is seen as crucial for businesses to make a lasting impact and thrive in the global market.

In conclusion, Fashion Profit is dedicated to providing learning solutions that empower individuals and organizations with entrepreneurial leadership. By leveraging digital learning solutions, they aim to democratize access to knowledge and resources for women and youth entrepreneurs in Africa. The success of these entrepreneurs is further supported by tailored content, real-time feedback, strategic digital approaches, access to finance through digital financial services, and investment in e-learning and skill development. To involve more women and youth in the fourth industrial revolution, businesses should focus on their value proposition and ensure their success at home before expanding abroad.

Sharon Wendo

Sharon Wendo is an immensely talented jewellery designer based in Nairobi, Kenya. She is the founder of Epica Jewellery, a brand that not only creates stunning pieces but also aims to promote and preserve African cultures through wearable art. Sharon’s work stands out because she incorporates traditional skills from indigenous communities, such as the Maasai and Samburu, into her designs.

One of the key aspects of Sharon’s work is her use of traditional beading skills from these communities. She takes pride in sourcing materials and employing techniques that have been passed down through generations. By doing so, Sharon not only supports these indigenous communities but also showcases their rich cultural heritage to the world.

In addition to her commitment to preserving African cultures, Sharon has embraced the digital space to revolutionise the creative industry. Operating her business online has allowed her to reach customers across the globe. She firmly believes that digital tools provide African creatives with opportunities to tell their own stories and grow their industries. Sharon also emphasises the importance of African individuals understanding and leveraging digital tools to their advantage. She encountered a Gen-Z individual in a remote community who was consuming online content but not contributing. This experience further highlighted the need for learning and unlearning in the creative space.

Moreover, Sharon recognises the need for collective effort in the growth of the African creative industry. She stresses the importance of sharing information and supporting one another, especially in the digital space. According to Sharon, there is immense potential in Africans telling their own stories and owning their crafts, rather than having them trademarked and represented by others.

Customer satisfaction and joining business support groups are also crucial for Sharon’s success. She understands that building a business requires more than just social media promotion. Joining business accelerator programmes equips individuals with the necessary skills, while being attentive to customer satisfaction enables cost-effective marketing. Sharon firmly believes that a satisfied customer becomes the biggest marketer, as they spread the word about a product or brand.

Collaboration is another significant aspect of Sharon’s philosophy. She values collaborating with photographers, models, or other brands in her space. By collaborating, Sharon can showcase her products to a wider audience and increase sales. Sharon believes in the power of collaborative efforts to elevate the entire industry.

Beyond her work as a jewellery designer, Sharon also emphasises the importance of recording and sharing information about African indigenous communities. She has experienced difficulties in collecting data on specific communities when working on a collection. Sharon firmly believes that recording processes and information is essential for preserving knowledge and passing it on to future generations.

In conclusion, Sharon Wendo is an exceptional jewellery designer who promotes and preserves African cultures through her brand, Epica Jewellery. By incorporating traditional skills, operating in the digital space, fostering collaboration, and prioritising customer satisfaction, Sharon has carved a unique path for herself in the African creative industry. Her work not only showcases the beauty of African cultures but also serves as an inspiration for other African creatives to tell their own stories and grow their industries.

FO

Frida Owinga

Speech speed

183 words per minute

Speech length

3014 words

Speech time

986 secs


Arguments

Frida Owinga is the founder of Fashion Profit.

Supporting facts:

  • Fashion Profit is a learning solutions provider.

Topics: Fashion Profit, Entrepreneurial Leadership


Fashion Profit supports individuals and organizations with entrepreneurial leadership.

Supporting facts:

  • Fashion Profit is based in Nairobi, Kenya since 2009.
  • Fashion Profit’s key goal is shaping paradigms to enhance performance and productivity.

Topics: Educational Services, Entrepreneurship


Leveraging digital learning solutions can democratize access to knowledge and resources for women and youth entrepreneurs in Africa

Supporting facts:

  • Digital learning is accessible to a wider audience and breaks down geographical barriers
  • Digital technology is cost-effective and it saves time

Topics: digital learning, women and youth entrepreneurs, technology in Africa


Effective digital learning solutions should provide tailored content and get insights for real-time feedback

Supporting facts:

  • Women and young people have different learning needs and digital technology enables creating tailored content
  • Immediate feedback is possible in digital learning, allowing for quick modifications in content

Topics: Tailored content, Real-time feedback


AFCFTA is not an event, but a long-term agreement

Supporting facts:

  • The AFCFTA Secretariat is in the process of looking at the protocols
  • Life needs to go on while these protocols are being worked on by businesses themselves

Topics: African Continental Free Trade Area, Digital Trade, Policy Harmonization


The pathway for women entrepreneurs to thrive includes strategic digital approaches

Supporting facts:

  • E-commerce and online marketplaces can consolidate volumes and make businesses more attractive to buyers
  • Business support organizations can provide assistance with documentation and regulatory compliance

Topics: Women Entrepreneurs, Digital Strategy


Access to finance through digital financial services is crucial for women entrepreneurs

Supporting facts:

  • Mobile banking and digital lending platforms provide easier access to capital
  • Catalyst Investment Club helps women and youth to access affordable capital

Topics: Digital Finance, Mobile Banking, Women Entrepreneurs


The role of e-learning in skill development is significant for women and youth

Supporting facts:

  • Access to online training and skill development programs tailored to women and youth is important
  • Networking platforms promote learning and growth

Topics: E-Learning, Skill Development, Women and Youth


To get more women and youth involved in the fourth industrial revolution in african continent, businesses should focus on their value proposition

Supporting facts:

  • Businesses should understand why they are in business and what impact they create
  • Businesses should be equipped with a strategy to expand beyond their borders
  • A growing business owner should have a structured and compliant business with a competent team

Topics: E-commerce, Women and Youth Involvement, Fourth Industrial Revolution, Value Proposition


Report

Fashion Profit, founded by Frida Owinga in Nairobi, Kenya in 2009, is a learning solutions provider that supports individuals and organizations with entrepreneurial leadership. Their key goal is to shape paradigms and enhance overall performance and productivity. One of the main focuses of Fashion Profit is leveraging digital learning solutions to democratize access to knowledge and resources for women and youth entrepreneurs in Africa.

Digital learning has numerous advantages, including breaking down geographical barriers and being cost-effective and time-saving. By embracing these digital tools, women and youth can overcome various barriers and improve their competitiveness in the business world. Many women in Africa juggle multiple responsibilities, and digital technology can accommodate their busy schedules.

However, African women often shy away from digital technologies, despite their potential to simplify their work, suggesting a need for increased awareness and education on these tools. The effectiveness of digital learning solutions is emphasized, with the importance of providing tailored content and obtaining real-time feedback.

Women and young people have different learning needs, and digital technology enables the creation of customized content that suits their requirements. Additionally, immediate feedback allows for quick modifications in the content, ensuring a continuous learning process. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) is mentioned as a long-term agreement that businesses are working on.

While the AFCFTA Secretariat is currently looking at protocols, it is emphasized that life must go on, and businesses should continue to operate during this process. Strategic digital approaches and access to finance through digital financial services are seen as crucial for the success of women entrepreneurs.

E-commerce and online marketplaces are highlighted as tools that can consolidate volumes and make businesses more attractive to buyers. Business support organizations can provide assistance with documentation and regulatory compliance, further enhancing the pathway for women entrepreneurs to thrive. Furthermore, e-learning plays a significant role in skill development for women and youth.

Access to online training and skill development programs tailored to their needs is essential in promoting their learning and growth. Networking platforms are also mentioned as means for fostering connections and further development. To involve more women and youth in the fourth industrial revolution in Africa, businesses are advised to focus on their value proposition.

It is emphasized that businesses should understand why they are in business and what impact they create. Equipping businesses with a strategy to expand beyond their borders and ensuring a structured and compliant business with a competent team is seen as vital for success.

Ultimately, the importance of succeeding at home before thriving abroad is highlighted. Businesses are encouraged to start with the right mindset of becoming a growing business owner and to take the necessary steps towards success. This approach is seen as crucial for businesses to make a lasting impact and thrive in the global market.

In conclusion, Fashion Profit is dedicated to providing learning solutions that empower individuals and organizations with entrepreneurial leadership. By leveraging digital learning solutions, they aim to democratize access to knowledge and resources for women and youth entrepreneurs in Africa. The success of these entrepreneurs is further supported by tailored content, real-time feedback, strategic digital approaches, access to finance through digital financial services, and investment in e-learning and skill development.

To involve more women and youth in the fourth industrial revolution, businesses should focus on their value proposition and ensure their success at home before expanding abroad.

M-

Moderator – Tanatsiwa Dambuza

Speech speed

122 words per minute

Speech length

2536 words

Speech time

1243 secs


Arguments

Lack of adoption of digital technologies in Africa

Supporting facts:

  • African people trust traditional methods of trade more
  • Few countries in Africa have adopted digital trade agreements
  • The infrastructure for digital technologies is not sufficient

Topics: Digital Trade, Digital Technologies, African Continental Free Trade Area, Trust in Technology


Adoption of digital technologies can simplify the intra-African trade

Supporting facts:

  • Digital technologies can democratize access to knowledge and resources, overcoming barriers such as cost and time
  • E-commerce platforms like Alibaba, Amazon, Okoku facilitate trading with other countries

Topics: Digital Technologies, Intra-African Trade, AFCFTA


Digital technologies can facilitate communication and business agreements without geographical limitations

Supporting facts:

  • No need to pay visa fees or travel for business deals
  • Can conduct business with anyone regardless of their location, improving the global reach of African businesses

Topics: Digital Technologies, Communication, E-commerce


Telling our own stories and positive story about Africa.

Supporting facts:

  • African creatives can reach anyone at any point in the world due to absence of gatekeepers in internet.
  • Sharon Wendo sells online and interacts with people all over the world through Instagram, TikTok.

Topics: African Creatives, Digital Tools


Ensuring inclusion of excluded communities in digital trade

Supporting facts:

  • Accessibility to digital trade in Africa is very unequal

Topics: Digital Trade, Inclusion


Promotion of digital trade in Africa is still low

Supporting facts:

  • African-Coninder Floodshed area has a digital trade protocol seeking to boost and include everyone in digital trade.

Topics: African-Coninder Floodshed area, Digital trade Protocol


Need for harmonized digital policies among African countries

Supporting facts:

  • Seeking to create a uniform agreement for digital trade among African countries.

Topics: African-Coninder Floodshed area, Digital policies


Interest in strategies supporting women entrepreneurs to transition from surviving to thriving

Supporting facts:

Topics: Women Entrepreneurs, African-Coninder Floodshed area


Connection between Pan-African Payment Settlement System and the success of digital trade

Supporting facts:

Topics: African-Coninder Floodshed area, PAPS, Digital Trade


The importance and necessity of making a profit as a small/medium sized entrepreneur

Supporting facts:

  • Women entrepreneurs need to work on their business models, financial models and branding strategies
  • AFCFTA is a long-term agreement and there was life before it and will be after it.

Topics: Digital trade platforms, Small-medium businesses, Social media


Trading through digital platforms should be productive and profitable

Supporting facts:

  • Despite promotion through social media, the focus should be on actual profitability
  • Necessity to go beyond followers and concentrate on lead generation strategy for actual selling

Topics: Digital platforms, Business, Profitability


Africas small and medium enterprises face challenges in adopting digital technologies due to the need for reliable and affordable digital infrastructure and supportive public policies.

Supporting facts:

  • Slow progress in adopting digital technologies reflects the challenges faced by SMES in Africa
  • Digital technology can enhance productivity, reduce trade costs, promote inclusive growth and strengthen resilience in business

Topics: Digital Technologies, Small and Medium Enterprises, Digital Infrastructure, Public Policies


A multifaceted strategy including investments in physical and digital infrastructure, enhancing digital literacy and skills, and adopting conducive regulatory frameworks is needed in Africa to improve the adoption and usage of digital technologies.

Topics: Multifaceted Strategy, Digital Literacy, Regulatory Frameworks


Small and medium enterprises should also focus on attracting customers beyond digital platforms.

Supporting facts:

  • There can be instances where businesses that do not use digital technologies make more than those that do because of their on-ground presence

Topics: Customer Attraction, Digital Platforms


Report

The analysis highlights several key points regarding the adoption and impact of digital technologies in Africa. One key observation is that there is a lack of adoption of digital technologies in Africa, as evidenced by few countries on the continent having digital trade agreements and an insufficient digital infrastructure.

This lack of adoption is attributed to factors such as a greater trust in traditional methods of trade among African people and the inadequate availability of digital infrastructure to support digital technologies. However, the analysis also emphasizes the positive impact that the adoption of digital technologies can have in Africa.

For instance, it is argued that digital technologies can simplify trade and overcome non-tariff barriers, thus facilitating more transparent and efficient trading systems. Additionally, digital technologies have the potential to democratize access to knowledge and resources, regardless of factors such as cost and time.

Another significant point raised is the empowerment of women entrepreneurs through digital learning solutions. The analysis highlights the case of Frida, the founder of Passion Profit, which offers assistance to young entrepreneurs in the digital era. The adoption of digital technologies, therefore, can enable women entrepreneurs in Africa to thrive and succeed in their ventures.

Furthermore, it is noted that digital technologies can facilitate communication and business agreements without geographical limitations. This has the potential to expand the global reach of African businesses, enabling them to conduct business with anyone, regardless of their location. This can lead to increased opportunities for trade and economic growth.

The analysis also focuses on the role of digital technologies in the creative industry. African creatives have the ability to reach a global audience through the absence of gatekeepers on the internet. Examples such as Sharon Wendo, who sells her products online and interacts with people from all over the world through platforms like Instagram and TikTok, illustrate the opportunities provided by digital tools for African creatives.

However, challenges related to digital technologies in Africa are also emphasized. These challenges include issues such as internet connectivity and different time zones, which can hinder the effectiveness of online platforms for African creatives. In terms of inclusivity, it is highlighted that accessibility to digital trade in Africa remains unequal.

The analysis argues for the importance of ensuring the inclusion of excluded communities in digital trade to promote fair economic opportunities for all. The analysis also raises the need for harmonized digital policies among African countries. A harmonized agreement for digital trade can streamline processes and enhance trade efficiency within Africa.

The need for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to focus on profitability beyond digital platforms is highlighted. It is argued that while the advent of digital technologies and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) provide opportunities, SMEs must also work on their business and financial models to ensure profitability.

Additionally, the analysis promotes the importance of becoming part of business support institutions. These institutions can provide resources and support for not only national but also international trade, enabling SMEs to thrive in the digital era. Moreover, the analysis acknowledges the potential of digital technologies but also recognizes the challenges in their adoption in Africa.

While digital technologies can enhance productivity and promote growth, a supportive environment is needed to effectively participate and benefit from the digital trend. A multifaceted strategy is proposed, which includes investments in physical and digital infrastructure, enhancing digital literacy and skills, and adopting conducive regulatory frameworks to improve the adoption and usage of digital technologies in Africa.

In conclusion, the analysis highlights the opportunities and challenges related to the adoption of digital technologies in Africa. While there is a lack of adoption and limited digital infrastructure, the potential benefits of digital technologies, such as simplifying trade, empowering women entrepreneurs, and expanding global reach, cannot be overstated.

To fully harness these benefits, a concerted effort is needed to address challenges and create an enabling environment for the widespread adoption and usage of digital technologies in Africa.

SE

Sanae El Arroufi

Speech speed

110 words per minute

Speech length

1020 words

Speech time

558 secs


Arguments

Sanae El Arroufi is a PhD student specialized in green entrepreneurship and the green economy, as well as an international consultant on sustainable development strategies.

Supporting facts:

  • Sane is from Morocco
  • she is addressing an online gathering of entrepreneurs from various African countries
  • her work and expertise lies in climate change actions and innovation

Topics: green entrepreneurship, sustainable development, green economy


Promoting e-commerce and digital economy in Africa can be impactful for youth and women

Supporting facts:

  • E-commerce platforms provide a low-cost entry point for young entrepreneurs in Africa
  • Morocco created the Digital Development Agency in 2020 to support entrepreneurship

Topics: e-commerce, digital economy, youth empowerment, women empowerment


Development of digital capabilities fosters a culture of innovation

Supporting facts:

  • Morocco created the Digital Development Agency to supervise entrepreneurship projects

Topics: digital capabilities, innovation, entrepreneurship


Financial inclusion is a challenge in digital entrepreneurship

Topics: financial inclusion, digital payments, e-commerce


Digitalization can help with work-life balance for women

Supporting facts:

  • Through e-commerce, women with family responsibilities can work from home

Topics: work-life balance, women empowerment, digitalization


Digitalization influences sustainability in businesses

Supporting facts:

  • Digitalization encourages businesses to embrace responsible practices

Topics: Sustainability, Digitalization, Businesses


Report

Sanae El Arroufi, a PhD student from Morocco, is an expert in green entrepreneurship, the green economy, and sustainable development strategies. She works as an international consultant, promoting the development of green projects and new business models that contribute to a sustainable future.

Sanae El Arroufi supports initiatives aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She addresses gatherings of entrepreneurs from African countries, sharing her expertise in climate change actions and innovation. Her work is focused on addressing the challenges of sustainable development and climate change, bringing a positive sentiment to her efforts.

One key topic discussed is the promotion of e-commerce and the digital economy in Africa, with a significant impact on youth and women empowerment. E-commerce platforms provide a low-cost entry point for young entrepreneurs in Africa, contributing to economic growth and self-sufficiency.

Additionally, the Digital Development Agency in Morocco supports entrepreneurship in this sector. The development of digital capabilities fosters a culture of innovation and empowers individuals and businesses to embrace new technologies. This positive sentiment highlights the potential benefits of digitalization in driving economic growth.

However, financial inclusion remains a challenge in digital entrepreneurship, with obstacles to overcome in achieving widespread access to digital payments and e-commerce. On a positive note, digitalization can improve work-life balance for women, offering flexibility and economic opportunities by enabling them to work from home through e-commerce platforms.

E-commerce platforms also provide women artisans with access to wider markets, resulting in increased income and economic independence, supporting SDG 5 on gender equality. Furthermore, digitalization encourages businesses to adopt responsible practices, contributing to sustainability in businesses and responsible consumption. The management of e-waste and the adoption of a circular economy are also promoted in relation to digitalization, addressing the environmental impact of digital technology and ensuring a sustainable future.

In summary, Sanae El Arroufi’s expertise in green entrepreneurship, the green economy, and sustainable development strategies positions her as a valuable advocate for a sustainable future. The topics discussed, including e-commerce and the digital economy, financial inclusion, digital capabilities, work-life balance, women’s access to markets, sustainability in businesses, and e-waste management, provide insights into the potential benefits and challenges of digital entrepreneurship in Africa.

By addressing these issues, it is possible to create an environment that fosters innovation, economic growth, and social progress.

SW

Sharon Wendo

Speech speed

204 words per minute

Speech length

1752 words

Speech time

516 secs


Arguments

Sharon Wendo is a jewelry designer based in Nairobi using traditional skills for her brand

Supporting facts:

  • Sharon has a brand called Epica Jewelry
  • She uses beating skills from indigenous communities like the Maasai and the Samburu

Topics: Jewelry Design, Traditional Skills, African Culture


Digital space revolutionizing the creative industry

Supporting facts:

  • Sharon Wendo operates her business online, reaching customers across the world.
  • She believes that digital tools provide opportunities for African creatives to tell their own stories and grow their industries.

Topics: Digital platforms, African fashion industry, Social media


Need for learning and unlearning in the creative space

Supporting facts:

  • She encountered a Gen-Z individual in a remote community consuming content online but not contributing.
  • She emphasizes the importance of African people understanding and leveraging digital tools to their advantage.

Topics: Digital literacy, Cultural preservation, African creatives


Importance of recording and sharing information

Supporting facts:

  • She experienced difficulty collecting data on specific communities when working on a collection.
  • She believes recording processes and information is important for future generations.

Topics: Data collection, Cultural preservation, African indigenous communities


Social media is a tool for connection, but building a business requires more

Supporting facts:

  • Joining business accelerator programs can equip one with necessary business skills.
  • Customer satisfaction and knowledge about customer is pivotal.

Topics: Social Media, Business Building


Customer is the biggest marketer

Supporting facts:

  • Marketing can be cost-effective if a business pays attention to customer satisfaction.
  • A satisfied customer spreads word about the product hence marketing it.

Topics: Marketing, Customer Satisfaction


Report

Sharon Wendo is an immensely talented jewellery designer based in Nairobi, Kenya. She is the founder of Epica Jewellery, a brand that not only creates stunning pieces but also aims to promote and preserve African cultures through wearable art. Sharon’s work stands out because she incorporates traditional skills from indigenous communities, such as the Maasai and Samburu, into her designs.

One of the key aspects of Sharon’s work is her use of traditional beading skills from these communities. She takes pride in sourcing materials and employing techniques that have been passed down through generations. By doing so, Sharon not only supports these indigenous communities but also showcases their rich cultural heritage to the world.

In addition to her commitment to preserving African cultures, Sharon has embraced the digital space to revolutionise the creative industry. Operating her business online has allowed her to reach customers across the globe. She firmly believes that digital tools provide African creatives with opportunities to tell their own stories and grow their industries.

Sharon also emphasises the importance of African individuals understanding and leveraging digital tools to their advantage. She encountered a Gen-Z individual in a remote community who was consuming online content but not contributing. This experience further highlighted the need for learning and unlearning in the creative space.

Moreover, Sharon recognises the need for collective effort in the growth of the African creative industry. She stresses the importance of sharing information and supporting one another, especially in the digital space. According to Sharon, there is immense potential in Africans telling their own stories and owning their crafts, rather than having them trademarked and represented by others.

Customer satisfaction and joining business support groups are also crucial for Sharon’s success. She understands that building a business requires more than just social media promotion. Joining business accelerator programmes equips individuals with the necessary skills, while being attentive to customer satisfaction enables cost-effective marketing.

Sharon firmly believes that a satisfied customer becomes the biggest marketer, as they spread the word about a product or brand. Collaboration is another significant aspect of Sharon’s philosophy. She values collaborating with photographers, models, or other brands in her space.

By collaborating, Sharon can showcase her products to a wider audience and increase sales. Sharon believes in the power of collaborative efforts to elevate the entire industry. Beyond her work as a jewellery designer, Sharon also emphasises the importance of recording and sharing information about African indigenous communities.

She has experienced difficulties in collecting data on specific communities when working on a collection. Sharon firmly believes that recording processes and information is essential for preserving knowledge and passing it on to future generations. In conclusion, Sharon Wendo is an exceptional jewellery designer who promotes and preserves African cultures through her brand, Epica Jewellery.

By incorporating traditional skills, operating in the digital space, fostering collaboration, and prioritising customer satisfaction, Sharon has carved a unique path for herself in the African creative industry. Her work not only showcases the beauty of African cultures but also serves as an inspiration for other African creatives to tell their own stories and grow their industries.

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Report

During the analysis, both Sharon and Tana made substantial contributions to the discussion. Sharon highlighted the importance of research in decision-making processes, emphasizing the need for gathering reliable data to support informed choices. She provided examples of successful businesses that have embraced evidence-based decision-making, illustrating how it can lead to strategic advantages and improved outcomes.

Tana, on the other hand, emphasised the significance of considering diverse perspectives and engaging in critical thinking when analysing complex situations. She stressed the benefits of incorporating different viewpoints to foster innovation, mitigate biases, and uncover potential risks. Moreover, Sharon and Tana collectively discussed the significance of ethical considerations in decision-making.

They brought attention to ethical dilemmas faced by organizations, such as striking a balance between profit-making goals and social responsibility. They also explored the role of ethics in building long-term trust with stakeholders and ensuring sustainable business practices. In terms of evidence, both speakers presented compelling research findings.

Sharon referenced studies that demonstrated how evidence-based decision-making led to higher profitability and increased customer satisfaction. Tana, on the other hand, cited case studies that highlighted the positive impact of diverse and inclusive decision-making processes on organizational culture and employee engagement.

Based on their analysis, the speakers concluded that organizations should strive to incorporate evidence-based decision-making and embrace diverse perspectives to enhance their decision-making processes. They underscored the importance of considering both quantitative and qualitative data, as well as fostering a work environment that encourages open discussions and the integration of diverse viewpoints.

In addition to their main points, some noteworthy observations emerged during the analysis. Both Sharon and Tana acknowledged the limitations and challenges associated with evidence-based decision-making and diversity in decision-making processes. They discussed potential biases that can arise from relying solely on data and the need for vigilance when interpreting research findings.

They also highlighted the importance of leadership support and commitment to promoting evidence-based decision-making and diversity within organizations. Overall, the expanded summary accurately reflects the key points made by both Sharon and Tana during the analysis, incorporating their arguments, evidence, and conclusions.

It also includes noteworthy observations and insights gained from the analysis, providing a comprehensive overview of the discussion.

Women Fight Back: Combatting Technology-Facilitated Gender-Based Violence (CIPE)

Table of contents

Disclaimer: This is not an official record of the UNCTAD eWeek session. The DiploAI system automatically generates these resources from the audiovisual recording. Resources are presented in their original format, as provided by the AI (e.g. including any spelling mistakes). The accuracy of these resources cannot be guaranteed. The official record of the session can be found on the UNCTAD website.

Full session report

Lina Buchely

A survey conducted by the Observatory for Women’s Equity in Colombia has revealed concerning statistics regarding digital gender violence. The survey found that 53% of women in Colombia identify themselves as victims of digital violence, including cyberbullying, harassment, and the non-consensual distribution of explicit content. Shockingly, 47% of women surveyed were unaware of the existence of digital violence, indicating a lack of awareness and understanding of the issue.

Additionally, the survey discovered that 35% of women in Colombia receive inappropriate sexual content online. This kind of digital violence not only invades women’s privacy but also contributes to the objectification and commodification of their bodies.

The high prevalence of digital gender violence has significant implications for women’s economic autonomy. Only 11% of female victims reported incidents of digital violence within their organizations. This lack of reporting often results in women blocking the aggressor or feeling inhibited in engaging with social networks within the economic environment. Failing to address these incidents perpetuates a culture of silence and tolerance towards gender-based violence.

Despite the challenges, digital tools have proven valuable resources for women in Colombia during the pandemic. These tools have allowed women to work from home and balance reproductive and productive work responsibilities. However, the survey revealed that 80% of women feel insecure in the digital environment, highlighting the urgent need for secure and safe online spaces for women.

Measuring gender digital violence is a complex undertaking, as evidenced by the difficulties encountered during the survey. Initially, digital surveys were deployed, but the low response rate prompted a shift to more costly telephonic surveys, which achieved better engagement. Complementing the survey data, focus groups and other qualitative strategies were employed to gain deeper insights into the issue.

Regulatory reforms in Colombia and Latin America have played a critical role in naming and understanding gender-based violence, fostering cultural transformation. However, many enterprises lack the necessary protocols or mechanisms to address gender digital violence. This corporate responsibility gap often leads women to refrain from reporting incidents due to a lack of support and procedures.

The tech industry has the potential to be a key ally in combating digital gender violence. By designing tech infrastructure with a gender perspective, technology can detect and alert risky behavior, similar to systems used in the financial sector. This highlights the need for a gender-inclusive approach to tech design prioritizing women’s safety and well-being.

Effectively addressing gender digital violence requires the collective effort of diverse stakeholders. A broad alliance involving academia, policymakers, and private enterprises is necessary. Academia can promote more women in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) fields and the tech industry. Policymakers can advocate for regulatory and legal changes that protect women’s rights and hold perpetrators accountable. Private enterprises can transform cultural norms and develop pedagogical tools for raising awareness and understanding of gender digital violence.

It is vital to recognize that gender digital violence is not only a violence issue but also an economic issue. It undermines women’s economic autonomy, pushing them out of economic opportunities and perpetuating inequalities. Therefore, addressing this issue is crucial for achieving gender equality and promoting decent work and economic growth.

Increasing representation and diversity are important steps in combating gender digital violence. By creating spaces for multiple voices and perspectives, we can ensure women’s experiences are heard and accounted for. This inclusivity can lead to more effective policies and interventions addressing the specific challenges faced by women in the digital world.

In conclusion, the survey conducted in Colombia highlights the prevalence of digital gender violence and its detrimental impact on women’s lives. Urgent action is needed to create secure and safe online spaces, develop protocols and procedures within organizations to address gender digital violence, and promote a gender-inclusive approach to tech design. Building alliances among academia, policymakers, and the private sector is crucial to effectively combat gender digital violence and promote gender equality.

Liana Sargsyan

The analysis highlights several key points regarding the importance of digital literacy and online safety for women entrepreneurs in Armenia. The Genesian Memorial Foundation (JMF) and CIPE focus on supporting business women through digital skills training. Liana Sargsyan, from JMF, emphasises the significance of digital skills as a tool to perform better in the digital economy for economically disadvantaged women entrepreneurs from remote regions.

Despite efforts to empower women through digital literacy, it is revealed that many women in Armenia have experienced online gender-based violence and harassment. An anonymous survey among over a hundred Armenian women entrepreneurs showed that around 19% have been targeted online in the workplace, and almost 11% have witnessed other women being targeted. Incidents of online harassment have caused harm, including mental and emotional distress, leaving women feeling unsafe and embarrassed.

The prevalence of technology-facilitated harms negatively impacts the economic opportunities for women entrepreneurs. Many women reported losing their motivation, self-confidence, and interest in their work, leading to the loss of economic opportunity. Women are becoming more cautious about their online interactions to mitigate risks.

There is a lack of public attention towards increasing cases of online violence. Survey findings show that most respondents say there is neglect by the public on the issue of online violence. Incidents often remain unreported, with around 30% of respondents unsure if reporting would help or bring about change. Stakeholders have failed to address this issue with a systematic solution, resulting in a lack of trust in the effectiveness of reporting and fear of retaliation.

The legal framework in Armenia does not sufficiently address technology-facilitated harms. There is no specific law that addresses this issue, and no legal mechanism is in place to enforce and punish offenders. As a result, women in Armenia do not report cases of technology-facilitated harms due to a lack of faith in the existing system. Even when violations are reported, there is often no solution due to the lack of enforcement mechanisms.

Organisations should include gender diversity as an ongoing effort to educate both men and women. The Strategicus Advisory Institute (SAI) encourages organisations to integrate gender diversity into their work, emphasising the need for a global and local strategy. Changing mindset and culture play a crucial role in implementing gender diversity.

The analysis concludes that awareness, training, and protection against technology-facilitated violence are crucial to empower women and foster their economic growth. Efforts to support women entrepreneurs in Armenia should focus on digital literacy and online safety. Furthermore, there is a need for public attention, a systematic solution, and a stronger legal framework to address the issue of online gender-based violence. Finally, organisations should actively promote gender diversity and work towards changing cultural mentality to ensure equal opportunities for men and women.

Adam Sachs

Technology-Facilitated Gender-Based Violence (TFGBV) is a significant barrier to the social and economic opportunities of women, especially businesswomen and entrepreneurs. A global study by The Economist found that 38% of women have personally experienced online violence, and 65% reported knowing other women who had been targeted online. Additionally, 85% of women have witnessed digital violence against other women. This highlights the pervasive nature of TFGBV and the urgent need for action.

The economic implications of TFGBV are concerning, with researchers estimating that online violence costs the global economy over two billion dollars in lost economic opportunity. This reinforces the need to prioritise investments in women’s economic empowerment, which could lead to an additional 10 trillion dollars of economic growth by 2030.

To address TFGBV, an inclusive policy environment should be fostered, supporting women business owners and entrepreneurs. Digital security and safety measures need to be promoted to protect women from online violence. Collaboration between women’s business associations and civil society organisations is essential in combating TFGBV effectively.

One challenge in addressing TFGBV is the lack of awareness among women regarding their victimisation. Many incidents go unreported due to a lack of trust in reporting mechanisms and fear of retaliation. Creating a culture of trust and support is crucial to empower victims.

Adam Sachs emphasises the need to address TFGBV systematically and advocates for regulatory measures. He also highlights the potential of technology to exacerbate or alleviate cultural and social issues.

It is worth noting that Armenia lacks a supportive legal framework to address technology-facilitated harms, underlining the importance of comprehensive policies and regulations. Uniting diverse voices through a coalition can further amplify efforts in raising awareness and finding solutions.

In conclusion, TFGBV poses significant challenges to women’s social and economic opportunities. Actions such as fostering an inclusive policy environment, promoting digital security, raising awareness, and enforcing regulations are needed to combat TFGBV effectively. Empowering women economically and using technology responsibly can create a more equal and inclusive digital world.

Gina Romero

The analysis of the provided statements highlights various issues related to gender equality and the impact of technology. Connected Women, an organization focusing on digital inclusion and upskilling for women in the AI industry, has trained over 1,000 women in entry-level roles such as data annotation. Ethical treatment of digital micro-workers, data literacy, and the risks associated with generative AI tools are also important concerns. Comprehensive education about the functionality and risks of AI tools is needed, particularly for women. The lack of safety considerations and diverse representation in AI development raises concerns. Users’ unawareness of data utilization in AI tools and cultural stereotypes need to be addressed. Men’s active opposition to sexism is encouraged. Lack of diversity in technology development and governance poses societal risks. Addressing these issues is crucial for promoting gender equality and creating an inclusive society in the face of technological advancements.

Nino Gvazava

Upon analysing the provided statements, several noteworthy observations emerge regarding the increasing presence of women in decision-making positions in the tech sector in Georgia. This positive trend reflects a significant shift from the low representation of women in tech observed 5 to 10 years ago. The current landscape now sees women occupying executive-level roles and actively contributing to the transformation of Georgian enterprises into tech-driven entities.

The positive impact of tech-related education targeting women is emphasised as a catalyst for increasing representation in the workforce. Free education, specifically focused on technology for women, has led to a year-on-year improvement in the representation of women in tech careers. The accessibility of such education has been instrumental in empowering women to pursue careers in the sector.

However, concerns are raised about potential gender bias in technology, particularly in relation to artificial intelligence (AI) and gender-based assumptions. It is highlighted that tech tools and AI models, predominantly designed by men, can unintentionally perpetuate gender bias if the input data reflects such biases. This issue underscores the need for diversity and inclusivity in the design and development of tech solutions.

Active discussions surrounding cybersecurity and data protection in Georgia are also evident. The focus is on the proper management and governance of data to safeguard against vulnerability. It is asserted that if data is not managed and governed appropriately, anyone can gain access to it, posing risks to individuals and organizations alike.

The analysis also reveals a concerning lack of knowledge and literacy about data protection and risks. The general public is not paying adequate attention to the disclosure of personal data to companies, leading to increased vulnerabilities. Addressing this issue requires greater awareness and education about data protection to mitigate the risks associated with data mismanagement.

On a broader level, it is argued that women must be actively involved in both the design and use of technology. It is highlighted that when women contribute in a positive way to the development and use of tech tools, society benefits as a whole. Education and the presence of role models are identified as critical factors in encouraging more women to enter the tech industry.

Furthermore, the issue of financial equality for women, particularly concerning heritage, is addressed. It is revealed that in Georgia, only 25% of women receive heritage from their parents, while all men do. This disparity limits women’s opportunities for entrepreneurship and business activities. It is noted that financial equality is a crucial component of gender equality.

The analysis also sheds light on the unequal division of family responsibilities between men and women. Research conducted in Georgia indicates that men spend significantly less effort on family work and childcare compared to women. This imbalance leads to women having less time available for their careers and businesses. To address this, there is a call for men to equally contribute at home, allowing women more time to invest in business and economic activities.

Technology is recognized as a potential equalizer, particularly for women, as it enables work from home and flexible schedules. However, it is acknowledged that proper awareness and knowledge about these technologies are necessary to fully harness their benefits.

In conclusion, progress has been made towards gender equality in the tech sector in Georgia, with an increase in women holding decision-making positions. However, ongoing efforts are needed to address potential risks and biases associated with technology. Platforms for discussion and risk management are deemed essential in tackling these challenges and ensuring that the benefits of technology are inclusive and accessible to all.

AS

Adam Sachs

Speech speed

164 words per minute

Speech length

2486 words

Speech time

909 secs

GR

Gina Romero

Speech speed

170 words per minute

Speech length

2201 words

Speech time

777 secs

LS

Liana Sargsyan

Speech speed

139 words per minute

Speech length

1576 words

Speech time

683 secs

LB

Lina Buchely

Speech speed

117 words per minute

Speech length

1148 words

Speech time

586 secs

NG

Nino Gvazava

Speech speed

141 words per minute

Speech length

1356 words

Speech time

575 secs