How we’re championing digital inclusion for rural African women — Imade

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When on June 23 some industrious Africans received the Visionary African Recognition Award in Ghana, in recognition of their contributions towards the socio-economic development of Africa, Imade Bibowei-Osuobeni was one of the awardees.

Imade, founder of Tech Herfrica, a social impact organisation championing digital inclusion for women in rural African communities, was a standout recipient of the award delivered at the Visionary African Women Summit, which was organised by the Lilian Ike Foundation in collaboration with partners, including Ecobank Ghana.

Bibowei-Osuobeni was also recently recognised as one of the 100 Most Influential People of African Descent in the Class of 2023 under the Politics and Governance category.

A statement celebrating her noted that since inception, Tech Herfrica has conducted digital financial literacy training in local languages for women in rural areas, equipped them with internet-enabled smart phones, and connected them to its e-commerce solution, herlocalmarket, that allows them to sell more of their products at competitive market prices, leading to wealth creation, food security, reduced food waste, reduced inequalities, social inclusion, and digital equity.

Reacting, Imade expressed delight about the recognition and re-emphasised Tech Herfrica’s commitment to fostering wealth creation and breaking the cycle of poverty for women in rural communities through digital and financial inclusion.

“Through our e-commerce-focused solution, herlocalmarket, we have helped farmers and traders, especially women, in rural communities improve their income by 56.6% on average.

“We have conducted digital financial literacy training in local languages for over 1200 women and equipped many of them with internet-enabled devices to trade online and access financial services. We also recently launched our Éferené Project,” she said.

Imade explained that the project is part of Tech Herfrica’s EquipHer programme and the aim of the project is to provide non-interest finance to women who have completed key milestones of the EquipHer programme; completed the digital financial literacy training, received mobile devices, and leveraged e-commerce to increase their income by at least 50%.

“The term Éferené, derived from the Bini language, translates to ‘Wealth has come’. With this project, we renew our unwavering dedication to driving economic prosperity for women and girls in rural areas through strategic digital interventions and innovative financial solutions.

“Together, we can create a future where women in agriculture and trade thrive, uplifting their communities and fostering sustainable growth,” she said

Recall that according to a publication from the United Nations, women’s economic empowerment is central to realising women’s rights and gender equality, and that empowering women in the economy and closing gender gaps in the world of work are key to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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