press release

Girls and Young Women Empowerment Project wins prestigious award at the WSIS Forum 2023

Dar es Salaam 16th March 2023 Tigo’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiative in collaboration with Apps and Girls, a local non-government organization has emerged victorious out of 5 champions selected in the  2023 WSIS PRIZE under the E-employment category edging out other 190 nominated projects from across the globe.

The Jovia Program under the Girls and Young Women Empowerment project was recognized for addressing the digital gender divide by providing ICT & Entrepreneurship training and startup Incubation for underprivileged girls and young women in Tanzania.

The overall winner of the 2023 WSIS PRIZES was announced and awarded on Tuesday 14th March 2023 in Geneva Switzerland during the 2023 WSIS Forum organized by ITU (International Telecommunication Union) UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD, in close collaboration with all WSIS Action Line co-/facilitators and other UN organizations. The fact that the Girls and Young Women Empowerment initiative won among the WSIS best ICT projects, demonstrates Tigo’s goal of empowering the girl child by providing support to further digital inclusion in Tanzania. 

Speaking while acknowledging the win, Tigo’s Chief Regulatory Officer, Sylvia Balwire said, “We have made a commitment to be a digital-first company and this global award is a testament to the impact we are creating across Tanzania in empowering underprivileged girls and young women. This year marks 3 years of financially and technically supporting the Girls and Young Women Empowerment project, and with this award we have the necessary impetus to keep fostering these girls to greater heights in the digital space “remarked Balwire.

The Apps and Girls Founder and CEO, Carolyne Ekyarisiima, said, “I am happy to see the progress that Apps and Girls is making on the global stage. We are proud to be awarded as global champions. Tigo’s efforts have hugely contributed to this success. We hope this award will encourage the girls and young women under the Jovia program to work harder towards achieving their goals!”

The Jovia Program is a one to six-month program of advanced IT and Entrepreneurship training for unemployed and out of school underprivileged girls and young women. The program targets girls and young women who cannot afford higher learning education or drop out of school due to socio-economic reasons. The Jovia Program  has impacted more than 14,965  girls and women. In addition, the project has enabled over 270 unemployed and out of school girls and young women to access skills including advance IT and entrepreneurship for them to create tech driven projects, establish their own tech-ventures and obtain formal employment in ICT sector.

About Tigo:

Tigo Tanzania is Tanzania’s leading digital lifestyle telecommunications company. Tigo started its operations in Tanzania in 1995.   Through its distinctive and diverse product portfolio in voice, SMS, high-speed internet and mobile financial services, Tigo has pioneered digital innovations such as the first Smartphone in Swahili, Free Facebook in Swahili, TigoPesa App, Tigo Mobile App as well as the first East African cross-border mobile money transfer with currency conversion.

Apps & Girls

Apps and Girls is a Tanzanian award-winning social enterprise founded in 2013, that empowers girls and young women to create the world they want to live in using technology. Our overarching objective is to invest in girls and young women as potential tech entrepreneurs, tech creators, tech role models, and leaders, in Tanzania and across Sub-Saharan Africa. In order to achieve this goal, we are implementing an innovative cyclical process of advanced coding training, entrepreneurship training, mentorship, and incubation. The process itself harnesses the power of digital technologies, notably through the creation of coding clubs in secondary schools, provision of Advanced IT skills (including programing, Robotics, AI and Machine learning) and an offline and online women’s tech entrepreneurship incubator and e- mentoring for girls and young women .

WSIS is The World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2023 represents the world’s largest annual gathering of the ICT for development community.

The WSIS Forum represents the world’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ multistakeholder community and is a global multistakeholder platform facilitating the implementation of the WSIS Action Lines for advancing sustainable development. The platform provides an opportunity for information exchange, knowledge creation and sharing of best practices, while identifying emerging trends and fostering partnerships.

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