Call for applications:AruWSIG 2019

Kuza STEAM Generation(KsGEN) in conjunction with Centre for Youth Empowerment and Leadership – CYEL (Kenya), is pleased to announce the 2nd edition of AruWSIG fellowship programme.

The fellowship programme is open to applications between 4th August and 20th August 2019, and is set to take place on 1st to 4th September 2019 ,venue will be communicated to selected fellows.

About AruWSIG
Arusha Women School of Internet Governance (AruWSIG) is a premier programme whose overarching aim is to mentor girls and women in Arusha(Tanzania) and its environs, through professional digital rights outreach symposiums and hackathons on the topic of Internet Governance.

The primary objective is capacity building of aspiring digital rights,Internet Governance/policy women leaders (organizers, speakers, and local content curators), who will then lead Internet Policy initiatives including content localization, as well as discussions at national, regional level and international levels.

SPONSORSHIP AND PARTNERSHIP
This work is carried out in the context of the Africa Digital Rights Fund with support from the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) and partnership from ICANN, Women@WebTz, Jamii Forums,iResolve Tanzania,Mindful Conversations,WOUGNET, ICANN, Localization Lab and Zaina Foundation.

Programme Format
AruWSIG anticipates partnering with relevant stakeholders to offer a 1day localization sprint on digital security tools, and a 3 days intensive digital policy training to 30 selected participants.The induction course will cover the political, economic, socio-cultural, technological,legal, and other dimensions of the digital rights and Internet Governance (e.g. academia and research) in Tanzania’s context. The program is expected to carry theoretical sessions, role-plays, and participants engagement activities.

Eligibility Criteria
AruWSIG is open to individuals (18-40 years) from any stakeholder group including but not limited to: technical community, academia, civil society, government, private sector, legal fraternity.

To be considered for the fellowship, a candidate must meet the following criteria:

-Must be a woman (though exceptional few male candidates will be considered)
-Must be a Tanzanian, or residing in Arusha and its environs
-Must have a laptop
-Must demonstrate a basic awareness and eagerness to learn about digital rights and Internet Governance.
-Must demonstrate fluency in English and/or Swahili
-Must show interest in joining ICANN, AFRINIC, ISOC, and or the Internet Governance and Policy ecosystem
-Must demonstrate writing and argumentation skills, to prepare reports and defend positions

Review and selection
Selection will be made on the basis of submitted expression of interest, and taking into account the eligibility criteria stated above. Admission into AruwSIG shall be through a competitive selection process, and on merit.

At the end of the course, participants will receive a certificate of participation; a few exceptional participants through support from Africa Digital Rights Fund will receive travel and accommodation fellowship to attend the Tanzanian Internet Governance Forum (TzIGF) in Dar es Salaam, in October 2019.

To apply click this link

The future of the internet is nothing without digital literacy

Digital literacy is said to be the key to the future but do we really know what that means?

Repeatedly, i’d like to turn to the idea that literacy means more than using digital technology as a means of consuming things other people make.

One of the concerns increasingly voiced in the intensifying internet inclusion conversation is that there is no meaningful connectivity without digital literacy. Getting people physically connected to the internet is just one piece of the puzzle — progress won’t advance on development or the other benefits envisioned via internet inclusion without a digitally literate user base.

For women who are new or novice mobile internet users, low mobile literacy and a lack of digital skills are major barriers to harnessing the full potential of the internet.”

Our worry at KsGEN is that the gap between the world’s haves and have-nots stands to widen if first-time internet users do not know how to take advantage of the access they have been given — other than maybe to pass time or buy things — and to use it safely and securely.

We want to change that! Why?

Because,

Without skills, the newly connected cannot benefit, and development cannot progress. On the other hand, if we successfully roll out digital literacy along with digital connectivity — enabling people to go from unconnected, to connected, to thriving by shrewdly interpreting information and creating their own ways to use digital tools most effectively in their own contexts — internet inclusion is destined to transform lives for the better.

Soon, ksGEN will be hosting sessions and workshops that seeks to help us better understand Digital Literacy and the future of the internet.

We are calling out to the global development professional to feed this mission by mandating funding for digital literacy in internet projects. There is need to include digital literacy programs that could extend economic, social, and political empowerment to women and other undeserved communities at the bottom of the pyramid. This will help locals engage with international initiatives to promote the conversion of digital skills into new opportunities. And eventually they can contribute to the effectiveness of projects worldwide by continuing to gather data and experience to share more broadly.

Be on the lookout for Digital Literacy workshops to be announced soon in Kenya and Tanzania!

By: Catherine Kang’ethe

Communications and outreach Coordinator(Media and Internet Literacy)

STEAM Education-Way of the Future

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STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.

KsGEN is putting in effort is to meet the need of educating local communities in STEM areas. We have introduced STEAM education as well, which adds the Arts. What separates STEAM from the traditional science and math education is the blended learning environment and showing students how the scientific and artistic methods can be applied to everyday life. It teaches students computational thinking and focuses on the real world applications of problem solving.

Much of the STEAM curriculum will be aimed toward attracting underrepresented populations. Female students, for example, are significantly less likely to pursue a college major or career. Though this is nothing new, the gap is increasing at a significant rate. Male students are also more likely to pursue engineering and technology fields, while female students prefer science fields, like biology, chemistry, and marine biology. Overall, male students are three times more likely to be interested in pursuing a STEM career.

An education that culminates in a solid foundation of science, technology, engineering, and math is never a bad thing. The danger is when we focus on these fields to the detriment of other fields, such as language arts, history, visual arts, music, and social studies. There’s more danger in assuming that because college students major in STEM subjects, they will find well-paying jobs upon graduation.

By Wanjiku Kang’ethe

 

 

Tackling Digital Gender Divide

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By; Wanjiku Kang’ethe

Acknowledging that greater female participation in the digital economy will lead to more solid economic growth, the declaration issued by ministers at the G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting in Salta, Argentina, contains an annex with proposals to help reduce the digital gender divide.

The digital divide is a manifestation of exclusion, poverty and inequality and continues to be exacerbated due to the effects of unemployment, poorly functioning digital skilling programmes and socio-cultural norms in some economies, depriving women equal access to digital services.

Despite exponential growth in Internet and mobile usage across Africa, African women are much less likely to get online than men. This gap, reported to be as great as 45 percent in sub-Saharan Africa, could be hindering the continent’s economic growth—especially in the agricultural sector, where women make up the bulk of the workforce. Increasing the digital literacy of African women could have immediate impact on the agricultural sector, where information communication technologies (ICTs) already have played a role in increasing crop yields and boosting farm incomes. Survey respondents in the E-Learning Africa Report attributed the digital gender gap to the inaccessibility and unaffordability of technology, as well as to individual women’s lack of confidence in using it.

In the past two decades, there has been a lot of talk about the transformative power of technology in society, yet little attention has been paid to an emerging digital gap. Though Africa has recently seen rapid growth in Internet access, women are vastly underrepresented in technology. The rise of cybercafés has benefited men more than women because boys and men have more freedom of movement to get to the cafes and have more access to make and spend money at them.

There is a disturbing trend of cyber bullying experienced by young women. They also find it difficult to access technology because of cultural restrictions and their lower status in society.

Because women face barriers such as poverty, illiteracy, and discrimination when getting training and education, we are witnessing the rise of a second digital divide.

It is important to understand that technology and access to the Internet is essential to women’s empowerment across the continent and it is key to overcoming these barriers in the first place.

Gender inequality remains deeply entrenched in many African societies. Many women and girls still do not have equal opportunities despite this being enshrined in the law. Yet Information and communication technologies are important tools for advancing gender equality, women and girl’s empowerment, and a more equitable and prosperous world.

Becoming technologically skilled can play a major role in getting jobs, being competitive in the job market and enable these women to pull themselves out of poverty. It is clear that if this group is ignored, problems such as economic dependency, violence against women, and low self-esteem will continue to be perpetuated.

As an advocacy method, ICT can help empower African women to demand true reform that will bridge the gap between their legal rights and their enforcement. It gives women the opportunity to communicate their needs in their own ways, in real time and on a massive scale. Online technology also offers anonymity, which is absolutely essential when speaking out on sensitive issues might endanger a woman’s safety. ICT is a limitless platform for women’s grassroots organizations so they have a collective voice in public, thus enabling them to make their voices heard more clearly.

Girls and women must be supported in becoming technologically competitive and they must gain proper understanding of how to use it safely and effectively. With Africa’s growing youth population and increasing competition for jobs and other opportunities, addressing these issues is imperative in any effort to promote women’s employability and financial independence.

At KsGEN, we believe bridging this gap more girls and women will be empowered and will eventually shape the future. We must expose girls and boys to role models in non-traditional fields — such as female engineers or male careers — and give women the chance to tell their own stories through programmes such as the #HerStory campaign, and our very own #HERSTEAM which showcases the stories of women leaders and women who have been forgotten in history books.

#SwitchItOn

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The Internet can improve the quality of life for people everywhere. It can enable economic and social growth. But with only a little more than half of the world’s people with access, it does not include all of us.

Internet connectivity and access is a key enabler of economic and social development. It can improve access for the poor to financial services; it can help people with their education and empower them; it can give them a voice when they lack one.

Internet connectivity also enables the fulfillment and exercise of human rights. ICTs allow people to exercise their freedom of expression and other fundamental rights. Internet access is also central to the development agenda and to realizing the success of the Sustainable Development Goals. Lack of access compounds inequality, with many disadvantages for those left offline.

Closing the Internet access gap is a matter of social justice—and of global responsibility. We all must work together to bridge the digital divide and to foster an inclusive digital society.

#SwitchItOn

Internet Shutdown in Ethiopia

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At ksGEN we want to ensure the stability and openness of the internet everywhere. We
have read reports that the government has shut down the internet in Jijiga, Dire Dawa, and Harar cities in Ethiopia. On behalf of the more than 150 organizations from over 50 countries that make up the #KeepitOn Coalition, we implore you to keep the internet on in Eastern Ethiopia.

Research shows that internet shutdowns and violence go hand in hand. Shutdowns disrupt the free flow of information and create a cover of darkness that shields human rights abuses from public scrutiny. Journalists and media workers cannot contact sources, gather information, or file stories without digital communications tools. Justified for various reasons, shutdowns cut off access to vital information, e-commerce, and emergency services, plunging whole communities into fear. Disruptions also destabilize the internet’s power to support small business livelihoods and to drive economic development. A 2016 study by the Brookings Institution, a prominent think tank, revealed that shutdowns drained $2.4 billion from the global
economy between 2015 and 2016.

The internet is our now,the internet is our future,lets share it!

#CyberSafety

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The Internet is without a doubt one of the best resources available to us. Unfortunately it’s also extremely dangerous if you aren’t aware of who and what lurks behind the scenes. Everyone should know how to be safe when surfing the web, but internet safety tips and tricks are spread out all over the web without a go-to resource. Since the majority of internet scam and virus victims are students and young people.

Children often get drawn into peer drama, blowing up the social media sphere with arguments and snarky commentary. Bully behavior may crop up, leaving kids feeling vulnerable and alone. Kids may be quick to take a video and post it online without thinking through the consequences. Parents can do a lot to explain that what goes online, stays online. Forever. Teach kids to take a breath before posting, and to never immediately take to Facebook or Twitter in the heat of anger. Parents should be firm that comments, actions and online behavior should be governed with the same courtesy and respect as kids would convey with people they meet face-to-face.

The Internet in this age can be a wonderful place to learn, shop, play games, and talk to your friends. Unfortunately, there are also predators, identity thieves, and others online who may try to harm you. In order to be safe online, it’s important for you and your kids to be aware of the dangers. Many kids are confident that they know how to be safe online. However, there are a few reasons kids are often more at risk. They may not always think about the consequences of their actions, which can cause them to share too much information about themselves. Kids also are sometimes specifically targeted by cyberbullies or predators.

If you’re a parent or guardian, you can help to keep your kids safe by talking to them about their Internet useteaching them about online dangers, and learning everything you can about the Internet so you can make informed decisions.

Be Cyber Smart!