African Women’s Participation in Digital Transformation

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, it’s crucial to reflect on the status of women’s participation in shaping Africa’s digital landscape.

The “Kwathu Upgrade – Leading Legacy: Herstory Edition” workshop, organised by the Ntha Foundation in partnership with SME Growth Lab Africa, brings together experts and thought leaders to explore this vital topic.

With esteemed speakers: May-May Ogoigbe, Nadait Gebremedhen, and Thelma Kaliu, the workshop delves into the challenges, opportunities, and strategies for empowering women in Africa’s digital transformation.


May-May Ogoigbe is an experienced Marketing Executive with a strong background in developing award-winning strategies for multinational brands. With 8+ years of industry experience in Marketing Strategy & Brand Communications, May-May has a proven track record of developing and overseeing marketing campaigns that maximizes profit. May-May brings her wealth of skills and marketing experience to help brands increase revenue, build brand awareness, grow market share, and launch new products. As the Program Director at SME Growth Lab Africa, May-May is passionate about helping SMEs thrive in the African continent.

Empowering women in Africa’s digital transformation is not just about inclusion, it’s about harnessing the full potential of our continent’s future.

May May Ogoigbe – Program Director, SME Growth Lab Africa

Thelma Aretha Kaliu is a feminist leader, gender and development enthusiast with eight years of work and voluntary experience in promoting gender equality and development through feminist and human rights approaches in Malawi and Sub-Saharan Africa. She holds a postgraduate diploma in International Gender Studies from the University of Iceland, and Bachelor’s Degree in Education (Social Studies) from the University of Malawi. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Gendering Practices at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her passion lies in promoting the welfare of adolescent girls and young women, advocating for equitable and sustainable development. She has imparted over 25000 adolescent girls and young women with life skills and knowledge to build their agency, bodily autonomy, confidence, economic independence, assertiveness and many more.

Professionally, Thelma has served with Plan International Malawi, UN Women, World University Service of Canada and UNFPA in Malawi. She is also strong in gender program development, sustainability enthusiast and feminist scholar. She has extensive experience in gender in humanitarian settings and in emergencies, women economic empowerment, male engagement in gender equality; gender-responsive budgeting, child protection, children, and youth programming and many more. Thelma is a member of the African Women Leaders Network (AWLN), Swedish Institute Network for Global Professional, to mention a few. 

Throughout her career, Thelma has actively promoted gender equality, (SGD 5) by changing intersecting, discriminatory social norms, practices, laws, and policies. She has proven to be passionate, determined and result-oriented in ending intersecting social injustices that hinder women and girls to enjoy their rights fully.

The true power of digitalisation lies in its ability to democratize information and opportunity, transcending gender boundaries and creating pathways to success that are accessible to all.

Thelma Aretha Kaliu – Gender and Development Enthusiast

Dr. Nadait Gebremedhen is a medical doctor turned social entrepreneur. She is the founder and Executive Director of Hagush, a social enterprise dedicated to making digital technology access universal. Through its innovative technology financing program, Hagush is democratizing digital device access in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda and enabling the impact of local NGOs working on SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SGD 4 (Quality Education), SGD 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), and SGD 13 (Climate Action).

Bridging existing gender disparities will accelerate Africa’s progress towards a more inclusive and prosperous digital future.

Nadait Gebremedhen – Founder, Hagush
Learn more about the programme here.

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