November 2016, Issue 34
Winners of 2016 GEM-TECH Awards at ITU Telecom World. (ITU Pictures, CC BY 2.0)
A4AI Recognized for Commitment to Tackle Gender Digital Divide
Exciting news! The Web Foundation has been awarded the 2016 GEM-TECH Award for our work to develop gender-responsive ICT governance, policy, and access.

This award—an annual prize organized by ITU and UN Women—specifically recognizes our efforts to promote women’s Internet access and online empowerment through A4AI and the Women’s Rights Online program. These efforts include activities such as the first-ever summit to focus on policy’s role in bridging the gender digital divide in Africa and the development of scorecards to assess policy efforts in 10 countries.

Web Foundation CEO Anne Jellema accepted the award on November 15th at the ITU Telecom World event in Bangkok. In her acceptance speech, she called for governments and companies to REACT to reverse the trend of digital inequality—focusing on Rights, Education, Access, Content and Targets.
Watch the speech
ECOWAS Prioritises Affordable Access in West Africa
ECOWAS—the Economic Community of West African States—has become the newest member of A4AI. Over the next two years, A4AI and ECOWAS will work together to:

  • Host a gender-responsive policy workshop for policymakers, in conjunction with the ECOWAS Gender Development Centre in Dakar.
  • Develop infrastructure sharing policy guidelines and model regulations for use across the ECOWAS region. These guidelines and regulations will be informed by workshops with stakeholders in the region, and by the work A4AI is doing in Nigeria and Ghana (and just kicking off in Liberia).
  • Facilitate capacity building trainings and knowledge exchanges through workshops to explore urgent policy issues in the region.
  • Outline and implement a framework to unlock Universal Service and Access Funds in the region and support these funds to become more effective in their stated goals of working to bridge the digital divide and enable wider access.
To learn more, read the full press release.
Advocating for Affordability to Regional and Global Audiences
The team recently participated in a number of advocacy opportunities at the regional and global levels:
  • Web Foundation CEO Anne Jellema and A4AI Executive Director Sonia Jorge participated in the ITU Telecom World events in Bangkok. Speaking at the Leadership Summit and the plenary session on how to stimulate ICT adoption respectively, both Anne and Sonia reiterated the importance of multi-stakeholder collaboration in the ICT ecosystem. Stakeholders must work together on targeted efforts to expand access to those people least likely to be connected—with a goal to empower communities to tap into the great potential for social and economic development.
  • Meanwhile, Policy Advocacy Manager Eleanor Sarpong took the A4AI message to the 8th annual West Africa Internet Governance Forum. In a communique developed at the event, WAIGF endorsed A4AI's affordability target of 1 GB of data for less than 2% of average monthly income, and will work to encourage its adoption throughout West Africa. Read more about why we advocate for "1 for 2."
Mobile phone and internet point in Burkina Faso (Photo: Carsten ten Brink, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Policy Guidelines for Affordable Mobile Data Services
We’re excited to share with you the third and final research brief in our series on the Impacts of Emerging Mobile Data Services in Developing Countries. Drawing on the research findings of the previous two research briefs and interviews with stakeholders across all eight countries, this final report outlines a set of proposed policy guidelines for the provision of zero-rated and other mobile data services.
A4AI-Dominican Republic. View more photos from the November 2016 events.
Findings from Infrastructure Sharing Studies Open for Public Consultation
National coalitions in Ghana and the Dominican Republic recently completed studies on the state of infrastructure sharing in the respective countries. In conjunction with the latest coalition meetings, A4AI hosted public consultations in both countries to review preliminary findings from the research. 

In Ghana, A4AI member Vieira de Almeida (VdA) and A4AI Head of Policy and Advocacy, Eleanor Sarpong, conducted the study and led the public consultation on October 25th. The consultation included break-out sessions where stakeholders discussed the recommendations and contributed great feedback.

In the Dominican Republic, international consultant Eloy Vidal, former World Bank ICT Lead, presented the results of the infrastructure sharing study conducted in the country, and based on extensive consultations with service providers and an in-depth analysis of current sharing practices as well as the potential cost savings from increased sharing. The workshop took place on November 1st and provided further opportunity to discuss the potential for infrastructure sharing and cost savings in the Dominican Republic. The A4AI-Dominican Republic (A4AI-RD) brought together representatives from public agencies, ICT companies, academia, and civil society organizations for this workshop and also conducted its quarterly meeting.

Stay tuned for updates as we finalize the reports. Meanwhile, you can browse materials from the public consultations on our website:

#TechWomenAfrica: From Summit to Action 
We are excited to share with you the Accra Summit Action Plan—born out of the conversations and learnings from the inaugural Africa Summit on Women and Girls in Technology. The summit aimed to develop a set of key actions that policymakers, activists, teachers, technologists, and women community leaders must take to ensure that women and girls in Africa have access to a web that is open, safe, and empowering for them.

This action plan outlines key principles that will drive our continued effort to champion digital equality and women’s rights online, as well as specific actions that we at the Web Foundation commit to doing to work towards this vision.

Read more: Committing to Empowering Women in Tech

Nov 21-23 | 14th World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Symposium in Botswana
Gaborone, Botswana
* A4AI Research Manager Dhanaraj Thakur participating

Dec 6-9 | 2016 Internet Governance Forum
Guadalajara, Mexico
* A4AI Executive Director Sonia Jorge, LAC Regional Coordinator Yacine Khelladi, and Digital Inclusion Advocacy Manager Nanjira Sambuli participating
IREX shares initial findings from study on gender digital divide in Myanmar.

Internet access is too expensive in the Dominican Republic. (Spanish)

Closing the gender gap in mobile offers significant revenue opportunity for telcos.

Related: Read the latest issue of the Gender & Mobiles newsletter and subscribe.

How age impacts likelihood of being connected, and other insights from analysis of recent ITU data.
Thank you for reading! As always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions. A4AI members that would like their updates featured in the newsletter may send their inputs to
About A4AI

The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) is a global coalition of public sector, private sector, and civil society organisations working to advance the shared mission of affordable access to mobile and fixed-line Internet for all.
CC BY, 2016 World Wide Web Foundation

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