Eight leading women innovators and entrepreneurs will travel to Liberia and Sierra Leone as part of a women’s technology delegation coordinated and led by the Department of State. The delegation will travel to Liberia from Sunday, February 27th to March 2nd and to Sierra Leone from March 2nd to March 4th. This will be the first all-women technology delegation to travel on behalf of the State Department and to travel to West Africa. While in West Africa, the group will explore how technology can increase opportunities for women and girls.
The delegation includes a mix of private sector, academia, civil society, and entrepreneurs from across the U.S. During their visit to Liberia and Sierra Leone, they will focus on advancing Secretary Clinton’s mWomen initiative, which seeks to increase the number of mobile phones in the hands of women and girls. Through a series of site visits and meetings, the delegation will build partnerships and brainstorm ideas that can allow women and girls to better network and communicate and provide better access to education, health care, and economic opportunities through access to technology and tech-based tools.
Liberia and Sierra Leone both have challenges facing women and girls. Both post conflict countries are recently emerging from wars with prevalent gender-based violence. Liberia and Sierra Leone are now positioned to lead change and build better futures for women and girls, particularly with Liberia having the first female President in Africa. This delegation travels at a critical time when technology can make transformative advances as these countries grow.
Secretary Clinton has embraced technology and innovation in our foreign policy through 21st Century Statecraft. This approach is rooted in the idea that just as connection technologies have changed our economic, social, and cultural lives – they should also change the way we implement U.S. diplomacy and development.
You can follow the delegation’s travels by following them on Twitter using #mwomen and #womenstechdel.
For more information or if you have questions please contact: Katie Dowd, DowdKW@state.gov