Editor’s Note: Below is an excerpt from UN Foundation Global Entrepreneurs Council member Ingrid Vanderveldt’s blog post following her recent trip to see the United Nations’ work in Uganda, as well as her visit to Kenya and South Africa for the Dell Center for Entrepreneurs. You can read the full post on the Dell’s Tech Page One blog.
I traveled to Africa earlier this year as part of my roles overseeing the Dell Center for Entrepreneurs and serving on the UN Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council to learn more about female entrepreneurship in the region and to assess the needs of local entrepreneurs.
I started the trip wanting to find out more about technology adoption in Africa and was thinking about how mobile technologies could transform and enhance opportunities for African women. After spending time in the region, I quickly realized that before mobile can be properly leveraged for growth, we first need to focus on solving basic needs like access to electricity, clean water, and education – things that many of us tend to take for granted.
We traveled to Uganda to meet local women entrepreneurs and country leaders, and Kenya to see Dell’s e-waste recycling center and how it’s creating jobs for women coming out of the Mukuru slums. We then went down to South Africa to meet with our local Dell teams and technology incubators as well as a visit to the Oprah Winfrey School for Girls.
While I was touring a local school in Kampala, Uganda, I found out that women work all day long in the kitchen in polluted air conditions, many times while carrying their babies on their backs. By changing to clean cookstoves, air pollution in the kitchen was reduced by 90 percent – resulting in enormous health and lifestyle improvements. Companies like Impact Carbon are making a huge impact by providing clean cookstoves and water filtration systems that are affordable and sustainable business solutions, helping to create lasting and positive change.
To read more about Ingrid’s trip, click here.