South Africa has saved $10M fund for internet accessibility

According to a new report, South Africa has $10 Million fund which is untouched in Universal Service and Access Funds. This fund is meant for providing provision of Internet accessibility in the country. According to the report published by Infomance, though there are funds for Internet accessibility in the country, many governments fails to take action to connect women and other populations. Currently, affordability is a major barrier for women to access the Internet. For 1GB of mobile Internet, they need to spend about 2.35% of their average monthly income. The service provided by Universal Service and Access Funds is not worth missing. It provides opportunity to make real progress. Each day when these funds remain unutilized, women and girls remain away from digital revolution across the globe. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, Under-Secretary-General of the UN said that government bodies are called on to spend these funds towards its intended purpose so that women and girls could participate in the digital revolution.

According to some analysis, the gender gap in the use of Internet appears widest in Africa. USAF should make arrangements for programs to aware people regarding the use of Internet so that women and girls could tackle obstacles in accessing it.

Some important points from analysis are:

1. Most of the African countries have USAF set up for collecting funds. 37% African countries have this set up and 62% of these funds are active.

2. Some countries are trying to improve obstacles faced by women in accessing the Internet despite of the worsening condition. It was found that out of 37 countries, only 3 countries with USAF have universal access policies suggesting methods to connect women and girls to the Internet.

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3. Most governments fail to spend the USAF funds for the intended purpose. Across all 37 USAFs in African countries, total unspent funds are US$408 million. These funds are enough to provide 6 million women facilities to connect to the Internet. It could also provide some digital skills and training to 16 million girls and women.

4. Most USAF members believe that funds collected for reducing gender inequality to connect to the Internet won’t bring any change. According to them, it would benefit both men and women.

5. It is not easy to find the information regarding finance, programs and disbursements of funds by USAF. Only 23 countries openly publish their activities. But, in these activities published by 23 countries, it is hard to find and understand the information. So, citizens hold a very little power to raise any voice.

Gender inequality in connecting to the Internet could not come down without acting. Governments need to call on some effective steps and utilize the funds regularly to bring some change. At least 50% of the funds must be utilized in projects to bring more women online.

Disclaimer: This information is covered based on the latest research and development available. However, it may not fully reflect all current aspects of the subject matter.

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