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Join us for the fourth session of the Virtual Summit on Community Networks in Africa 2021-2022, which will take place on 18 May 2022 at 12:00 UTC, to dialogue about the role that women play in community networks in Africa. Register now.

As many responses to the COVID-19 pandemic were online, the unconnected were excluded not just from access to the internet but also to much needed information and services that affected livelihoods, education and health.

Community networks are a holistic approach to digital inclusion. They are citizen-driven networks that are deployed, operated and maintained by communities in a way that aligns with their local needs and priorities. However, community networks are male-dominated and are therefore contributing to a greater gender divide. So, as the community network movement continues to grow in Africa, it’s important that we view it through an intersectional and gender-informed lens.

About the session

This online session will look at the role that women play in community networks, the challenges and, more importantly, opportunities for change by exploring the following questions, and more:

  • Who designs, runs and leads community networks?

  • What role are women playing in building the community networks movement in Africa?

  • What are the experiences of women involved in community networks?

  • How can community networks expand the space that women are trying to occupy in the community networks movement?

  • How can we create community networks that are gender-informed and include the rights of women even in the most rural and marginalised parts of Africa?

Click here to know more and join this conversation on 18 May 2022 (Wednesday) from  12:00 to 13:30 UTC.

More about the Summit

To foster learning, networking, knowledge and experience sharing on this issue, community network operators in Africa started gathering in 2016 at an annual summit. While the first editions of the Summit on Community Networks in Africa were held as face-to-face events, in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic made this impossible and led to a shift to a virtual summit comprising a series of webinars that took place over the course of several months in 2020 and 2021, continuing in 2022.

The webinar series planned for the Virtual Summit on Community Networks in Africa season 2021/2022 is being organised by the Internet Society and APC in partnership with other organisations working to build and strengthen community networks in Africa. Find out more about the previous sessions of this cicle:

Previous season

The 2020/2021 season of the Virtual Summit on Community Networks in Africa consisted of five webinars revolving around growing community networks in the continent, focusing on the following themes: