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Quality Data, Innovation Critical For Achieving Gender Equality In Africa

Medium: What do we really know about Africa?
Ayo Ajayi, Africa director for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…The place where we most need innovative approaches to data is in the realm of women and girls. Even the little data that is available on Africa is not sufficient to measure women’s contributions and opportunities because surveys tend to focus on male-dominated activities. We need to get women and girls on the map if we’re going to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of achieving gender equality by 2030. That’s why the Gates Foundation is so eager to find new ways to figure out where women are flourishing and what they still need in order to reach their full potential. Data and innovation are like the proverbial chicken and egg  –  one cannot exist without the other and each produces a new iteration of the former. In Africa right now, the fact of the matter is we have the innovation but not the data. It’s time to leverage that tool for its best purpose” (10/28).