WATCH | Tanzanian entrepreneur on how tech can change Africa and the futures of women

03 May 2024 - 10:30
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"We are a young women-led organisation based in Tanzania and we work with and for young women and girls. Our goal is to break the cycle of poverty and create financial resilience among girls and young women," Lydia Charles Moyo said in New York yesterday at the Global Citizen NOW summit.

Moyo won the Global Citizen NOW Prize for her work addressing the multiple challenges facing women in Tanzania as part of her foundation called Her Initiative which she started in 2019.

"I think there is nothing as beautiful as being in a position to dream about something and live it. I'm living mine, so I want to see every girl and young woman in Tanzania, in sub-Saharan Africa, to be able to experience such," Moyo said in an interview in New York on Thursday.

She started running campaigns in school to talk to her peers about girls’ rights, confidence and agency. They brought in women role models, including businesswomen, musicians and writers, to share how they succeeded despite their circumstances and create a culture of entrepreneurship among girls. 

This is how Panda Digital was born.

“Panda is a Swahili word,” Moyo said.

“It means planting. Our events had the theme of planting a seed of financial independence for girls and young women.”

But not everything was easy.

“We wanted to close and go home for the first few years. There was no money. I had sold my car. I had used all my savings.

"In Tanzania and most of sub-Saharan countries you would see a lot of women unable to unleash their full potential because they come from cycles of poverty which increase their vulnerability to many things, such as gender-based violence. You see a lot of teen pregnancies and teen marriages," 

"For us it was more how a how we accelerate more resources and more skills in a way that girls and young women will be able to generate their own income."

Global Citizen hopes to "drive action for a world where everyone’s basic needs are fulfilled, our planet is flourishing, and every person and country can prosper".

"This is such a remarkable platform. I am grateful for giving a platform for young people, for women and girls to have a voice globally, especially from Africa, but also to be able to share connections and resources because in Africa, most young leaders are innovators," she said.

"They are looking for solutions for the problems around the world. Being in a position where we can be linked with resources, with skills and the right people, it will put our continent and our world in a better place. And that is very beautiful."


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