Growth of Femtech in Africa is promoting hope for the future
African women have plenty of challenges. With the rise in femtech, there is hope that more women across the continent will come up with technologies that will help them solve problems.
In 2016, Ida Tin, the co-founder, and CEO of Clue, coined the word Femtech. As a woman who has been in the technology circle for decades, she sees the need for women to stand out and deliver technology that solves their problems.
In Africa, many women are also taking the opportunity to step into the area of technology and deliver solutions to pressing problems. Without a doubt, African women seem to be the most vulnerable group in the world, as they are most affected by the spate of poverty, ill-health, and malnutrition.
Women in tech is still a challenge
The numbers are not encouraging at all. Even in America, only 5% of tech companies are owned by women. Femtech is an emerging market in Africa, and as time goes on, it can only get better. African women have to face a lot of challenges. Educating a woman in Africa is still not widely unpopular, although countries like Ethiopia are beginning to change that, notably with the intervention of projects organized by organizations like GirlUp.
African women are coming
In the world over, most femtechs are focused on providing solutions for issues relating to fertility, family planning, and sexual health. African women are also towing that line since technology permits the private use of tools that deal with the issues of infertility, reproductive and sexual health, and menstruation.
Some of the success stories include Grace Health, the first-ever digital women’s health assistant, offering the privacy of access to information via mobile phones. With the app, any woman in Africa can contact an expert medical on issues of menstruation, ovulation, PMS, contraceptives, sex, hygiene, breast cancer, and cervical cancer. It makes communication simple with the use of Whatsapp and Messenger. The app is available in Nigeria and Ghana and has since raised a $44,000 funding from Swedish angel investors.
Another African based Femtech worth mentioning is CHIL AI LAB, which is a Chabot putting oncology services via telemedicine, into the hands of African women. Chi has been considered revolutionary for combining medical expertise with machine learning and artificial intelligence to bring about perfect medical solutions for women in Africa.
There is also Kasha, which is an e-commerce site specifically dedicated to women’s health. The beauty and health company is operational in Kenya and Rwanda. It provides a smooth, confidential, and convenient way for women to shop for a large variety of items, from menstrual cup to lip balms. Recently, Kasha is reported to have raised about $1 million to expand to more countries in Africa.
Role of African government
To ensure that femtech gets a full grip on Africa, governments need to step in. For example, the government of Kano State, Nigeria’s second most populated city, implemented a law that ensures that girls finish secondary school before they are married. The idea is to help reduce illiteracy among females in Northern Nigeria, which many hope will reduce poverty, having too many children, and so on.
African women need to take their stand on the world stage, and femtech provides a legitimate and sure way to achieve it. There is a considerable target market waiting for exploration.