WSIS Action Line C7: E-Agriculture "ICTs for Well-Being, Inclusion and Resilience: through digital skills for youth and women in agriculture"

WSIS Action Line C7: E-Agriculture "ICTs for Well-Being, Inclusion and Resilience: through digital skills for youth and women in agriculture"

  • Session Theme : ICTs for Well-Being, Inclusion and Resilience: through digital skills for youth and women in agriculture
  • Time : Thursday, 2 June 2022 14:30–16:15 (UTC+02:00)
  • Register here: Zoom Details  


The world is emerging from a global pandemic and is facing a food crisis and climate change threatening to derail the achievements of sustainable development goals. The emerging global economy is increasingly getting digital. Policy makers are thinking how to creatively bridge the economic opportunities in agri-food systems in a sustainable and inclusive manner. Including youth and women (and other marginalized groups) is premised to increase sustainable agriculture production and revitalization of rural communities. 

Digital skills are important for participating in the emerging digital economy, yet youth and women remain marginalized presently. The digital divides continue to expand in many developing countries and if left unchecked, investments in digital technologies risks widening the gap. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimates that globally, women and girls use the internet 12.5 percent less than men and boys. However, evidence has shown that when women and girls are empowered through Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), they gain opportunities that positively impact their overall financial security, health, and ability to engage in public life – benefitting all of society. The United Nations Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation calls for 8 key-areas for action, one of which is, ensuring digital inclusion for all, including the most vulnerable. 

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and International Telecommunication Union have been exploring how digital technologies and digitalization can improve the participation of youth and women in local economies, including agriculture. For example, the two agencies published the “Status of Digital Agriculture in 18 countries of Europe and Central Asia” and also “Status of Digital Agriculture in 47 sub-Saharan Africa countries”. Both studies provided a respective regional landscape of the status of digital agriculture and the potential investment areas for digital transformation in the agriculture sector.  

The Africa study, which was officially in March 2022 with hundreds of participations at the ICT4Ag conference, has drawn great attention of various stakeholders at national and regional level. The report pointed to potential investment areas, which include improving digital skills for the youth and women in agriculture. The report encouraged further discussions and explorations with stakeholders on possible interventions that can support youth and women.

Furthermore, investments needed in rural communities to boost digital transformation in the agrifood sector in sub-Saharan Africa (and elsewhere) that can benefits food system actors particularly smallholders. 

In this light, the WSIS Forum 2022 represents the world's largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community. This global multi-stakeholder platform and community allows for broad-based discussion on issues around digital technologies in the implementation and advancing sustainable development.

FAO facilitates the WSIS Action Line C7 e-Agriculture Session yearly. In line with the WSIS Forum 2022 theme, “ICTs for Well-Being, Inclusion and Resilience: WSIS Cooperation for Accelerating Progress on the SDGs”, FAO is working closely with ITU to bring issues related to digital skills, innovation, and inclusion for youth and women to the discussion by stakeholders. 

Objectives of the session

 This session will be one of the series to share experiences and discuss the potential interventions areas based on the findings of the Africa study. Meanwhile, it also aims to attract interests and collaborations of relevant partners to better tackle the digital skills for youth and women needs, amongst other identified potential areas for investment in digital agriculture.  

This session would further seeks to

  • Identify key issues and challenges of digital inclusion in the agriculture sector faced by vulnerable groups particularly women and youth
  • Experience sharing of development organizations, public and private sector to present relevant solutions to develop digital skills for youth and women
  • Field stories from youth groups, farmer organizations, agripreneurs or civil society to showcase the impacts of good initiatives or programme
  • Exchange of ideas on possible intervention areas for digital innovations and digital inclusion in the agri-food sector



Time Agenda Item Duration


14:30 – 14:40

Introductory Remarks 1 min

Session Moderator 

Thembani Malapela

Knowledge & Information Management Officer, Office of Innovation - FAO

Official Opening of the Session 9 min

Beth Crawford

Office-in-Charge Director -Office of Innovation - FAO


14:40 – 14:55

Presentation 1

Report highlights – Status of Digital Agriculture in 47 sub-Saharan African Countries
15 min

Session Moderator 

Thembani Malapela

14:55 – 15: 20

Presentation 2

Digital engagement of youth in agrifood systems – insights from FAO work

10 min




Pafumi, Marzia 

Youth Engagement Specialist, Inclusive Rural Transformation and Gender Equality Division (ESP), FAO

Presentation 3

EQUALS Global Partnership: As the solution for achieving gender digital equality by 2030

10 min


Carla Licciardello

Senior Digital Inclusion Coordinator

International Telecommunication Union

15:20 – 15:25

Q&A from the participants 

5 min


Thembani Malapela

15:25 – 16:05

Panel discussion

Discussion Questions : How will improved digital literacy and digital skills affect digital inclusion in the agriculture sector and what are the new opportunities?


  • Ms. Huda Alsahi, Social Policy Officer, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Ms. Pippa McDougall, Senior Advocacy Manager, Connected Women, GSMA
  • Ms. Rosemary Gatahi, Senior Innovation Manager World Food Programme -Kenya
  • Ms. Eleonora Canigiani, Corporate Alliances Specialist UNICEF, Geneva

40 mins

Panel Chair 

Dejan Jakovljevic

Chief Information Officer, FAO


Q & A or Reaction from Participants 

10 min

Panel Chair. Dejan Jakovljevic, Chief Information Officer, FAO

16:10 – 16:15

Closing remarks

5 mins

Speaker: Lauren Phillips, Deputy Director of the Inclusive Rural Transformation and Gender Equality Division (ESP), FAO

For detailed bio of presenters click here 

For more information please send us an e-mail