Source: The Fund for Internet Research and Education (FIRE)
The Fund for Internet Research and Education - FIRE Africa - is an Africa-based Grants and Awards programme which provides funding to projects that use the Internet to provide innovative solutions to Africa's unique education, information, infrastructure, and communication needs.

The 2016 Grant Application round is open until 31 May and, with over US$240,000 worth of funding to distribute, all Africa-based projects, organisations or start-ups whose work falls into the following categories are encouraged to apply:

- Technical Innovation
- Community Development
- Online Governance Enhancement
- Education
- Internet Security
- Access Provision

Closing the Gender Gap

FIRE Africa actively encourages Francophone, Lusophone, female-led projects, projects originating in post-conflict countries, and projects that support isolated communities. We also encourage projects that use technology to address the specific challenges faced by women and girls, disabled people or marginalised groups in society. FIRE Africa believes that the Internet plays a critical role in Africa's social and economical development. Although Africa has seen rapid expansion of the Internet in many parts of the continent in recent years, women are still hugely underrepresented in Africa's ICT landscape.

In many regions, cultural and societal barriers, discrimination, poverty and a lack of basic education limit women and girls' access to the Internet and to ICT training. FIRE Africa believes that access to the Internet is imperative to the empowerment of women to overcome these barriers and to bridge the growing online gender divide. Access to ICT is essential for any entrepreneur to nurture their ideas but for women and girls, being able access online resources can help them foster solutions to the day-to-day gender-related issues faced by women all over the world.

Find out more about the previous projects that have received support from FIRE Africa over the years.

About FIRE Africa

FIRE Africa is facilitated by AFRINIC, the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for Africa and the Indian Ocean. The programme is also part of the Seed Alliance initiative, an alliance that counts APNIC's ISIF Asia programme, LACNIC's FRIDA Program and the Internet Society as members. Over the past five years, the Seed Alliance has supported 116 projects from 57 countries.  It has also held several capacity building workshops and online training courses which are freely available to all. The total funding to date is about US$2.2 million in Grants and Awards distributed throughout Africa, Asia Pacific, and Latin America.

More Information
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Twitter: @FIREafrica

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