Speeches by the Executive Director

Sophia-Bekele Senegal
DCA Trust CEO & Founder Sophia Bekele

New Year’s Messages

hope your new year has started off to an optimistic note.

I am sure you will agree with me when I said that last year was full of  global women on the rise in our 2019 Year end Newsletter , with lots of progress made in both the workforce and the entrepreneurial space. We also reported that our pioneering Women-in Tech program , Miss.Africa Digital for 2019 had an outreach in 12 African countries and we shall keep firing up and expanding our territories to empower women and girls.

There are plenty of reasons to believe 2020 will continue this in force, as we see more even females entrepreneurs on the rise. We are at a unique point of transition and many of the hurdles experienced by women are going to be a thing of the past, meaning the universe is aligning to our favor. The workforce and the entrepreneurial platforms are becoming increasingly diverse as more women, including women of color, seek to make their visions a reality and capitalize on it.

Women – especially women of color, who have been #hiddenfigures j ust like the four trailblazers; Katherine Johnson, Christine Darden, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan who worked at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia, called “human computers ” did the complex calculations that made space travel possible and paved the way for women of color to make history in fields including science, math, and technology.

Today we have many “hidden figures” who would include many African women, which need to be discovered. It could be our moms, sisters, daughters or colleagues.

Despite, as we move forward, there are also the obvious challenges which women have to focus on and try to overcome: Doing it all yourself – working smart not hard , investing in support network, and Work-life-balance, which I advocated for in my 2019 New Year’s newsletter.

While the gender gap is evolving, women have to be cognizant of these challenges and change attitudes and habits to adapt and innovate with impact and purpose. Thus, continue to #InnovateYou . Look around you, what can you give an innovative touch?

2020 is all about soaring higher and doing the “undoable” therefore, our theme this year is A new way of empowering – Impact and purpose’. Make 2020 work for you!

Thank you for being part of it all, lets walk this space together with confidence and resilience. Read more

Welcome to 2019: Year of Work-Life Balance

I know it is the beginning of February, but it is never too late to say a “Happy New Year”.  Unapologetic, I am sending my new year’s message later than usual due to the extended time-off I took from work to recover from 2018 and prepare for the coming new year.
I took a memorable lengthy sojourn of three months,  to what I can call a rebellion against the ordinary chores of life, and made consecutive holiday trips to the three top rated beach-islands of Africa. This may have been a bit of a binge, but it also gave me an opportunity to get to know the beauty of the coast, its wonderful coastal people, the exotic sea-life and reef worthy of protection and the rich tropical resources the African continent has to offer. An amazing breakaway that helps heal and reactivate the mind and body.

It is now 2019. The New Year is always like a blank book, and the pen is in our own hands. It is our opportune moment to write what we want to do for the rest of the year and how we plan to achieve it.

Wishing everyone a year of self reflection towards a healthy work-life balance!

“2018, THE Year of Powering Innovation.” Happy 2018 from DotConnectAfrica

It is my great joy and honor to send this new year foreword to you all as we begin the new year.

2017 proved to be a great year for DCA and 2018 gives the excitement and ray of hope for a prosperous year full of opportunities.  2018 appears to be moving towards the expansion of opportunities in the IoT sector with the best indication going to the disruptive mobile app economy and with our Miss.Africa initiative seed fund through our DCA academy programme, which is interested in the STEM and internet technology adoption that will play a part in enhancing their impact and scalability.

I hope together we will move towards achieving the numerous opportunities that the new year 2018 has to offer.

Here’s a preview of our 2018 predictions below and a read on the summary of DCA’s 2017 highlights. Read more 

Welcome to 2017 from Miss.Africa Digital

Get your Miss.Africa Trophy!, Apply for our Miss.Africa Seed Fund

Bravo #entrepreneurship, #innovation, #womenintech #girlpower #STEM4girls

I wish to take this opportunity to wish you all
an achieving fulfilling, peaceful 2017.

Read more

Salute 2016 – The Year of “The Women”: A New Year’s Message

Therefore, 2016 comes with such hope and promise.  Before the World Economic Forum’s annual talk-shop from the  Alps in Davos, Switzerland produces its fantasy list of predictions for the year,  I will give mine.  I call for the year 2016 to be “Year of  The Women”

There are many reasons I came up with this theme, but mostly I feel  a sea-change is happening and my global engagement everywhere tells me the Universe is now on the side of women. This is in no way to reject our strongest supporters, men, but to simply acknowledge that women have become more independent, smart, accomplished, finding their new found roles and using it to push the limits of their opportunity confidently and with a great sense of responsibility, and care.  And let us not forget women are leading by example.

There is a popular truth say “When you empower a woman you empower a community”.

Therefore, in christening 2016 the ‘Year of the Women’, I’m quite positive that this year will offer and create more avenues to promote the woman entrepreneur, the CEO, the President, the Head girl and the one who “wants to do her own thing” to  find more rewarding times within their daily lives and choices. Read more

Welcome 2015 – To the Year of Creative Disruption

In 2015, we are betting on more.  Our theme and engagement for 2015 is therefore Creative Disruption, and here is why?

“to act with confidence beyond the range of familiar beacons and to overcome society’s resistance requires aptitude that are present in only small fraction of the population”. Joseph Schumpeter “Father of Creative Destruction”.

We shall continue to lead in 2015, as we weigh in the power of “Creative disruption” as the main driver of our work.  We hope you will join us or be there to support us  to make that  incredible difference in the world we live in!

Read more

Welcome 2014 – The year to stay in the ARENA

Our 2014 New Year Resolution is simple: We plan to stay in the ARENA!

Those who watched DCA for the past six year know very well DCA has been fighting a gauntlet fight, as is called in wrestling, with its many opponents – what a vast majority of people have mostly observed as  chaotic, a match without a referee, or a game without any rules. Therefore, I could not help but relate with this quote:

” It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles; or where the doer of the deeds could have done them better.  

The Credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly;  who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause;  who at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement;  and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Finally, with the President’s quote above that inspired me so much amongst many, I ask all of you Champions to stay with us this year in the “.Africa ARENA”, and support our worthy cause, because we are not fighting for a “.africa”, we are fighting for Africa and I promise you, we will deliver!

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Welcome 2013 – The Year of Internet Governance:

A number of significant victories were achieved that hold DCA’s principles in 2012,  to include the UN Declaration for Human Rights for Free Speech, the significant, landmark opposition to Internet Regulation by WCIT-12 conference, and for our .africa, defeat of our opponents on the .dotafrica string issue, when ICANN approved our change request. All with your support!

Our 2013 Resolution is simple: a free and open .africa and internet!

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Welcome 2012 – The Year for new gTLDs

One of our most significant victories scored during 2011 was to defeat the proposal to include DotAfrica and similar namestrings in any language in the Top-Level Reserved Names List.  We note with pride that ICANN listened to our arguments and did not agree with those who wanted the DotAfrica name to be reserved and seperately negotiated outside the ICANN new gTLD programme.

Looking forward to 2012 – our New Year resolution is clear; Read more

2011 New Year’s Messages

We’ve organized, traveled across continents, spoken, promoted, panelled, launched, continue to get consensus and also work across the aisle. When faced with unreasonable challenges, we have fought for what is right and succeeded. All with your support  Read more

Happy Holidays December 2010 Newsletter

This year, 2010, was a year to remember and has been a productive one for DotConnectAfrica (DCA) and there is much more to come in the next several months. It was also a year that has embedded in it lots of clues about the risks and opportunities that lie ahead, which we want to be sure to mine.

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Speeches and Presentations