SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Equal Access International, an innovative non-profit creating positive social change for millions of underserved people across the developing world, today announced it is the recipient of the 2016 Tech Award in the Microsoft Education Category. The award recognizes Equal Access for its dramatic expansion and significant global impact since first being named a laureate in 2003. Equal Access will receive a $50,000 cash award at the Tech Awards Gala on November 17 to further its programs which reach more than 137 million people in 21 languages in nine countries across Asia and Africa. Since its inception in 2000, The Tech Awards, sponsored by Applied Materials, Inc., are considered the "Oscars" of Silicon Valley. To mark the award's fifteenth anniversary, former laureates were invited to compete again in their respective categories with the judging committee selecting the "best of the best" Tech Award laureates who continue to address the world's most challenging problems. "This award means so much to our worldwide staff across Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, and Pakistan, who leverage the power and reach of interactive media, innovative technology and community action to inspire the voices, stories, and movements driving positive change when our world needs it most," said Ronni Goldfarb, Equal Access President and CEO. "We are thrilled to be recognized for our work." Dan'l Lewin, Corporate Vice President of Technology and Civic Engagement at Microsoft Corp, said, "It is an honor to further recognize Equal Access International for its life-changing work, which has successfully scaled beyond the initial 2003 program launch in Nepal. It has provided the ideal mix of innovative communications technology and direct community engagement to produce lasting education and social change that is beyond impressive." Equal Access Programs and Impact AreasEqual Access previously won the 2003 Tech Award in Education for providing life-changing education on women's and girls' empowerment and HIV/AIDS prevention to 10,400 Nepalese living in remote and marginalized regions of the country. Overcoming barriers of illiteracy and poor infrastructure, Equal Access launched a pioneering educational satellite radio platform/distribution system providing original, locally-produced programming to low-cost receivers in remote villages for the very first time. Today, Equal Access has replicated this model, expanding impact across nine countries in Asia and Africa where they implement large-scale country programs in six inter-related areas ranging from Youth Life Skills, to Women's and Girls' Empowerment to Peacebuilding and Civic Engagement. Last year, more than 67 million people listened, viewed, participated and benefitted from Equal Access programming. And more than 102,000 people participated in community engagement activities.