10 Women Leading African Tech Companies
Women are playing an increasingly important role in the leadership and guidance of African tech companies, with many women heading businesses in the sector.
Across sectors such as e-health, fintech and edtech, an inspiring generation of female entrepreneurs are building businesses that are using tech to make a difference and create employment.
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One company provides a platform for service providers to connect directly with their customers in Kenya, while another is the leading manufacturer of smart cards and other identity documents across Africa.
Here are 10 women leading African tech companies.
Chantelle Abdul is the managing director of Mojec International, a Nigerian firm which has become the largest manufacturer of electricity meters in the West African region. Working from a state-of-the-art factory in Lagos, Abdul’s appreciation for technology has allowed her to grow the business, which now employs around 3,600 full-time employees, according to LSE.
Software engineer Dorcas Muthoni is the founder and CEO of Openworld Ltd, a specialist computer software company based in Kenya. Openworld has grown to become a leading e-government and business software services firm providing web and cloud applications throughout Africa. Openworld’s projects include the African Union reporting app used by all 54 member countries, and the Performance Management System for the Government of Kenya, automating performance contracting in the public sector, according to Afchix.
Kofo Akinkugbe is the CEO of Nigerian tech firm SecureID, a leading manufacturer of smart cards and other identity documents across Africa. Akinkugbe’s company works with clients in the financial, telecoms and government sectors, with the firm’s Lagos-based manufacturing plant certified by both Mastercard and Visa, according to its website.
Kenyan Njeri Rionge is the co-founder of leading East African internet service provider Wananchi Online. Njeri also founded Ignite, a management consultancy firm that helps African businesses. She has expanded Ignite to include Ignite Lifestyle, a health care consultancy, Insite a digital marketing firm, and Business Lounge, an incubator that supports Kenyan startups and other companies looking to enter the the Kenyan market, according to Smallstarter.
Nigerian Bukie Olanrewaju is the director of Axiom Learning Solutions, a learning and development company offering education and management consulting services. The firm works with organizations in the public and private sectors to deliver tech solutions that enhance their capacity for growth and development. Before taking on the director role at Axiom Learning Solutions, Olanrewaju was an educator for over 10 years at elementary school level in the U.S., with certification from the Nevada State Department of Education in elementary K through 12 grades, according to LinkedIn.
Nigerian Chioma Onwutalobi is a lawyer and the founder of Glam Africa, a popular media platform that features fashion and beauty content. The platform is available online and in print, with news and lifestyle content about Africa, according to Forbes. This enables Africans in the diaspora to connect with what is happening in their home countries and the continent in general.
Judith Owigar is the Kenyan entrepreneur behind JuaKali Workforce, a tech platform that connects skilled workers from the informal sector with clients who need their services. This creates employment opportunities and makes it easier for people to get the service providers they need. Owigar also co-founded AkiraChix, an organization that aims to nurture generations of women who use tech to develop African innovations, according to Medium.
South African entrepreneur Gaby Lobban is the founder of Zumbudda, an online platform offering real-time conversations with expert healthcare professionals via chat. The advice that users can access through the platform can improve their health and potentially save lives. Zumbudda is one of eight South African businesses selected to take part in the global final of the NTT Open Innovation Contest in Tokyo this March, according to ITWeb.
Nkemdilim Begho is the founder and managing director of Future Software Resources Limited, an IT solutions provider specializing in online solutions, e-learning and IT security. Under Bengho’s guidance, the company has grown to produce work for small and large Nigerian businesses, as well as government agencies in the country, according to Lionessesofafrica.
Nigerian Angel Adelaja’s company, Fresh Direct, pioneered stackable container farms, which help urban populations to access high-quality produce, reduce stress on land-use and reduce the need to import vegetables. Through its platform, Fresh Direct boosts local farming and production and promotes youth engagement in sustainable agriculture, according to TheNation.