5 powerful African women in tech

As a sort of homage to the many women out there in the African tech scene, looking to make their mark and imprint their brilliance on the world, here is a list of 5 powerful African women in tech to spur you on to do great things

Nnenna Nwakanma

There have been endless calls for better inclusion and diversity in the tech space all over the world - especially in Africa, where women still face equality issues across the board.

There have not been very many African women who have had the opportunity to break through these barriers, especially in the Tech scene.

As a sort of homage to the many women out there in the African tech scene, looking to make their mark and imprint their brilliance on the world, here is a list of 5 powerful African women in tech to spur you on to do great things:

Nnenna Nwakanma (Nigeria) - Nwakanma is an internet and information advocate for Africa and works as the African coordinator of the World Wide Web Foundation. She also supports work on the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI). Nwakanma is also the co-founder of the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA), an African organization that pushes for free, open-source software as a developmental tool for the continent.

Rebecca Enonchong (Cameroon) - I first came across Enonchong on Twitter. She was speaking about the many millions of dollars foreign investors were pumping into the African tech space without much effect in the ecosystem as a whole. I decided to go on her blog and read up on her and I discovered that she is the founder and CEO of AppsTech, a global provider of enterprise application solutions with presence in over 30 countries. Forbes also listed Enonchong, in 2014, on a list of women tech founders to watch in Africa. The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers' Women In Engineering (WIE) also put her on its power 60 list. She is also a co-founder and treasurer of the African Business Angels Network (ABAN).

Irene Charnley (South Africa) - Back in 1998, Charnley, then an executive at Johnnic Holdings South Africa, led the company to becoming a major shareholder in Mcell Limited, which later morphed into MTN Group in 2002. With her foresight, she was able to bring MTN to Nigeria, as well as helping the telecommunications giant secure licenses in Iran. Following her departure from MTN Group in 2007, with over $150 million in stock, she is now the founder and CEO of Smile Telecoms; a mobile broadband operator with presence in Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. More recently, Fortune Magazine named her one of the top 50 businesswomen outside the US.

Nana A. Y. Tyum-Danso (Ghana) - If you have heard the interesting story of MAZA, a Ghanaian healthcare logistics provider that made access to health services accessible to rural dwellers, then you will know that Tyum-Danso is the brain behind it all. She has worked with the Task Force for Global Health as director of the Children Without Worms team, The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is various capacities, and gone on to become the senior program officer for the department of maternal, neonatal, and child health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Mary Uduma (Nigeria) - Uduma was appointed as the President of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA); an organization responsible for the management of Nigeria's dot ng domain name, in 2010, after serving as vice-president since 2009. Two years later in 2012, she retired as the director of licensing, policy, and competition, consumer affairs, at the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC). She is also a member of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) and convener of the Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF).

You may not know about them right now, but with these women profiled above, there is no denying that African women in tech are causing positve change on a massive scale across the continent. You should get with the program too.


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