When Kofo Akinkugbe sat down with CNN’s Zain Asher for an exclusive interview this past July, her demeanor was that of a much fulfilled businesswoman. With a huge smile on her face, she recalled how she started SecureID Ltd in 2005 and steadily grew it into the largest and most profitable smart card manufacturing plant in the entire West Africa region. Today, the tech company exports its products to more than 21 African countries, and has been certified by top global tech companies such as Mastercard and Visa.
What was Akinkugbe’s secret?
She told Zain Asher that she “realized that there was a gap in the payment industry. Payment was largely made by cash and cards were not widely used. The cards that were used were based on magnetic stripe technology. And also in terms of security, the fraud level was extremely high. And a lot of the little cards that were being used here were all imported. So, the gap I saw was that there wasn’t a local manufacturing card plant here, and the technology [of course] was quite backward at that point in time.”
Kofo Akinkugbe came up with a plan on how to change the status quo and then set a process in motion that will bring needed change. Before long, the company was manufacturing all sorts of smart cards – SIM cards for telecoms companies, ATM cards forMasterCard, Verve, and Visa, and even e-Government solutions like National ID cards and driver’s licenses. SecureID Ltd also has the capacity to manufacture international passports and provide digital solutions.
Life before and after SecureID Ltd
Prior to establishing DecureID Ltd in 2005, Kofo Akinkugbe had founded Interface Technologies Ltd (a security management and biometrics company) in 1998. And then again in 2012, she started SecureCard Manufacturing as a subsidiary of SecureID Ltd…
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