Women in West Africa are making their mark in the tech industry, despite facing significant challenges and barriers. Some of these challenges include limited access to funding, a lack of representation in leadership positions, and cultural biases that discourage women from pursuing careers in tech.
In recent years, more and more women have been breaking through these barriers and achieving success in the sector. From Fara Ashiru Jituboh of Okra to Miishe Addy of Jetstream these women are making significant contributions to Tech.
As we commemorate this year’s celebration of International Women’s Day today, we will spotlight women in West Africa, making their mark in tech and driving economic growth on the continent.
Fara Ashiru Jituboh – Nigeria
Fara Ashiru Jituboh conceived the idea of Okra, a Nigeria-based fintech platform when she visited the United States to have a baby in 2019. During her stay in the US, she used apps like Mint to manage funds directly from her mobile phone, but when she returned to Nigeria, the app stopped working because it wasn’t connected to a Nigerian bank. Seeing the market gap, she decided to create a similar app. Okra is a fintech platform that enables secure, real-time financial information exchange between customers, applications, and banks.
Okra has partnered with most Nigerian banks, including Access Bank, Aella, Interswitch and uLesson. Within six months of its launch, it was oversubscribed. Jituboh has also developed technologies for other companies such as AXA Mansard, Sanofi Pharmaceuticals and Airtel. She was featured on the cover of Forbes Africa’s 9th Anniversary Issue.
Miishe Addy – Ghana
Miishe Addy’s passion for tech started at Havard Business School, where she obtained an MBA. She worked on a project that focused on using technology to provide affordable housing solutions in Africa. The project made her realise that the lack of access to technology was a major barrier to economic growth in Africa. After completing her MBA, she began working for a tech startup that gave her valuable experience in the industry.
In 2018, Miishe founded Jetstream Africa, a firm that provides a seamless and transparent digital logistics platform for businesses in Africa. The platform connects shippers and carriers, simplifies the supply chain process and improves efficiency. Miishe has been featured in Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30 list. She was also selected as a finalist for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards.
Leidemara Ramos – Cabo verde
Leidemara Ramos co-founded Resermar Reservas Online in 2018. Resermar Reservas Online is a Cape Verdean integrated booking platform launched with the mission of facilitating and modernising the services offered by companies through online reservations.
She was inspired to start her company because she noticed that her country was filled with small service providers and suppliers who lacked the power to reach large markets or large population cities. Her company is bridging the distance between large and small operators in a bidirectional way, i.e offering access to large supplier and operator companies while providing visibility and presence to small suppliers and providers in the most important markets.
Marly Diallo – Guinea
Marly Diallo is the Founder and CEO of BRT Energy, a firm that focuses on building a pan-African disruptive network of ESCOs to offer energy efficiency services. Marly’s startup has operations in Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda and Ethiopia. She aims to use her startup to support off-grid and mini-grid energy projects in Africa by keeping battery costs lower and enabling local maintenance.
Her startup was one of the twenty-five African female-founded tech startups selected for the second edition of The Future is Female Mentorship Program, a PR and communications mentorship program dedicated exclusively to African female tech founders. Marly is also an Associate Partner at the United Global Alliance (UNITED) – a diversified American impact group, consortium and holding company.
Fatou Gning – Senegal
Fatou Gning is the founder of Amal Crowdfunding, a crowdfunding platform for entrepreneurs seeking to raise start-up funds for their businesses. Amal crowdfunding helps young entrepreneurs move from the ideation phase to the realization of their high-potential projects. It was also one of the twenty-five African female-founded tech startups selected for the second edition of The Future is Female Mentorship Programme.
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