Africa Insights: Meet the women who are making West Africa a better place through tech

Despite tech being an industry that is largely dominated by men, more and more African women are investing their time, energy and resources in designing and developing innovative solutions for the benefit of people and private business. West Africa, in that regard, is no exception. From Temie Giwa-Tubosun from Nigeria and Rebecca Enonchong from Cameroon to Ghana's Ethel Cofie: the list of powerful, successful women who are driving, growing and fast-tracking West Africa’s tech scene goes on an on. We asked our West Africa Ambassador Michael Alimo to share his top 5 with us. This is who he came up with. 

1. Temie Giwa-Tubosun (photo): using data to safeguard Nigeria's blood supply

Temie Giwa-Tubosun is a Nigerian tech entrepreneur and founder of health startup Lifebank. Lifebank mobilizes blood donations in order to save lives. It does this in a rather unconventional way by taking blood services to donors as opposed to the having donors go to clinics to donate blood. The blood that is donated is delivered to hospitals across Lagos. By using smart logistics and relying on big data, Life Bank promises to be the biggest blood supply chain system on the continent. She is also the founder of One Percent Project, which believes in harnessing the collective power of young people to save lives by encouraging the culture of blood donation. 

2. Ethel Cofie: Ghana's very own tech queen

Ethel Cofie is tech entrepreneur from Ghana and one of Africa’s leading female innovators. She is, among other things, the founder of Edel Technology Consulting, a company she’s been running since 2013. The venture focuses on providing IT and software services to help businesses achieve their goals. In addition to Edel Technology Consulting, she founded Women in Tech Africa – an organisation that supports women techies across Africa to boost their impact on their communities. It organized the maiden Pan African Woman in Tech meetup in August 2014 which was subsequently shortlisted for the UN GEM Tech Award for supporting women in ICT. Ethel is a fellow of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

3. Rebecca Enonchong: building a Cameroonian and African tech hubs

Having served in companies such as Oracle Corporation and Inter-American Development Bank, she founded her company AppsTech – a company that provides enterprise application solutions to clients that enable them to streamline their operations, gain greater visibility into their supply-chains, optimize their assets, attract and retain customers, and better manage their human resources. She is also the board chair of Afrilabs; a network of over 60 technology innovation hubs in 27 countries which was founded in 2011 to build a community around rapidly emerging tech hubs―spaces that serve as physical nexus points for developers, entrepreneurs, and investors. She has received global recognition for her work in helping technology startups in Africa. In 2014, for instance, Forbes Magazine singled her out as one of Africa’s female techies to look out for.

4. Juliet Ehimuan: reigning over Google Nigeria

Juliet Ehimuan has been Google’s Nigeria country manager since 2011. This indeed is a huge milestone considering that there are only handful of women tech entrepreneurs in Africa who are well suited for such a role. She who started out as a performance monitoring and quality assurance supervisor at Shell Petroleum Development Company. Juliet has played an active role in the West African tech industry throughout the most part of her career. Having worked at Microsoft for nearly a decade, she gained a wealth experience running teams in the company and once held the position of Business Process Manager for the MSN Global Sales and Marketing Organization.

5. Regina Honu: getting Ghanaian girls into tech

Regina Honu is the social entrepreneur and software developer from Ghana and widely known for her contributions to women in technology. Rebecca, for instance, founded Soronko Solutions, which develops innovative technology web, mobile, POS and ATM solutions to help SMEs in Ghana create visibility and grow their business with technology. The company also runs an academy which started the initiative “Tech Needs Girls” – a mentorship program which seeks to empower women and girls to take up the challenge of providing innovative product solutions through technology as a means of addressing local challenges. Rebecca has attracted global attention and has been featured on platforms such as CNN, BBC, and Aljazeera. She’s a recipient of the 2017 Buffet award for emerging global leaders.

About the author: Michael Alimo from Ghana is Afrinection's West Africa Ambassador. He is an experienced writer and passionate about Africa and entrepreneurship.

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