African techies in the 2023 Forbes 30 under 30 class

By next week, several young business leaders across the world, especially from Africa will converge in Bostwana for the Forbes Under 30 Summit Africa. "Across four days in the country's capital [Gaborone], we will harness the power of entrepreneurial capitalism amid the continent whose growth will help define the 21st century," Forbes said in a statement.

In attendance will be the 2023 class of the Forbes 30 under 30, dubbed "self made", which implies that "these young achievers are starting from scratch to build businesses and brands that are totally solutions-oriented".

Out of the 30 young Africans that made the list, we spotted 11 tech professionals from Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Rwanda and Mauritius. They are:

Mutethia Mbaabu

Mutethia 29, is a Kenyan tech entreprenuer; co-founder and CEO of MarketForce, a YC-backed retail payment startup.

MarketForce runs an asset-light operating model and is currently operational in 5 markets (Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda) with the merchant super app, RejaReja – which offers informal merchants next-day delivery for hundreds of SKUs from the leading FMCG brands.

Last year, Mutethia's company closed the largest Series A round in East and Central Africa; a $40 million fund led by V8 Capital. "Marketforce demonstrates what we see as a triple threat with regards to returns. A strong executive team with an amazing track record, an expansive untapped market of informal retailers across the continent and a business model that scales extremely quickly", Tobi Oke, General Partner at V8 Capital and member of the MarketForce board stated.

Blessing Joel Abeng

Aged 28, Blessing is a Nigerian and the co-founder and Director of Communications at Ingressive For Good (I4G), a non-profit empowering Africans with tech skills through micro-scholarships, training, and talent placement to increase their earning power.

Prior to the non-profit, she co-founded Disha, an online no-code tool for digital creators. The company was acquired by African fintech unicorn, Flutterwave in an undisclosed deal.

Now at Ingressive For Good, Blessing has led a team that awarded micro-scholarships worth $73,000, trained 82,000 African youths, and placed close to 1,000 in jobs. The I4G community has about 130,000 members with African participants in 84 countries. Just last year, Google donated $250 million to the three-year old non-proft.

Germain & Hansel Ndu-Okeke

Germain 24, is a Nigerian tech entreprenuer and the co-founder and COO of Weevil Company, a purposive technology consulting company focused on data analytics and digital transformation for organizations.

Germain and his co-founder at Weevil who is also the CEO, Hansel Ndu-Okeke, 28, were both named among the 30 under 30 by Forbes Africa.

Yvette Ishimwe

The 25 year old Rwandan is the Founder and CEO, Iriba Water Group. In 2016, Yvette became a Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneur with the goal to provide innovative solutions for household water shortage in Rwanda. In addition, her organization Iriba Water Group, offers technology-driven water treatment systems to institutions and individuals to help them access safe drinking water.

Iriba Water Group is now operational in Rwanda, Central Africa Republic and DR Congo.

Jessica Mshama

Jessica, 27, is a Tanzanian edtech entreprenuer. She is the co-founder and Director of Assumpter Digital Schools, dubbed "the first digital school in Tanzania".

Isaack Damian Buhiye

Buhiye, 28, is a Tanzanian and the CEO of Firm 23 Limited, a tech company that specialises in digital enterprise solutions.

Other African tech professionals on the list includes:

  • Sharva Hassamal, 29, Mauritius – Founder, Portage Labs
  • Cheslin Denman, 29, South Africa – Managing Director and Co-Founder, Trustlink Africa Hub
  • Jacques Jordaan, 27, South Africa – Co-founder and Director, Specno
  • Nompumelelo ‘Mpoomy’ Ledwaba, 29, South Africa – Entrepreneur and Digital Creator