African women are refusing to back down in the technological revolution sweeping the continent. Like their male counterparts, they are actively driving some of the most exciting and important changes happening in technology.
In alignment with IWD 2022 mission to elevate women forging change via technology and sustainability in communities, workplaces and beyond, here's a curated list of 40 African women who are taking the bull by the horns and leading innovative tech startups.
These women are founders, co-founders, venture capitalists, top executives and Chief Executive Officers of startups in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana, Tunisia, Ethiopia, etc.
Startup Founders/ Co-Founders/CEOs
1. Jihan Abass (Kenya)
Founder & CEO of LamiInsurtech
Jihan founded LamiInsurtech in 2018 to democratise and digitise insurance products first in Kenya and across Africa. The startup created an API insurance service platform to digitise the entire process. In May 2021, the startup raised $1.8m in seed capital.
2. Miishe Addy (Ghana)
Co-founder & CEO, Jetstream Africa
After moving to Ghana in 2017, Addy saw an opportunity to innovate and together with Solomon Torgbo founded Jetstream Africa. Jetstream is a technology-enabled logistics company focused on cross-border trade. Jetstream raised $3million in June 2021 in seed round.
3. Fara Ashiru Jituboh (Nigeria)
Co-founder & CEO/CTO, Okra
Out of the desire to solve the problem of managing her funds while in Nigeria (just like she did with Mint in the USA), Jituboh co-founded Okra in 2019. Okra is a “super-connector” that enables the secure exchange of real-time financial information between customers, applications and banks. Within six months of launch, Okra raised $3.5million in an over-subscribed pre-seed round.
4. Tomilola Majekodunmi (Nigeria)
Founder & CEO, Bankly
Tomilola incorporated Bankly in July 2018 in a mission to digitise cash and provide a safer path to savings for micro-businesses/individuals working in the informal sector. Bankly raised $2million in a seed round in March 2021.
5. Tarneem Saeed (Sudan)
Tarneem built the largest tech startup, Alsoug, in Sudan. Alsoug is a classified platform/marketplace which allows people to check out the price of things and connect with sellers.
In October 2021, Alsoug received a $5 million investment to become the first startup to get foreign investment in Sudan since the US economic sanctions were lifted in 2020.
6. Jessica Anuna (Nigeria)
Jessica started Klasha in 2018 on the back of running a business in China for three years. Klasha is an e-commerce platform that makes it easier for Africans to buy products from global fashion retailers.
The Lagos and San-Francisco based startup is backed by Techstars and Ginco Investments in Dubai. Klasha raised $2.4million in seed funding to scale in October 2021.
7. Yanmo Omorogbe (Nigeria)
Yanmo, through Bamboo, is giving the average Nigerian, the access to become a shareholder in big tech companies such as Google, Twitter, Amazon, etc. Bamboo allows users to buy, hold or sell stocks of companies listed on the U.S stock market.
In January 2022, Bamboo raised $15million series A funding to accelerate its growth, penetrate new markets (like Ghana and Kenya) and create more products.
8. Nelly Chatue-Diop (Cameroun)
Co-Founder & CEO Ejara
Ejara, founded in 2020, is a blockchain-based saving and investment platform for people in Francophone Africa and the diaspora.
In October 2021, the Camerounian based startup raised $2million to offer crypto and investment services in Francophone Africa.
9. Sarah Menker (Ethiopia)
Co-Founder & CEO, Gro Intelligence
Hunger and climate change are some of the major challenges in Africa, however, entrepreneurs like Sarah Menker are using technology to tackle them. Gro Intelligence uses artificial intelligence to forecast global agricultural trends and battle food insecurity.
A startup that operates from Ethiopia, Sarah Menker’s Gro Intelligence closed a $85 million Series B round in January 2021.
10. Nneile Nkholise (Lesotho)
Founder/CEO, iMed Tech
Nneile Nkholise is a Lesotho-born medical practitioner using technology to solve health crises. She launched iMed Tech, a biotechnology company specialising in the design and manufacturing of custom-made medical solutions to improve the lives of Africans.
11. Ifeoluwa Dare-Johnson (Nigeria)
Ifeoluwa founded Healthtracka alongside Victor Amusan in February 2021 after the death of her sister. The startup is a digital health platform that offers the best at-home health tests in Lagos with easy-to-read diagnostics test results.
The Techstars Toronto October 2021 alumni received undisclosed funding from Akazi in December 2021.
12. Odunayo Eweniyi (Nigeria)
Odunayo is a serial entrepreneurial powerhouse who has co-founded several successful startups such as Piggyvest, PushCV and Firstcheck. Piggyvest is West Africa’s first-ever online personal savings and investment app whose purpose is to empower people to better manage and save their money.
13. Jumoke Dada (Nigeria)
Jumoke Dada leads Taeillo to produce urban furniture using African-inspired pieces. By using AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality), Taeillo enhances customers’ experience by allowing them to envision how the furniture looks in their space before purchasing. In 2019, CcHub invested an undisclosed fund in the startup.
14. Zineb Drissi-Kaitouni (Morocco)
Since 2014, DabaDoc, an online platform has been helping patients to book an appointment with a doctor in a few clicks. More than 3,000 doctors use the platform across Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Nigeria and South Africa.
15. Damilola Olokesusi (Nigeria)
Shuttlers is a Lagos-based mobility startup that provides scheduled bus-sharing services for professionals and organizations in Lagos at affordable rates.
After years of bootstrapping, the startup raised $1.6 million in seed funding in November 2021 to scale within and outside Nigeria.
16. Ifeoma Nwakwesi Uddoh (Nigeria)
Driven with the mission, “to be widely recognized as the leading Fintech credit company for women in Africa", Shecluded creates financial inclusion and opportunities for female entrepreneurs and female-led businesses in Africa.
Established in 2019 and having spent over $1 million in growth loans Shecluded in October 2021 secured Google Grant To Drive Financial Inclusion For African Women.
17. Nthabiseng Mosia (South Africa)
Co-Founder/Chief Commercial Officer, Easy Solar
Based in West Africa, Easy Solar is an off-grid solar distribution company. It supplies electricity to communities with little or no access to the grid. As a result of Mosia’s company, more than 350,000 residents of Sierra Leone’s communities have access to affordable energy.
18. Farida Bedwei (Ghana)
Farida Bedwei is a software engineer and disabilities rights advocate. Logiciel develops technology solutions and provides micro-banking systems for more than 600 financial institutions.
She was named one of the most influential women in business in Ghana and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2016.
19. Rebecca Enonchong (Cameroun)
Appstech is a global enterprise software solutions provider launched in 1999. Enonchong also co-founded I/O Spaces, ABAN AND Cameroon Angels Network.
She has been the recipient of various awards such as 100 Most Influential Africans in Science, Tech & Innovations by the New African, Jeune Afrique’s 50 Most Influential Africans, World Bank and the World Economic Forum.
20. Funke Opeke (Nigeria)
Funke Opeke launched Mainone to correct Nigeria's connectivity problems in 2010. In December 2021, she announced that Equinix, a U.S multinational specialising in internet connection is acquiring Mainone at $320 million. The deal will be the largest tech startup acquisition in Nigeria when completed.
21. Betelhem Dessie (Ethiopia)
Founder $ CEO iCog
Betelhem Dessie is a young Ethiopian web and mobile technologies developer. At iCog she educates 8-18-year-olds in coding and computer skills – and only asks them to pay if they can afford it.
22. Regina Honu (Ghana)
Founder/CEO, Soronko Academy
Soronko academy is a technology and digital skills development centre based in Accra. It equips talented young women with the technical and soft skills required to land jobs in technology as a means of reducing the gender gap in the industry. Honu and her team have trained over 20,000 women and girls and connected 5,000 of the people trained to jobs or supported them to start their own businesses.
23. Zandile Keebine (South Africa)
GirlCode is a South African registered NPO that empowers women through technology. Since its inception, the initiative has empowered thousands of young women across Africa.
In 2018, GirlCode launched the Digital Academy, the GirlCoder Club, the GirlCode Accelerator Programme, and the GirlCode Incubator initiative. The GirlCode SME accelerator is a rapid growth program designed to assist female-owned TechSMEs.
24. Rachel Sibande (Malawi)
Sibande is a computer scientist who founded mHub, a technology hub for innovators and entrepreneurs. Offering access to investment and financial support across five countries, mHub is a key resource for women-led tech startups in Africa. Sibande also established the Girls Coding Club, Children’s Coding Club, a Robotics Club and Machine Learning community camps.
25. Oluwatobi Otokiti (Nigeria)
Tobi leads ProductDive, a product school that helps product managers and aspiring product managers obtain the right skills needed to build tech products that serve customers better. She is also a Senior Product Manager at Flutterwave with over 7 years of experience across multiple industries.
26. Ada Nduka Oyom (Nigeria)
Founder, She Code Africa (SCA)
She Code Africa (SCA) is a non-profit dedicated to building an active community of women in tech amongst other things. The event trains, sponsors and mentors young ladies for a career in tech.
27. Oyindamola Honey Ogundeyi (Nigeria)
Edukoya is the largest online learning platform for Africans. In December 2021, Edukoya raised $3.5million which is the largest pre-seed round for an African EdTech platform.
28. Moky Makura (Nigeria)
Executive Director, Africa No Filter
Moky currently leads Africa No Filter (ANF), to support the development of nuanced and contemporary stories that shift stereotypical and harmful narratives within and about Africa.
ANF has raised $6 million from mega funders like Ford and Bloomberg to support its work and given out over $1 million in grants to storytellers, many of them first-time recipients.
29. Ory Okolloh (Kenya)
Executive Director, Omidyar
Ory Okolloh is a Kenyan activist, lawyer, blogger and a former Policy Manager for Africa with Google. In 2007, Okolloh co-created Ushahidi. She’s also the co-founder of Mzalendo, a website that tracks the performance of Kenyan MPs.
30. Koromone Koroye (Nigeria)
Managing Editor, TechCabal
A leading voice in African Tech journalism, Koromone Koroye is the Managing Editor at Tech Cabal. She is a creative storyteller, communications specialist, and brand manager with over 10 years of professional working experience.
31. Layo Ogunbanwo (Nigeria)
Founder, Practical Product Community; VP of Strategy, Piggyvest
Layo is a sterling business executive who launched Practical Product with a groundbreaking report "The State of Product Management in Africa". The report is a collection of data that sets a benchmark and brings to life the trends driving product management in Africa. She also works at Piggyvest as the VP of Product Strategy.
32. Tosin Faniro-Dada (Nigeria)
Managing Director/CEO, Endeavor
Through Endeavor, Tosin is supporting entrepreneurs and helping them scale, not just for the immediate impact this has on their organisation, but more for the multiplier effect, which confers on the larger society and economy.
33. Adaeze Sokan (Nigeria)
Country Manager, UK-Nigeria Tech Hub
Adaeze is driving the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub’s vision to support the Nigerian Tech Ecosystem, build the local digital economy and forge partnerships between local and international businesses. The UK-Nigeria Tech Hub is an initiative of the UK’s Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS).
34. Maya Horgan Famodu (Nigeria)
Founder/Partner Ingressive Capital
Maya Horgan Famodu's Ingressive Capital is a $10 million fund, based in Lagos, Nigeria. Ingressive Capital has invested over $400k in different startups across Africa.
35. Nichole Yembra (Nigeria)
Founder/Managing Partner, Chrysalis Capital
Nichole is a problem solver at heart who founded The Chrysalis Capital, a $15 million African tech fund, to support African tech companies building globally relevant institutions.
She is also the founder of GreeenHouse Lab, the first female-founded tech-focused accelerator firm in Nigeria (the first to be powered by the Google Launchpad program in Africa). The firm helps women in tech validate their ideas, bring the product to market and attract venture capital investment.
36. Eloho Omame (Nigeria)
Co-Founder/ FirstCheck Africa
Co-founded alongside Odunayo Eweniyi, through FirstCheck Africa, both ladies are building Africa’s first female-first, venture capital fund, investing exclusively in technology ventures led by women.
37. Eunice Ajim (Cameroun)
Founding Partner, Ajim Capital
As the spearhead, Eunice leads Ajim Capital, an early-stage fund and angel community to provide startups in Africa with financing from Pre-seed to Seed with typical check sizes of $100K to $250K. It recently targets industry-agnostic tech startups in sub-Saharan Africa.
38. Yemi Keri (Nigeria)
Co-Founder, Rising Tide Africa
Yemi Keri co-founded Rising Tide Africa as a women's movement initiative with a vision to increase women's participation in angel investing as an asset class and promote education, cross-border investing and investor-mentoring across Africa.
39. Tokunboh Ishmael (Nigeria)
Tokunboh Ishmael is an experienced private equity investor driving the growth of Alitheia Capital, an investment management and advisory firm focused on channelling private equity investments into businesses and real estate assets to enhance access to finance, energy and housing for the excluded at the base of the economic pyramid.
40. Sarah Dusek (South Africa)
Managing Partner/CEO, Enygma Ventures
Launched alongside her husband, Jacob Dusek, Enygma Ventures is a unique purpose driven investment fund, that equips Woman founded/led businesses to create flexible financial solutions, efficient & strategic deployment of capital, access to expertise, mentors, local and overseas markets and provide other helpful support.