The African economy over time has witnessed a steady rise, courtesy the techpreneur activities going on recently. Considering the large number of technology users– the swift growth of mobility & the Internet has majorly contributed to its expansion in the continent as a cradle of innovation and technical talent as well as the strong evolving penetration in the mobile payments area.
All these have contributed to the continent’s economy, and the more reason it is far and wide flaunted as one of the fastest growing economy in the world.
All that being said, vibrant and prodigious young African entrepreneurs are bracing up themselves from almost every border with technology and innovation that will transform the economy and they have also ensured that the trend must continue.
From manufacturing, as well as hospitality, health, education, agriculture and lots of other sectors. African techpreneurs are moving up to take their place amongst the world’s most developed regions, smashing records, creating solutions and impacting their community by the way.
In this piece, we take a look at a few of the techpreneurs who have gained both local and international attention for their skill, talent and achievements as well as global consideration for the continent.
The Cameroon born techpreneur, Rebecca is the brain behind the global provider of enterprise application solutions – AppsTech. The platform provides enterprise software, service and also, support to both local and international clients.
She had her first entrepreneurship experience selling newspaper subscriptions from door to door when she moved to the U.S with her mother at a tender age.
AppsTech is now believed to span across over 50 countries in Africa, Europe, and North America.
Not only that, she is also the co-founder of Cameroon Angels Network and both the Cofounder and Vice-President of African Business Angels Network. She also serves as a mentor/advisor to several technology start-ups and sits at the United Nations (UN) Africa Digital Identity Advisory Board.
The female entrepreneur has received significant recognition for the landmarks the company has enjoyed, the notable ones are WIE Africa Power Women of 2013 in the Business and Technology category, Global Leader for Tomorrow (GLT) by the World Economic Forum of Davos, Switzerland, and Forbes magazine as a top female tech founder in Africa.
Enonchong is also a recipient of NewAfrican magazine’s most influential Africans in 2014, 2016 and 2017, as well as Jeune Afrique magazine’s one of Africa’s 50 most influential women of 2017 and one of world’s 50 most influential Africans in 2018 and amongst others.
Tayo founded Paga with Jay Alabrabra in Nigeria to improve the cash build-up in the system and to create a means whereby financial services are available to all.
He serves as the company’s Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors. In his early career, he was a Manager, Corporate Development, at Cisco Systems in San Jose California where he was responsible for strategy, acquisitions, and private equity investments in four technology sectors – Virtual Computing, Application Networking, Security, and Network Management. He also helped lead Cisco’s investment expansion in Africa.
In the course of over six years, Paga has shown impressive growth, recording a milestone of 11,000,000 together with users at the end of 2017 and created over 10,000 jobs through its 17,000 agents who hire staff to run their stores since it commenced operations since 2012.
Considering the impact Paga has made across Africa, Tayo was picked as one of the Endeavor entrepreneur network at the 84th International Selection Panel (ISP) held in South Africa.
Karim’s passion for teaching and using applied mathematics led him to co-found InstaDeep, an AI start-up that helps large enterprises understand how AI can benefit them. He is also a Google Developer Expert in Machine Learning, a portfolio he was nominated for in 2017.
InstaDeep, the company was nominated at the MWC17 for the Top 20 global start-up list made by PCMAG. Karim from Tunisia has a mission to democratize AI and make it accessible to a wide audience. He uses TensorFlow to develop Deep Learning and Reinforcement Learning products and founded TensorFlow Tunis Meetup.
Muthiga’s work in animation and advertising has not gone unnoticed as Forbes magazine acknowledged him as one of 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa 2014 and Africa’s Top 30 under 30 Entrepreneurs for 2016. Muthiga established Fatboy Animations when he was just 24.
Although South Africa takes the lead in using first-class animation technology but it doesn’t take away the fact that individuals in East Africa are pushing envelopes as well.
This is what Mike Muthiga’s animation company is doing, he has created some adorable work which includes ‘Tinga Tinga Tales’, ‘Faimba’, and ‘Mazgwembe.’ Mike’s passion for animation came to life in high school, where art was his favourite subject. It is believed that Mike is also nursing an ambition to open an animation school in Kenya.
Andrew has had his eyes on the financial technology sector for a while now and has helped establish JUMO, which is based in South Africa. Andrew, with his wizardry in technology, has helped the organization develop from seven to three hundred representatives in just three years, with improved workplaces in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Zambia, Pakistan, United Kingdom, Singapore and South Africa.
The platform also works in a few African nations as well as Pakistan. He has successfully built many businesses including Gateway Telecommunications, a satellite service provider sold to Vodafone for $675m in 2008. He developed a fund focused on the application of nanotechnology in the energy sector.
His first business success came by building an event production business in Cape Town that included work for Quincy Jones and Nelson Mandela.
His platform, JUMO provides a mobile financial service for mobile network operators and banks. It facilitates digital financial services like credit and savings in emerging markets by the way of USSD shortcodes. So far, it has delivered more than 10 million loans to users in 6 countries – Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Rwanda and Uganda.
As Rebecca Enonchong, Tayo Oviosu, Mike Muthiga, Mike Muthiga, Andrew Watkins-Ball and other techpreneurs in Africa continue to expand the frontiers of technology to the global scene, we hope that their laudable achievements spur aspiring African techpreneurs to take the bull by the horns and keep being the best in all their endeavours to blaze trails and make a difference.
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