The month of March is officially women’s month, with 08 March 2022 being International Women's Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality, and we are centring five of the women trailblazing Africa's tech advancement today.
This year’s theme is #BreakTheBias, in support of creating a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination - a world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive, where difference is valued and celebrated.
In 2022 we are still fighting for women’s rights and the African tech sector is not exempt from this conversation. According to Briter Bridges and the World Bank, 84% of funding in 2020 went to all-male founding teams, compared to 3% to all-female ones, and 13% for mixed-gender teams. Only 3% of early-stage funding to fintech—the continent’s most funded sector—goes to all-female startup teams.
Historically, women have always received the short end of the stick, especially in Africa. It is evident in our governments, businesses and the tech industry at large. For Women’s History Month we are shining the spotlight on some key women in the African tech space. These women have achieved an incredible amount of success, and continue to chart a path shaking up Africa’s tech space.
Miishe Addy is the CEO and Co-Founder at Jetstream Africa, a tech platform that is democratising access to cross-border trade for businesses in emerging markets. After founding her first startup, she moved to Ghana to serve as a business fellow for MEST Africa, where she saw firsthand the potential for technology to transform key bottlenecks in cross-border supply chains. She then decided to venture into the male-dominated field of logistics on her own and founded Jetstream in Ghana where 46% of businesses are women-run.
Chioma Okotcha is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at PayHippo, the company creating the most seamless small business loan experience in Nigeria. She has a background in microfinance policy and public sector consultancy with the Agence Française de Développement, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and Tony Blair Institute. She was a part of the team that launched a non-profit start-up, Teach For Nigeria, in Lagos.
Jihan Abass is currently the Founder and CEO of Lami Insurance Technology, a Nairobi based insurance as a service platform that aims to increase insurance penetration across Africa. The Griffin Motor App is Lami’s flagship product and has shortened the purchase process of car insurance to less than two minutes.
Prior to starting Lami and Griffin, Jihan was a sugar trader in the City of London, trading on the New York and London sugar markets. She has an MBA from the University of Oxford and an undergraduate degree in Finance from CASS Business School, London.
Fara Ashiru Jituboh
Fara Ashiru Jituboh is the Co-Founder and CEO/CTO of Okra, Inc., a fintech Nigerian-based startup that allows for the exchange of real-time financial information between customers, applications, and banks. Jituboh is a software engineer and entrepreneur, who is fluent in over 20 programming languages. With Okra, she is focused on building the infrastructure to allow Africans to connect their bank accounts to third-party applications, enabling the acceleration of financial innovation in Africa through data. Prior to founding Okra in 2019, Fara gained experience building and scaling products in emerging markets and venture-backed startups, working with organisations such as Canva, Techhustle, Sana Benefits, and Dorsata.
Hannah Subayi Kamuanga
Hannah Subayi Kamuanga is the Country Officer for the Republic Democratic of Congo within Proparco – the French leading development financial institution. Prior to this, Hannah was a principal at South Suez Capital, an African private equity fund-of-funds manager. She has 10 years of professional experience and sits on the advisory boards of several African private equity funds. Prior to joining South Suez Capital, she was an investment banker for five years covering developed markets from London. She has a Master’s Degree in Management from HEC Paris Business School and a Master’s degree in business and international law from Paris I – La Sorbonne Law School.
We are looking forward to having more women founders in the African tech sector. What will you do to help #BreakTheBias #IWD2022?
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