Africa is a continent that is home to some of the most dynamic and innovative entrepreneurs in the world. With a growing tech industry, more and more African entrepreneurs are making their mark in the global market. In this article, we will take a closer look at the top 7 African leaders in the tech business.
Strive Masiyiwa is a Zimbabwean businessman and entrepreneur who is considered one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Africa. He is the founder and executive chairman of Econet Wireless, a telecommunications company that operates in several African countries. Masiyiwa is also the founder of Kwese TV, a Pan-African television network that offers sports, entertainment, and news content.
Masiyiwa is known for his philanthropic work, particularly in education and healthcare. He is the founder of the Higherlife Foundation, which provides scholarships to underprivileged children in Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Burundi. Masiyiwa is also a member of the Giving Pledge, a philanthropic initiative started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. He is the only African member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on Conscience.
Ashish Thakkar is a Ugandan-born entrepreneur who is the founder and CEO of Mara Group, a conglomerate that operates in several industries, including technology, real estate, and manufacturing. Thakkar is also the founder of Mara Foundation, a nonprofit organisation that provides entrepreneurship training and
mentorship to young people in Africa. Mara Group’s operations and investments span 22 African countries. He is the author of “The Lion Awakes: Adventures in Africa’s Economic Miracle”.
In addition to his business ventures, Thakkar is known for his advocacy work in promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in Africa. He is a member of the UN Foundation Global Entrepreneurs Council and the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Africa.
Manasseh Egedegbe is an experienced Nigerian tech investor and a top African leader in the tech business.
He has made an initial angel investment of $1.5 million in over ten early-stage startups in various industries in the tech sector, resulting in a portfolio valued at $30 million.
He is the co-founder and Chief Investment Officer of Venture Kinetics, a venture capital fund company specialising in the tech startup space in Africa. Manasseh is the Founder and CEO of Kudy Financials Sarl, a financial technology company that focuses on providing investment products to retail investors by leveraging advanced technology and a data-driven approach.
He is also a Board of Directors member of RelianceHMO, an HealthTech company that uses software, data science, and telemedicine to make health insurance delightful, affordable, and easier to access. With his keen eye for emerging trends and technologies, Manasseh has a proven track record of identifying and investing in early-stage startups across various industries in the tech sector.
Rebecca Enonchong is a Cameroonian entrepreneur and the founder of AppsTech, a global provider of enterprise application solutions. Enonchong is also a board member of several organisations, including the African Business Angels Network and the African Media Initiative.
Enonchong is known for her advocacy work in promoting the development of the African tech industry. She is the founder of the Africa Technology Forum, an annual event that brings together entrepreneurs, investors, and policymakers to discuss the future of technology in Africa.
She has been recognized for her contributions to the field with a number of awards, including the African Digital Woman of the Year Award and the Global Telecoms Business Innovation Award.
Ham Serunjogi & Majid Moujaled
Ham Serunjogi, the Ugandan CEO of Chipper Cash, and his co-founder, Maijid Moujaled, launched the platform in 2018 to help Africans send money across borders in local currencies.
With no-fee, cross-border payments and peer-to-peer transactions, Chipper Cash has grown to over 4 million users in seven African countries, as well as the U.K. and the U.S. Serunjogi has taken a growth-first approach, offering discounts and zero-fee transactions to attract customers, paid for by funding rounds.
Chipper Cash has attracted investment from major players, including Jeff Bezos’ investment vehicle, Bezos Expeditions, and was valued at $2 billion for its series C funding round in November 2021. Chipper Cash has raised $337.2M so far. Chipper Cash closed its last funding round on Jan 1, 2022 from a Venture – Series Unknown round.
Their next goal is to bring cryptocurrency into the mainstream in Africa.
Tayo Oviosu is a Nigerian entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Paga, a mobile payments platform that allows users to send and receive money, pay bills, and purchase goods and services. Oviosu previously worked for several multinational companies, including Cisco and Deloitte.
In addition to his work with Paga, Oviosu is known for his advocacy work in promoting financial inclusion in Africa. He is a member of the Global Financial Inclusion Initiative and the African Leadership Network.
Paystack co-founder Shola Akinlade is a true example of the Nigerian startup dream. Along with his old schoolmate Ezra Olubi, Akinlade founded the payments company in 2015 to help unblock the Nigerian digital economy by offering new ways for businesses and individuals to transact online.
Their efforts were rewarded when Paystack was accepted into the prestigious Y Combinator accelerator program in November 2015, which helped the company become one of Africa’s leading tech firms.
In 2020, Stripe, a U.S. fintech giant, acquired Paystack for $200 million, and since then, the company has continued to make strides, such as becoming the first African payment gateway partner for Apple Pay and expanding its services to South Africa.
In conclusion, these African leaders in the tech business are making a significant impact not only in their respective countries but also in the global market. Their innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit serve as an inspiration to the next generation of African entrepreneurs.