Africa is home to many inspiring women who have made significant contributions to the fields of digital technology and innovation. These iconic African women are pushing boundaries, breaking barriers and using their skills to make a difference in their communities and beyond. From software developers and tech entrepreneurs to engineers and scientists, African women are at the forefront of the digital revolution, creating innovative solutions to some of the continent’s most pressing challenges.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day celebrations is DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality. So, we have identified 30 iconic African women in digital technology and innovation to celebrate on International Women’s Day 2023. These women come from all corners of the continent and represent a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. They are pioneers, trailblazers, and leaders in their fields, inspiring the next generation of African women to pursue careers in STEM and driving innovation across the continent.
1. Juliana Rotich – Kenya
Juliana is a technologist, social entrepreneur, and co-founder of Ushahidi, a non-profit tech company that develops software for information collection, visualization, and interactive mapping. She also co-founded BRCK, a hardware and software company that provides internet connectivity solutions in rural areas.
2. Dr. Eng. Dorothy Okello – Uganda
Dr. Okello is a telecommunications engineer and the founder of Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET), a non-governmental organization that promotes the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for development. She is also a lecturer at Makerere University in Uganda and a member of the Uganda Communications Commission Board.
Rebecca is a tech entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of AppsTech, a global provider of enterprise application solutions. She is also the founder of the African Business Angels Network (ABAN), a network that connects early-stage investors with African startups.
4. Lilian Makoi – Tanzania
Lilian is the founder and CEO of Jamii Africa, a health insurance company that uses mobile technology to provide affordable health insurance to low-income communities in Tanzania.
Bethlehem is the founder and CEO of soleRebels, a footwear company that produces eco-friendly shoes using traditional Ethiopian weaving techniques. She also founded Garden of Coffee, a company that sources and roasts high-quality Ethiopian coffee beans.
6. Martha Mukaiwa – Namibia
Martha is the founder and CEO of Solar Shack, a renewable energy company that provides solar products and services to households and businesses in Namibia. Solar Shack has helped to bring affordable and reliable energy to communities in rural and urban areas of Namibia, and has won several awards for its innovative solutions.
7. Mariam Adoum – Chad
Mariam is the founder of WECODE, a coding school for girls in Chad. She is also the founder of Sahel Academy, a school that provides education and training in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields to students in Chad and other African countries.
8. Aissata Lam – Mali
Aissata is the founder and CEO of Edge Design, a digital marketing agency that provides web design, branding, and digital strategy services to businesses in Mali and other African countries. She is also the founder of Women in Business Mali, an organization that supports women entrepreneurs in Mali.
9. Refilwe Nkomo – Lesotho
Refilwe is the founder and CEO of RNF Digital Innovation, a software development company that provides mobile app and web development solutions to businesses in Lesotho and other African countries.
Rapelang is the founder and CEO of Rekindle Learning, an e-learning company that uses mobile technology to provide personalized education and training to individuals and organizations in South Africa and other African countries.
11. Amel Ghouila – Tunisia
Amel is a data scientist and the co-founder of DeepData, a startup that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide predictive analytics solutions to businesses in Tunisia and other countries.
12. Sherine El-Toukhy – Egypt
Sherine is the founder and CEO of Jereed, a social enterprise that uses technology to connect small-scale farmers in Egypt with markets and buyers. She is also the founder of FikraSpace, a co-working and entrepreneurship hub in Cairo.
13. Mariam Ouedraogo – Burkina Faso
Mariam is the founder and CEO of Labellisée, a mobile app that connects women entrepreneurs in Burkina Faso with financing and training opportunities. She is also the founder of Green’Up, a social enterprise that provides eco-friendly products and services to households in Burkina Faso.
Rachel is the founder and CEO of mHub, a technology hub that provides training, mentorship, and incubation services to startups and entrepreneurs in Malawi. She is also the founder of The Startup Accelerator, a program that supports early-stage startups in Malawi.
Chisenga Muyoya is the founder of Asikana Network, an organization that teaches young women the power of technology and aims to increase their participation in the ICT sector. She also works as a global shaper and consultant at the leading Zambian tech hub, Bongo Hive. Chisenga is committed to equipping young entrepreneurs with the skills they need to succeed in the digital world and ensure that Zambia stays ahead in the technology game.
16. Natalie Jabangwe – Zimbabwe
Natalie is the founder and CEO of EcoCash, a mobile payment and financial services platform that provides banking services to individuals and businesses in Zimbabwe. EcoCash has helped to improve access to financial services and promote financial inclusion in Zimbabwe, and has won several awards for its innovative solutions.
17. Ndeyanta Mbodge – Gambia
Ndeyanta is the founder and CEO of Green Up Gambia, a social enterprise that uses technology to connect farmers in Gambia with markets and buyers. She is also the founder of MiraSkills, a platform that provides training and skills development to young people in Gambia.
18. Ethel Cofie – Liberia
Ethel is the founder and CEO of EDEL Technology Consulting, a technology and digital consulting firm that provides software development, web design, and digital marketing services to businesses in Liberia and other African countries.
19. Maria Da Costa – Guinea Bissau
Maria is the founder and CEO of ACEGIS, a technology company that provides software development, web design, and digital marketing services to businesses in Guinea Bissau and other African countries.
20. Hélène Johnson – Benin
Hélène is the founder and CEO of EtriLabs, a technology and innovation hub that provides training, mentorship, and incubation services to startups and entrepreneurs in Benin.
21. Leilah Mahombe – Equatorial Guinea
Leilah is the founder and CEO of EcoGreen, a technology company that provides renewable energy solutions and services to businesses and households in Equatorial Guinea and other African countries.
22. Mariama Bonkano – Niger
Mariama is the founder and CEO of Nigerhack, a community of young developers and entrepreneurs in Niger that provides training, mentorship, and networking opportunities to tech enthusiasts and startups in Niger.
23. Sibongile Dlamini – Eswatini
Sibongile is the founder and CEO of Tintsaba, a social enterprise that uses technology to connect rural artisans in Eswatini with international markets. She is also the founder of the Tintsaba Craft Academy, a training program that provides skills development and employment opportunities to women in Eswatini.
24. Rahel Weldeab – Eritrea
Rahel is the founder and CEO of GeoTechVision, a technology company that provides geospatial solutions and services to businesses and organizations in Eritrea and other African countries. GeoTechVision has helped to improve planning, monitoring, and decision-making for agriculture, land management, and other sectors in Eritrea and other countries.
25. Thérèse Kirongozi – Democratic Republic of Congo
Thérèse Izay Kirongozi, an engineer and president of Women’s Technologies, is the designer of an intelligent circulation robot in Democratic Republic of Congo.
26. Ana Tavares Lattibeaudiere – Mozambique
Ana is the Director of External Affairs at Digicel Group, a telecommunications company that provides mobile and internet services to customers in the Caribbean, Central America, and the Pacific. She is also the founder of STEM Guyana, an organization that promotes science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education among young people in Guyana.
27. Angelique Antat – Seychelles
Angelique is the founder of SmartPay, a Seychelles-based mobile payment company. Antat’s work has been instrumental in promoting financial inclusion in Seychelles, where a significant portion of the population remains unbanked.
28. Vanisha K. Sumputh – Mauritius
Vanisha is the founder and CEO of AccelerTech, a Mauritian company that provides training and mentorship to aspiring entrepreneurs. Sumputh’s work has been instrumental in promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in Mauritius.
29. Zodwa Khumalo – Eswatini
Zodwa is the founder of Zodwa Khumalo Consulting, a technology consulting firm based in Eswatini. Khumalo’s work has been instrumental in promoting digital innovation and entrepreneurship in Eswatini. She is also a strong advocate for women in technology and has spoken at numerous events on the topic.
30. Fatouma Abdourahmane – Djibouti
Fatouma is the founder and CEO of iDRY, a Djibouti-based company that develops mobile apps and software solutions. Abdourahmane’s work has been instrumental in promoting digital innovation in Djibouti and providing technology solutions for the country’s growing economy. She is also a strong advocate for women in technology and entrepreneurship.
In conclusion, the world of digital technology and innovation is constantly evolving, and African women are making significant contributions to this field. From computer programming to data analytics and entrepreneurship, these 30 iconic African women have shattered barriers and defied stereotypes to become trailblazers in their respective fields. It is such iconic African women who inspire and motivate generations of women to pursue their dreams and create a more inclusive and diverse technology industry.