The African tech ecosystem is evolving at an impressively fast pace. Many young Nigerians want a taste of this widely acclaimed goldmine that seems like the most legit ticket to financial freedom. With African startups attracting funding totalling $383,465,000 in September of 2022 alone, there is no doubt that tech will be a significant part of Africa’s future.
Nigeria has some of the best and most innovative techpreneurs proffering solutions to everyday problems that seemed unsolvable some years ago with the aid of technology. These solutions are why employment has become more accessible to Nigerian youths and why the tech industry made up 18.44% of Nigeria’s GDP in the second quarter of 2022 alone. This is outstanding compared to the 6.33% that the oil sector, which used to be the financial backbone of Nigeria, currently adds to its GDP. But with women in Sub-Saharan Africa making up only 30% of professionals in the tech industry, these tech-oriented solutions and jobs might not be as accessible as most Nigerians think.
Given the patriarchal history of Nigeria, this colossal gender gap in the tech industry is not surprising. However, many brilliant women have secured their place as powerful forces to reckon with in the tech industry. They are working tirelessly to make the industry more accessible for women in Nigeria.
Here are some Nigerian women changing the narrative and registering “Tech sis” as an alias that is just as desirable as “Tech bro”
This 28-year-old tech sis is mainly known for being the co-founder of PiggyVest, an online savings and investment platform that has won the heart of over 3.5 million Nigerians. Odun is also the co-founder of Feminist Coalition and FirstCheck Africa, two initiatives founded to foster the fight for gender equality in Nigeria. Contrary to what many believe, PiggyVest is not Odunayo’s first major project. In 2014, Odun, alongside Joshua Chibueze and Terry Kanu, set out to create an easy way “to connect verified employers to pre-screened candidates.” This idea birthed PushCV.
In an interview with Vogue India, Odun revealed that her tech journey “is very interspersed with journalism and writing” as she worked as editor-in-chief at Techpoint, founding writer at Zikoko and a staff writer at Konbini. Her passion for promoting the inclusion of more women in tech deeply stems from her journalism background. In an interview with The Guardian Nigeria in 2021, she says, “In 2013, I used to be a tech journalist, and I can count the number of women I wrote about. It is still very much a minority issue, and it needs to become a normal thing where we are not saying, the first woman to do this, the first woman to do that.”
Odunayo, who won Forbes Woman Africa Technology and Innovation Award earlier this year, has shown an admirable commitment to the fight against discrimination in the tech industry and every other patriarchy-plagued sector in Nigeria over the past few years.
Honey is one of the leading founders in the edu-tech sector. In May 2021, she founded Edukoya, a free learning platform that helps students prepare for major examinations. HHoney’sdistinctive educational experiences inspired Edukoya during her academic years in Nigeria and the UK. Even though most edu-tech startups in Nigeria close down during their first five years, Honey is determined to help as many Nigerian students as possible with Edukayo.
Although the company is still relatively early, it has recorded an outstanding continental record by raising $3.5 million in a pre-seed round, the largest figure raised by any startup in the African edu-tech sector. Honey Ogundeyi is one of the first female founders in Nigeria with several outstanding achievements, and she continues to inspire many young women across the country.
Ada Nduka Oyom:
In 2016, Ada founded SHE CODE AFRICA, a nonprofit organization committed to empowering young girls and women in Africa with technological skills. As of 2022, SCA has been able to empower 17,000 members across the African continent, and they are nowhere close to being done. Ada, a self-taught software developer, is one of the most vocal voices regarding the advocacy of gender diversity in the African tech ecosystem. SCA shows Ada’s passion for ensuring African women are equally represented in every tech-oriented career role.
Ada is on a mission to create a community where women can confidently transition into tech and thrive in an industry that is still densely male-dominated through She Code Africa. The NGO, which started as an initiative to share inspiring stories about African women in tech, has now become an exemplary community that has trained about 7,000 women for free. For someone like Ada, that has achieved notable successes in the tech industry, it is inspiring that she is not paving the path for other women to walk through, but she is also guiding them as they walk through that path.
Adia is the first female Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of MTN, Nigeria’s oldest and most prominent telecommunication company. If there is anything Adia knows best, it is to have her presence felt in positions usually reserved for men. She has come a long way in her tech career, and she has several years of outstanding achievements to show for it. One of those achievements is her appointment as the interim CEO of Thrive Agric and her appointment as the VP for Growth at Migo in San Francisco.
She also held different positions at Etisalat, where she worked for 7 years. Adia Sowho’sintelligence and hard work over the long years of her career continue to inspire many women to become a part of the growing tech industry.
Eloho is an early-stage investor advocating for gender equality in the African tech and entrepreneurship sector. Eloho cofounded FirstCheck Africa, an angel program that “is an early believer for a generation of African women in tech” She is also a partner at TLcom Capital, an African-focused VC firm. Eloho has achieved so much over the past few years. Still, her passion for helping African women with entrepreneurial potential and tech skills achieve their dreams remains intact, and with FirstCheck, her passion is yielding great results.
“FirstCheck Africa is built with a mission to advance equity, capital and leadership for a generation of women in Africa through technology and entrepreneurship. We [want to close] the disturbing gender gaps in power, wealth and professional achievement across the continent. In the long-term, we hope FirstCheck Africa will be a platform through which the women in our portfolio pay it forward by helping other women in Africa do the same thing.”She says in an interview with Vogue India