Given the increase in number of technology users, the rapid growth of mobility & the Internet, and increasing interest in Africa as a source of solutions, innovation and technical talent, the case for the continent being able to leapfrog in some ICT market segments (including mobile payments) is strong.
Africa’s ever-increasingly competitive technology environment features a number of people who have attracted domestic and international attention for their skill, talent and achievements.
In this list, ITNewsAfrica takes a closer look at ‘techpreneurs’ who have attracted interest from abroad, those who are making serious inroads internationally.
Chinedu Echeruo - Nigeria
In July 2013 tech giant Apple acquired startup venture HopStop.com, a mobile application that provides an online city transit guide for over 100 metropolitan areas worldwide. The startup was established by Nigerian entrepreneur Chinedu Echeruo. He grew up in Lagos where he attended KingsCollege. After completing his studies, he moved to the US in 1995 and obtained an MBA from HarvardBusinessSchool and a BS from SyracuseUniversity.
Derrydean Dadzie – Ghana
In Africa’s rapidly growing startup business community, differentiation is critical and global exposure an objective. For some, this may take time, for others it has been a quick progression – as is the case for Derrydean Dadzie, co-founder and CEO of DreamOval Limited, a provider of internet and mobile solutions, and developer of payment platforms for the financial and telecommunication sectors. Since inception in 2007, the Company has established a partner network that includes Kenya, Singapore and the US. It has also been said that Dadzie has also captured the attention of global media, with Crunchbase pointing out one international publication’s description of the entrepreneur, in which it was written of him: “… part of Africa’s emerging class of young entrepreneurs who are presenting a serious challenge to Western ideas of African economic development.”
Rebecca Enonchong – Cameroon
Tech entrepreneur Rebecca Enonchong is the founder and CEO of AppsTech, a global provider of enterprise application solutions. The Company, established in 1999, is reported to have a client base that includes 50 countries over three continents – Africa, Europe and North America. Rebecca has been selected as one of the 2013 WIE Africa power women in the business and technology category. AppsTech’s value proposition is the provision of enterprise software, service and support to international clients.
Clarisse Iribagize – Rwanda
Italian think tank LSDP (Lo Spazio della Politica) has listed Clarisse Iribagiza, a young Rwandan tech entrepreneur, among their top 100 global thinkers. LSDP explained that Iribagiza was added to the global list, as “she is one of the faces of a communicative and technological revolution in Africa.” Iribagiza is the founder and chief executive of Hehe Ltd, a start-up tech firm that majors in software development among other services. According to The New Times, “she was placed 32nd coming behind Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in a list that included political leaders, businessmen, scientists, academics, journalists and intellectual leaders selected from across the globe.”
June Arunga, Founder, CEO Open Quest Media LLC.
Kenyan June Arunga is the founder and CEO of New York-based multimedia production company Open Quest Media LLC. The company produces content for online and traditional broadcast and is focused on business in Africa. She is also known to have co-founded technology solutions provider Black Star Line SA with Ghana’s Herman Chinery-Hesse. Arunga has been identified as one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business.
Chris Tredger – Online Editor