The growth and investment in the African tech scene have undergone rapid acceleration in recent years. Nigeria is becoming known for its innovative tech startups and being an epicenter and hub for some of the biggest tech companies on the African content like Flutterwave, Paystack, and Konga. Nigeria has a vibrant tech ecosystem.
Lagos in particular has gained global recognition as a thriving tech hub, often referred to as “Silicon Lagoon” that is fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.
This fertile ground for everything technology has produced an outstanding harvest of leaders who are worthy of recognition.
Here is a list of some of Africa’s most influential tech entrepreneurs who have broken ground in the industry and what they have done to achieve notoriety.
- Strive Masiyiwa: Strive is known for pioneering mobile telecommunications in Africa through Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. He played a crucial role in bringing mobile telephony to Zimbabwe and other African countries, addressing communication challenges, and fostering economic development. He is a Zimbabwean billionaire and philanthropist well known for working at the intersection of technology and transformational change.
- Rebecca Enonchong, FREng: Rebecca is known for her bespoke leadership in providing enterprise application solutions through AppsTech. Her company has developed and implemented advanced enterprise software solutions that empower African businesses with efficient and scalable technology tools.
- Iyinoluwa Aboyeji: Iyinoluwa is influential for co-founding Andela and Future Africa, supporting tech talent development and startups. The company identifies, trains, and connects African software developers with global companies, while Future Africa invests in and nurtures the next generation of African entrepreneurs.
- Mitchell Elegbe: Mitchell Elegbe is the founder of Interswitch Group, a pioneer in Nigerian fintech. The company introduced innovative payment processing solutions and financial services, transforming the way transactions are conducted in Africa.
- Ashish Thakkar: Ashish Thakkar is influential for his entrepreneurial ventures across multiple sectors with Mara Group. The group supports various ventures and startups, and it is known for its commitment to advancing business opportunities and development in the region.
- Chris Folayan: Chris is the founder of Mall for Africa which is revolutionizing cross-border e-commerce in Africa. The company enables Africans to shop online from over 250 US and UK retailers and offers a seamless and secure platform for international purchases.
- Jason Njoku: Jason is a Nigerian-British social entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of IrokoTV, a web-based platform that provides free and paid-for Nigerian films on-demand. He is also the founder of IROKO Partners, an online Nigerian entertainment media distribution company that offers online media products.
- Tayo Oviosu: Tayo is the founder and CEO of Paga, a Lagos-based mobile money service. Paga was launched in Nigeria in April 2009. He has gained significant recognition for his contribution to African Innovation and forms part of the growing return of African Innovators to the continent. In addition to the success of his Fintech startup, he co-founded Kairos Angels, an angel investment club. 9
- Omar Cissé: Omar is a Senegalese entrepreneur and investor, focusing on fintech and is especially dedicated to fostering the growth of the African entrepreneurial landscape. He serves as the CEO and founder of InTouch, a fintech startup based in Dakar. Additionally, he is a co-founder of InTouch, a fintech startup based in Dakar. He is also the co-founder of Teranga Capital, an investment fund designed to provide crucial support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Senegal. Renowned for his exceptional strategic acumen and profound grasp of financial technology he is highly esteemed for his instrumental role in bolstering Senegalese SMEs in their business pursuits.
- Eric Thimba: Eric is the Founder of Mookh Africa – a tech company that focuses on building platforms that help African creatives make money. He is also the founder of The Ideas Company, an African ideation think tank, and Ujuaji Podcast – a platform that is aimed at providing thought leadership to young Africans through provoking discussion. The ultimate objective of these discussions is to inspire youth-led ideas and solutions towards building a better Africa.