TECH STARS

TECH STARS (771)

She aims to assist businesses and financial institutions in achieving their goals. She offers smart, data-driven solutions to support them in their decision-making processes.

Tebogo Mokwena (photo) is a South African entrepreneur and technology enthusiast. Co-founder of Akiba Digital in 2018, she has led the startup since 2020, helping financial institutions make better decisions.

Akiba Digital is a financial platform that leverages artificial intelligence and data to democratize access to financial opportunities. The company enables small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as consumers, to achieve their financial goals. 

The company aims to "credit more accessible to customers who have been previously excluded by the credit bureaus and credit invisible for a long time, including small business & customers who are either unbanked or underbanked," explained Tebogo Mokwena in 2023.

As a data aggregator, Akiba Digital helps financial institutions create unique profiles of their clients to enhance decision-making. With advanced data analysis and risk assessment tools, the company automates client verification processes. This allows financial service providers to detect and mitigate fraudulent activities, protecting both their operations and their clients.

Before Akiba Digital, Tebogo Mokwena founded Pach-it in 2014, a women-led web and mobile development startup. Their first product, Funda Nathi, is an educational app aimed at helping disadvantaged South African students achieve their academic potential.

The entrepreneur is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she earned a bachelor's degree in genetics in 2014. In 2015, she received a bachelor's degree in computer science, genetics, and biochemistry after three years of study at the University of Cape Town. She also holds a master's degree in machine learning, obtained in 2019 from the University of Lugano.

Between 2014 and 2017, Tebogo Mokwena served as president of World Merit, a community for global change-makers. In 2015, she was associated with iXperience, a South African tech company, and in 2016, she worked as a software developer at Allan Gray Proprietary, a private investment management firm. From 2016 to 2017, she worked as a digital consultant for McKinsey & Company.

Melchior Koba

 

Posted On vendredi, 14 juin 2024 09:21 Written by

Access to detailed employment data enables targeted interventions to address critical issues such as high youth unemployment, poverty, and limited economic diversification.The initiative aligns with Africa's broader goals of leveraging technology and education to foster inclusive growth.

World Data Lab, in partnership with Mastercard Foundation, launched the Africa Youth Employment Clock in Ghana, World data lab announced on June 12. This innovative tool offers real-time data on job growth, providing critical insights into employment trends and opportunities for Africa's youth.

The Africa Youth Employment Clock is a first of its kind providing consistent, comparable labour market statistics forecasting till 2030 for youth employment in Africa. Our aim is to ensure that decision makers are equipped with the right information to effect change for the youngest workforce in the world. We are proud to be partnering with the Mastercard Foundation to shape a better understanding of youth employment.” said Vice President Strategic Engagements, World Data Lab Dr. Reshma Sheoraj.

Since its inception, the Africa Youth Employment Clock has been pivotal in fostering discussions and actions to empower Africa's youth. Offering comprehensive data for all 54 African states and detailed sub-national data for Ghana, Kenya, and Rwanda, it serves policymakers, stakeholders, and advocates focused on youth empowerment and economic development. More than a data tool, it provides actionable insights, enabling informed decisions and impactful strategies to address unemployment, poverty, and economic diversification challenges.

Mastercard highlights a significant gap between the number of young people seeking employment and the limited opportunities available. In sub-Saharan Africa, 18 million jobs need to be created annually to absorb new labor market entrants, yet only 3 million formal jobs are currently being generated, as revealed by the African-Europe Foundation in its 2022 report on Migration and Mobility.

To address this, the Mastercard Foundation aims to help 30 million young Africans secure dignified work by 2030. This goal aligns with initiatives like the Africa Youth Employment Clock, which democratizes data and informs decisions in public and private sectors. Additionally, the foundation supports the Youth Forward Initiative, connecting youth to jobs in construction and agriculture, and the Youth Think Tank, which involves young people in researching and documenting community challenges and aspirations.

Hikmatu Bilali

Posted On jeudi, 13 juin 2024 13:47 Written by

His goal is to boost the efficiency of companies' field sales teams. He offers mobile technologies that help them achieve their objectives.

Sam Clarke (photo) is the co-founder and CEO of Skynamo. Hailing from South Africa, he leverages technology to support the country's sales teams, providing them with the information, analytics, and freedom necessary to meet and exceed their companies' goals.

Founded in 2012, Skynamo offers a mobile sales app designed for manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors employing field representatives. This app automates repetitive administrative tasks that slow down and bore salespeople, allowing them to save time, strengthen customer relationships, and increase sales.

Skynamo also provides business owners and sales managers with better control and greater transparency. With a real-time dashboard, they can monitor all field sales activities and analyze the results. The Skynamo app integrates with various ERP and accounting software, enabling sales representatives to access up-to-date information on prices, customers, and inventory even when they are on the road. The company manages nearly 500,000 client visits, 3 million customer relationships, 2 million products, and has recorded 130,000 orders worth over $70 million for its clients.

In addition to his role at Skynamo, Sam Clarke is an active philanthropist. He sits on the board of the Anna Foundation, an organization that supports underprivileged schools and communities by providing educational, social, and environmental support, as well as essential skills for children.

Clarke holds a master's degree in Computational Electromagnetics from Stellenbosch University, obtained in 2002, and a master's degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of Cape Town, earned in 2007. He has accumulated extensive professional experience working for various South African tech companies. From 2008 to 2012, he was the Managing Director of Magus, the first company he co-founded. Between 2015 and 2019, he served as a Non-Executive Director of Sazo Labs, specializing in virtual and augmented reality software development, and Alchemy-A, a business accelerator in the software and electronics sectors.

Melchior Koba

 

Posted On jeudi, 13 juin 2024 10:23 Written by

Alain Ekambi (photo) is a Cameroonian computer scientist and tech entrepreneur. As the co-founder and director of Dikalo, he designs technologies that enable people to connect with friends and family, find communities, and grow their businesses.
Founded in 2017 by Alain Ekambi, Daniel Agnéro, Bitoa Pedenkil, and Kate Awanka, Dikalo is a social network with a mission to become Africa's best. Its priority is to connect people while protecting their privacy. Dikalo also aims to stimulate business growth, create jobs, and strengthen the local economy. Through Hoka, its integrated mobile payment feature, Dikalo enables instant bankless money transfers and receptions.
"Dikalo focuses on Africa with features and services tailored to the continent and its people (stickers, Afro emojis, money transfers, e-commerce, etc.). We are authentically African, something WhatsApp will never be. We need our own communication tools because our revolution is more ideological than technological," said Alain Ekambi in 2019.
In 2014, Ekambi founded Ahomé Innovation Technologies with Togolese entrepreneur Elom Amouh. This consulting firm is based in Germany.
Alain Ekambi holds a degree in computer science, obtained in 2010 from Wilhem Büchner University. After his studies, he worked as a software architect at jambit, a German software services provider. Between 2010 and 2014, he was a software engineer at NTT Data Germany, an innovator in business and technology services.

Posted On jeudi, 13 juin 2024 10:12 Written by

A seasoned serial entrepreneur with extensive experience in technology, he leads an incubator that helps young Congolese become successful tech entrepreneurs.

Jean-François (Max) Bonbhel (photo) is a Congolese entrepreneur. As the founder and CEO of Yekolab, he provides startup incubation services and supports young Congolese tech entrepreneurs.

Founded in 2014, Yekolab is both a startup incubator and a center of excellence for training in new technologies and emerging professions. By leveraging the power of ICT, it promotes innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation in Congo and across Africa.

In addition to incubation, Yekolab selects and mentors promising tech entrepreneurs, enhancing their technical and managerial skills. The incubator also offers acceleration services to local and regional SMEs, focusing on technology to help them increase their market share and become leaders in their respective fields.

Max Bonbhel is also the founder and president of Africa Java User Groups, a coordination network for Java programming language user groups in Africa. Furthermore, he founded and leads JCertif International, an organization established in 2009 that provides free training materials and speakers, and fosters collaboration among technology user groups on the African continent.

Since 2011, Max Bonbhel has worked as a freelance technical writer for Oracle. He is also a co-founder and the CTO of Access EMI, a U.S.-based company established in 2014 that connects tech businesses with tech communities.

An alumnus of Evry Paris-Saclay University, where he studied from 2000 to 2002, Bonbhel worked for several years at Fujitsu Canada. From 2004 to 2014, he served as a Java consultant, trainer, and project manager.

Melchior Koba


Posted On mercredi, 12 juin 2024 09:41 Written by

She embodies excellence and innovation in the Kenyan digital sector. By supporting businesses and institutions in her country, she helps them succeed in their digital transformation and thrive in an increasingly technological world.

Brendah Mwirichia (photo) is a renowned Kenyan entrepreneur in the digital, technology, and marketing sectors. She is the founder and CEO of Peak and Dale Solutions, a creative and digital agency.

Founded in 2009, Peak and Dale Solutions stands out for its innovative digital solutions designed to help businesses start, operate, and grow. The agency offers a comprehensive range of services, including digital marketing, social media management, website design and development, content management systems (CMS), e-commerce solutions, and search engine optimization (SEO).

Over 15 years, Peak and Dale Solutions has collaborated with a diverse clientele, ranging from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to large corporations, as well as public bodies and non-governmental organizations. Through its user-centric and customized solutions, the agency has helped these entities thrive and become more competitive in their respective markets.

The company has also been repeatedly recognized for its excellence. At the Kenya eCommerce Awards, it was named eCommerce Agency of the Year in 2021, 2022, and 2023, and won the bronze medal for eCommerce SEO Agency of the Year in 2023. This year, Peak and Dale Solutions is nominated in three categories, reaffirming its leadership position in the sector.

Brendah Mwirichia has a strong academic background. She graduated from the University of Sunderland, England, in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in business computing. She also holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics, obtained in 2006 from the University of Nairobi. Between 2021 and 2022, she completed the Stanford Seed Transformation Program at Stanford University Graduate School of Business, enhancing her management and leadership skills.

Her professional career began in 2004 at Celtel Kenya (now Airtel Kenya) as an IT manager. In 2006, she joined Edgenet Ltd, a Kenyan technology company, as a lead software developer. From 2014 to 2018, she served as vice-chair of the Domain Registrars Association of Kenya, an independent non-profit organization promoting the Internet.

Melchior Koba

Posted On mardi, 11 juin 2024 14:36 Written by

A computer scientist by training, she stands out for her expertise and innovation in the field of drones. She leverages her skills in this sector to address various needs in her country.

Marang Mbaakanyi (photo) is a Botswanan computer scientist and entrepreneur. She is also the founder and CEO of Drones for Africa, a company specializing in using drones to address various challenges across the African continent.

Founded in 2019, Drones for Africa positions itself as a one-stop shop for the sale of all types of drones. In 2023, the company began designing, building, and operating drones for various services, including medical supply delivery and data collection. They also provide last-mile agricultural services, train drone pilots, and offer repair and maintenance services.

The company also has a research and development center to contribute to the advancement of drone technology in Botswana. "We also have a Research and Development Centre where we keep looking for new approaches to investigate and develop the drone market. We want to be able to fabricate and put together drones locally," Marang Mbaakanyi stated in 2023.

Marang Mbaakanyi holds a bachelor's degree in computer systems engineering from the University of Sunderland, UK, obtained in 2014. She also earned a master's degree in computer science in 2021 from the Botswana International University of Science and Technology.

After her studies, Marang Mbaakanyi gained extensive experience working for several companies and institutions in Botswana. From 2015 to 2018, she served as IT manager at the Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI). Concurrently, from 2016 to 2023, she was a research assistant at the Botswana International University of Science and Technology. Between 2021 and 2023, she also served as deputy general manager of the Drone Technology Centre, dedicated to developing innovative solutions in the field.

Melchior Koba


Posted On mardi, 11 juin 2024 10:31 Written by

He aims to democratize access to financial services in Africa. To achieve that goal, he leverages technology to offer innovative solutions that simplify financial transactions for the population. 

Barry Abdoulaye (photo) is a Guinean computer scientist and entrepreneur dedicated to the digital transformation of Africa. He is the founder and CEO of YMO, a startup building technological solutions to address financial inclusion challenges in Africa.

"In 2022, 1.3 billion Africans are still excluded from the traditional financial system. We believe that it is possible to have an account, receive money, and send money without handling cash. That is what we offer," Barry Abdoulaye stated in 2022.

Launched in 2019, YMO aims to revolutionize payments in Africa and for the African diaspora. The company develops accessible digital solutions that allow African citizens to perform instant financial transactions, both within the continent and internationally. For the diaspora, YMO provides simple and affordable ways to send money and invest in the continent.

YMO's ultimate ambition is to become the first pan-African neobank, open to everyone. To achieve this, the startup partners with credit institutions to facilitate access to credit via mobile phones. Based in France, YMO already boasts over 500,000 users across more than 30 countries in Europe and Africa.

Before embarking on the YMO venture, Barry Abdoulaye had already proven himself as an entrepreneur. In 2017, he founded Yitoo Technology, a firm specializing in software architecture and development, which he led until 2020.

A trained computer engineer with a master’s degree obtained in 2010, Barry Abdoulaye has also pursued advanced supplementary training. In 2018, he earned the Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) certification, demonstrating his expertise in agile methodologies. In 2020, he undertook a course on blockchain technologies at the prestigious MIT Sloan School of Management.

His professional journey is equally rich, with experiences in renowned companies such as the communication agency Isobar, the media company TF1, telecom operator SFR Business, AXA Tech, and Prisma Media, where he held various developer positions.

Melchior Koba

Posted On lundi, 10 juin 2024 16:46 Written by

She aims to help African traders and those around the world at large prosper.  To achieve this, she leverages technology to simplify transactions between the various parties involved in buying and selling processes.

Anu Adedoyin Adasolum (photo) is a Nigerian entrepreneur and the co-founder and CEO of Sabi, a startup that leverages technology to help traders grow their businesses. 

Founded in 2021, her company, Sabi, has built a robust infrastructure for the distribution of physical goods and merchandise. Through its digital platform, it provides agents, traders, wholesalers, aggregators, distributors, and manufacturers with the necessary tools to enhance their capabilities and grow their businesses.

This digital infrastructure facilitates access to order fulfillment, logistics, business management tools, a business-to-business (B2B) marketplace, data, and financial services. In essence, Sabi has become a one-stop shop for everyone involved in buying and selling goods.

In just three years, Sabi has experienced exponential growth, demonstrating the relevance of its business model. With 250,000 registered users and 15,000 monthly facilitated orders, the company has established itself as a key player in Nigeria, its primary market. Buoyed by this success, Sabi has expanded its operations to South Africa and aims to replicate this success in other countries like Tanzania and Senegal.

Anu Adedoyin Adasolum graduated from SOAS University of London with a bachelor's degree in economics and politics in 2009. She also holds a master's degree in management, organization, and governance from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Before founding Sabi, she held various positions of responsibility within renowned companies. In 2011, she began as an operations planner at Dangote Industries Ltd. In 2012, she joined KPMG Nigeria as a business analyst.

In 2014, she was hired by the e-commerce startup Jumia in Nigeria, where she served as head of sourcing and internal procurement, head of vendor acquisition, and vice president of JForce, Jumia's direct sales division. Between 2018 and 2021, she worked at Rensource Energy, a solar energy provider, where she served successively as general manager and chief operating officer.

Melchior Koba

 

Posted On lundi, 10 juin 2024 11:31 Written by

A computer science graduate, she actively helps young people create innovative technological solutions. She has received numerous awards and honors for her positive impact on Africa.

Clarisse Iribagiza (photo) is a Rwandan computer scientist and the co-founder of DeepTechAfrica, a venture studio and investment fund. 

Established in 2022, DeepTechAfrica was founded in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Legatum Center for Entrepreneurship and Development. It aims to develop inclusive and sustainable ecosystems focused on innovation. The organization focuses on the commercialization of research, provides consulting services, and offers educational programs. It primarily invests in deep tech startups in Africa.

Clarisse Iribagiza also serves on the board of the Allan and Gill Gray Philanthropy in East Africa, which supports the entrepreneurial ecosystem through grants and the incubation of targeted social enterprises. She is also a board member of the Africa Climate Foundation, an African strategic organization focusing on climate change and development. Additionally, she is part of the African Development Bank's Presidential Youth Advisory Group.

Before launching DeepTechAfrica, Clarisse Iribagiza founded the startup HeHe in 2010. HeHe leverages technology to create an efficient logistics service, connecting manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and end consumers, while providing access to a variety of on-demand goods and services.

She graduated from the College of Science and Technology at the University of Rwanda, earning a Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering in 2011. She also holds a Master's degree in Organizational Leadership from the African Leadership University’s School of Business, obtained in 2018.

Her influence and achievements have been widely recognized. She was named among Africa’s 20 most influential people at the continent’s business leaders summit in 2012. In 2013, she received the "Celebrating Young Rwandan Achievers" (CYRWA) award from the Imbuto Foundation. In 2015, Forbes named her among the most promising young African entrepreneurs under 30.

Melchior Koba

 

Posted On mercredi, 05 juin 2024 10:15 Written by
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