Tech Titans: 35 Trailblazers Who Shaped Africa's Tech Landscape in 2023

Africa’s tech ecosystem is booming, and 2023 has been a particularly defining year for innovation and progress.

From visionary policymakers and venture capitalists to tech journalists and startup founders, a diverse group of individuals have played a pivotal role in shaping this exciting landscape.

Empower Africa is proud to present the “Tech Titans: 35 Trailblazers Who Shaped Africa’s Tech Landscape in 2023,” a celebration of the individuals who have driven transformative change throughout the year.

Each of these 35 titans has made a significant contribution, and their collective efforts are propelling Africa’s tech ecosystem to new heights.

1. Mounir Nakhla (Founder and CEO of MNT-Halan)

Nakhla’s leadership has revolutionized Egypt’s fintech scene with MNT-Halan, a leading mobile money platform.

His dedication to financial inclusion has empowered millions of Egyptians and paved the way for broader fintech adoption across Africa.

This year, MNT-Halan became Egypt’s first unicorn.

2. Pascal Murasira (Managing Director for Norrsken, East Africa)

Murasira’s passion for supporting early-stage tech startups is evident in his work at Norrsken, a Swedish impact investor. His commitment to nurturing innovation has empowered countless East African entrepreneurs and fueled the region’s tech growth.

3. Oyin Solebo (Managing Director, ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator)

Solebo’s expertise in nurturing tech talent has been instrumental in the success of ARM Labs, a leading accelerator program in Nigeria. Her dedication to empowering young entrepreneurs is shaping the future of Nigeria’s tech scene.

4. Agnes Gathaiya (Country Director, Eastern Africa – Google)

Gathaiya’s leadership at Google has been instrumental in driving internet access and digital literacy across Eastern Africa. Her commitment to bridging the digital divide is ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to participate in the tech revolution.

5. Andrew Fassnidge (Founder, Africa Tech Summit)

Fassnidge’s vision for the Africa Tech Summit has created a premier platform for connecting investors, entrepreneurs, and policymakers across the continent. His tireless efforts have fostered collaboration and fueled investment in Africa’s tech sector.

6. Eunice Ajim (Founding Partner, Ajim Capital)

Ajim’s investment savvy has made Ajim Capital a leading force in Africa’s venture capital landscape. Her focus on early-stage tech startups with high growth potential is unlocking innovation and creating jobs across the continent.

7. Caleb Maru (Founder of Tech Safari)

Maru’s Tech Safari platform is a go-to resource for news and insights on Africa’s tech scene. His dedication to storytelling has shed light on the continent’s tech revolution and inspired countless innovators.

8. Irene Phoebe Kiwia (Co-Founder, Adanian Labs)

Kiwia’s work at Adanian Labs is at the forefront of artificial intelligence development in Africa. Her focus on using AI to solve local challenges is paving the way for a more equitable and sustainable future.

9. Addis Alemayehou (Chairman, Kazana Group)

Alemayehou’s visionary leadership has made Kazana Group a leading player in Ethiopia’s tech sector. His commitment to building world-class technology companies is putting Ethiopia on the map as a tech hub.

10. Keet van Zyl (Partner & Co-Founder, Knife Capital)

Van Zyl’s sharp eye for promising tech startups has made Knife Capital a leading venture capital firm in South Africa. Her dedication to supporting early-stage ventures is fueling innovation and job creation across the country.

11. Alex Okosi (Managing Director, Africa, Google)

Okosi’s leadership at Google is driving digital inclusion and economic growth across Africa. His focus on connecting people and businesses through technology is having a transformative impact on the continent.

12. Mumbi Ndung’u (Chief Of Growth & Operations, Power Learn Project – Africa)

Ndung’u’s commitment to developing Africa’s tech talent is evident in her work at the Power Learn Project. Her dedication to equipping young people with the skills they need to succeed in the tech industry is shaping the future workforce.

13. Aida Diarra – Senior VP and Head of Sub-Saharan Africa, at Visa

Aida Diarra stands as a formidable figure in Africa’s technology and finance landscape. With a career marked by innovation and a commitment to driving financial inclusion, Diarra has been a catalyst for transformative change.

14. Maxime Bayen – Co-Founder, Africa: The Big Deal

Maxime is passionate about the role of entrepreneurship and tech in economic development. He has been working within the African startup ecosystem for almost a decade.

15. Maya Horgan Famodu – Partner and Founder, Ingressive Capital

Famodu’s impact on the investment landscape is significant, with Ingressive Capital playing a crucial role in supporting early-stage startups and fostering innovation across the continent.

16. Omar Laalej – Managing Director, Al Mada Ventures

Laalej’s strategic vision at Al Mada Ventures has positioned the firm as a key player in fostering technology-driven solutions, contributing to the digital transformation of industries across Africa.

17. Ralf Fletcher – CEO, Topco Media

Fletcher’s leadership at Topco Media has elevated the visibility of African tech achievements, creating platforms that celebrate success stories and inspire the next generation of innovators.

18. Tunji Andrews – CEO at Awabah

Andrews’ commitment to financial inclusion shines through Awabah.

In November, Awabah, a digital technology company focused on building wealth and providing financial sustainability to informal sector workers, was named the Best Newcomer at the GSA Africa Awards.

19. Rebecca Enonchong – CEO of AppsTech

A stalwart in the tech industry, Enonchong’s leadership at AppsTech has played a crucial role in driving digital transformation, providing innovative solutions to businesses across the continent.

20. Zekarias Amsalu Dubale – Founder, Africa Fintech Summit

Dubale’s vision for the Africa Fintech Summit has fostered collaboration and dialogue, positioning Africa as a hub for fintech innovation and investment.

21. Paula Gilbert – Editor at Connecting Africa

Gilbert’s role as an editor at Connecting Africa has been pivotal in amplifying the voices and stories of Africa’s tech ecosystem, fostering a sense of community and shared knowledge.

22. Iyinoluwa Aboyeji – Founder of Future Africa

Aboyeji’s commitment to nurturing African tech talent is evident through Future Africa, where he empowers entrepreneurs with the resources and mentorship needed to bring their ideas to fruition.

23. Folake Owodunni – Co-Founder & CEO, Emergency Response Africa

Owodunni’s leadership at Emergency Response Africa has harnessed technology to save lives, providing innovative solutions for emergency response and healthcare access across the continent.

24. Aki Anastasiou – Journalist, MyBroadband

A leading tech journalist, Anastasiou’s insightful reporting at MyBroadband has been instrumental in keeping audiences informed about the latest developments and trends in the African tech landscape.

25. Hardy Pemhiwa – Group President & CEO, Cassava Technologies

Pemhiwa’s leadership at Cassava Technologies has been transformative, leveraging digital solutions to enhance connectivity.

26. Tage Kene-Okafor – Reporter at TechCrunch

Kene-Okafor’s insightful reporting at TechCrunch has brought global attention to African tech innovations, bridging the gap between the continent and the international tech community.

27. Ramez El-Serafy – CEO at Flat6Labs

El-Serafy’s leadership at Flat6Labs has been instrumental in fostering a vibrant startup ecosystem, providing crucial support and mentorship for entrepreneurs across Africa.

28. Magalie Gauze-Sanga – Founder, Koree

Gauze-Sanga’s entrepreneurial spirit shines through Koree.

Koree, a Cameroonian fintech company, was crowned the winner of the 2023 Ecobank Fintech Challenge.

29. Kidus Asfaw – CEO & Co-Founder at Kubik, Inc

Kubik won the startup of the year award at the Global Startup Awards in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The company employs cutting-edge technology for recycling and repurposing plastic waste into green, cost-effective, and long-lasting low-carbon building materials.

30. Lionel Marumahoko – Board President, Uncommon.org

Marumahoko’s commitment to education technology at Uncommon.org has opened new possibilities for learning.

31. Kola Aina – Founding Partner at Ventures Platform

Aina’s role at Ventures Platform has been transformative, providing strategic investment and support for startups, accelerating their growth and impact on the African tech landscape.

32. Khalil Azzouzi – Partner at Azur Innovation Management

Azzouzi is one of the driving forces behind Azur Innovation Management.

Founded in 2020, Azur Innovation Management is a venture capital firm based out of Casablanca, Morocco. It invests in agriculture, consumer products and services, manufacturing and beauty sectors.

33. Juliet Ehimuan – Founder, Beyond Limits

Ehimuan’s leadership at Beyond Limits has elevated the role of technology in addressing societal challenges, pioneering solutions that create lasting impact.

34. Olumide Balogun – Director, West Africa at Google

Balogun’s role at Google West Africa has been pivotal in expanding the tech giant’s footprint, fostering digital inclusion, and empowering local businesses through innovative solutions.

35. Joyce-Ann Wainaina – Managing Partner, Chui Ventures

Wainaina’s leadership at Chui Ventures has contributed to the transformation of the tech landscape, guiding businesses towards sustainable growth and social impact.

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