Nigerian Women in Tech: Breaking Barriers and Making Strides

by Oghenechovwe Eghwrudjakpo
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Nigerian women in tech are making giant strides in the industry. They are breaking barriers, making significant contributions to the tech world, and, most importantly, inspiring us with their talents and brilliant innovations. Women in tech in Nigeria have shown us strength by defying all odds to pursue a career in technology. 

The tech industry has always been male-dominated, and women have faced several challenges striving to thrive in tech. Societal hierarchy, male dominance, cultural bias, generalized discrimination and prejudice against women are some challenges women in tech have faced in excelling in the industry. 

It’s inspiring to see women thriving and excelling in technology in Nigeria alongside their male counterparts. So, in this article, we bring you 7 successful Nigerian women in tech who are breaking barriers in the industry.

7 Successful Nigerian Women in Tech Who Are Breaking Barriers

  1. Funke Opeke

She is one of Nigeria’s leading women in tech and the founder of Main Street Technologies. Funke is also the CEO of Main One Cable Company, a communications service company. She studied electrical engineering at Obafemi Awolowo University and has a master’s degree from Columbia University. 

Funke started her cable company in 2008 to provide service and network solutions to the poor internet connectivity in Nigeria. She founded Africa’s biggest cable company. In 2015, the company extended a submarine cable from Lagos to Cameroon.

In 2012, she was named “Business Woman of the Year” by CNBC All Africa. In 2013, she was among Africa’s Most Powerful Women in Technology. In 2018, Forbes listed her as part of The World’s Top 50 Women in Tech. Funke Opeke is a female Nigerian tech professional who has inspired many others in the tech industry. 

  1. Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin

Abisoye is one of Nigeria’s successful women in tech making strides in the industry. She founded Pearls Africa Youth Foundation in 2012 to educate young girls and women whilst providing access to technology. She is the organiser of GirlsCoding where she helps and empowers young girls with coding skills. 

She is a trailblazer and an icon in the tech industry, inspiring many others. In 2018, she was named one of the top ten CNN Heroes and listed as one of BBC’s 100 women in tech. She is a professional woman in tech with experience in information technology, computer programming and data analysis.

  1. Anie Akpe

Anie is one of Nigeria’s leading women in tech and the founder of African Women In Tech. She is a tech educator, and through her interest in technology, she helps women learn basic tech skills alongside mentorship within technology. She founded IBOM LLC, where she provides high-quality small business education and relevant, comprehensive assistance to the African Diaspora community via seminars and cultural and tech events.

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  1. Kemisola Bolarinwa

Kemisola is a role model for women in STEM and women in tech in Nigeria.  She is the Chief Executive Officer of Nextwear Technology, the first wearable technology startup in Nigeria, a company she founded in 2019. 

She is very passionate about technology and has made brilliant innovations. She created a wearable smart bra that helps to detect cancer. She is committed to using technology to impact the health and lives of women. She also advocates for STEM education for girls.

  1. Odunayo Eweniyi

She co-founded PiggyVest, a digital savings platform that helps people save and invest their money. She is also the co-founder of Feminist Coalition. With a first-class degree in computer engineering, she and two others Somto Ifezue and Joshua Chibueze ventured into a tech startup. They launched Push CV and PiggyVest.

Odunayo also co-launched First Check, a platform that helps and supports female-led startups in Africa. She is one of Nigeria’s leading women in tech. In 2018, she won the Future Awards Africa Prize in technology. 

She was recognized by the Forbes 30 under 30 technology list in 2019.  Eweniyi was also on Forbes Africa’s list of 20 New Wealth creators in 2019. In 2022, Odunayo Eweniyi was awarded the Forbes Woman Africa Technology and Innovation Award.

  1. Oreoluwa Somolu Lesi

Lesi is a social entrepreneur, a UK-trained economist and an information technology expert. She is a female Nigerian tech professional, a STEM and gender specialist with professional experience in Technology, Gender and Social Entrepreneurship. 

In 2008, she founded the Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC). It is a nonprofit organization committed to nurturing the next generation of women technology operators, entrepreneurs and leaders. In 2018, she was named “Her Network Technology Woman of the Year.” In 2020, she was recognized as one of OkayAfrica’s 100 women.  She has also received the Anita Borg Change Agent Award for her contribution to supporting women in computing in Nigeria.

  1. Jennie Nwokoye

Jennie Nwokoye is proof that women in tech are making groundbreaking innovations in the tech industry with brilliant startups that have affected the community positively. She is the co-founder of Clafiya, a leading platform for easy access to health care, with a mission to promote healthy communities throughout Nigeria and Africa with advanced technology. 

They offer health consultations, health education, medical tests and patient diagnoses. Clafiya is a health-tech startup removing the barriers to accessing basic healthcare in Nigeria with its USSD features. It has also combined telemedicine and in-person visits features. Jennie has been listed among Forbes Next 1000 persons.

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In the past years, the tech industry has been male-dominated and saturated. Recently, we have seen Nigerian women in tech break barriers and defy all odds to build tech startups that have benefitted society. The government has also recognized the importance of female representation in the tech sector.

Women in tech have continued to pave the way, creating a safe space for the next generation of female tech startups and leaders. In the coming years, women will thrive even more and make greater strides in the tech industry. 

To all the tech women in Nigeria, we recognise you. You inspire us, and we love to see you break barriers! We are rooting for you!

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Edited by Priscilla Ajayi.

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Avatar of Oghenechovwe Eghwrudjakpo
Oghenechovwe Eghwrudjakpo
Chovwe is content writer and a Fashion Designer. She's also a Chartered Mediator and Conciliator. She's an advocate for peace and loves art. She owns a fashion brand and is very passionate about what she does.

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