Top 10 CEOs Innovating the African Tech Industry

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African Tech

10. Alpesh Patel, Oju Africa

Created in 2012, Oju Africa is part of Mi-Group International and is the first African-centric Emoticon provider.

Running the show is Apesh Patel who has set his sights high in trying to bring Apple on board to diversify its range of emoticons; the word ‘Oju’ literally meaning ‘faces’ in the Yoruba language from its native Nigeria.

9. Barbara Mallinson, Obami

Voted as one of the top young people to take to lunch, Barbara Mallinson has been labelled as one of the most refreshing and innovative entrepreneurs on the continent after founding Obami, a platform which allows people to create and join learning communities.

Mallinson’s contagious enthusiasm stems from her belief in Africa’s unbound tech potential.

8. Chris Prujisen, Sterio.me

As the youngest President of Oxford Entrepreneurs when he went to the prestigious UK University, it has been no surprise to see Chris Pruijsen formulate companies such as Ampion.org and Founderbus UK.

Stereo.me is arguably his flagship project however, once again reinforcing interactive learning through the medium of advanced technology and digital tools.

7. Tim Rimbui, Waabeh

More recognised as an established and successful musician in Africa, Tim Rimbui has been one of the driving forces behind online music portal, Waabeh.

Having worked in the industry for more than a decade, Rimbui has been able to leverage significant partners such as Warner Bros, BBC and Safaricom in bringing the music discoverer and distributor into the region’s consciousness.

6. Jeremy Hodara & Sacha Poignonnec, Jumia

Online shopping site, Jumia was funded in 2012 by Rocket Internet and has grown substantially in Egypt and Nigeria in the hands of CEOs, Jeremy Hodara and Sacha Poignonnec.

Mimicking Amazon’s success, Jumia won the title of Best New Retail Launch and has since expanded its services and delivery footprint to six countries in the region.

5. Neil du Preez, Mellowcabs

Passionate about preserving the environment and producing a more eco efficient way of life, Neil du Preez’s Mellowcabs company has proved an immediate success in South Africa.

Following the principles of people like Richard Branson, his fun and creativity led to the electric vehicles which act as first and last mile transportation for commuters in urban areas within a three kilometre radius.

4. Johann Jenson, SleepOut Kenya

Leveraging the ever-significant trend of ecommerce in Africa, the Middle East and the Indian Ocean islands, Johann Jenson joined forces with Kenyan digital entrepreneur, Mikul Shah to form SleepOut.

Coming to fruition in 2011, the company acts as a booking service assisting travellers in finding discounted rates for hotels, apartments and other popular accommodations.

3. Kahenya Kamunyu, Able Wireless

Keeping an eye fixed on the future of technology in Africa more than most, Able Wireless, headed up by CEO, Kahenya Kamunyu, is innovating the sector in Kenya with its advanced wireless internet and television services.

Having consulted for the likes of BT, Yahoo and Sony in the past, Kamunyu is focused on solving the infrastructure deficiencies in the country.

2. Phares Kariuki, Angani

Staying in Kenya, Phares Kariuki’s Angani is striving to provide competition for the likes of Safaricom in offering a pay as you go cloud based service in the country.

Angani’s innovative business model included buying infrastriucture in bulk before virtualising it and then leasing it out at reduced rates; relying on the continuous growth of cloud saturation in Africa.

1. David Osei, Dropifi

David Osei takes top spot in this month’s countdown in relation to his company, Dropifi’s number one placing in TechRepublic’s chart earlier this year.

Finishing second in a Top Technology Entrepreneur to watch in 2012, this suggests that everything has gone according to plan for Osei in the intervening years.

Succeeding in a role as an emerging company in an emerging market, Dropifi’s success has coincidentally come from aiding similarly small businesses and acting as the Salesforce.com for SMEs.

While not setting the world alight in terms of the function of the business, Dropifi, and Osei’s genius comes from the ability to solve a big issue in the region with a simple solution.

Acquiring huge numbers of users without any marketing initially epitomises the strength of the business model itself and the Ghanaian company is now looking to push on through not only its own clear business model, but also the ability to tailor its clients’ business models and marketing strategies too.

Africa tech, digital, innovation, Dropifi, Jumia, Angani, Able Wireless, SleepOut Kenya, Mellowcabs, Waabeh.

Adapted from AfricanBusinessReview.

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