Though we are aware of the Blockchain ecosystem, we know little or less about the main players in the system. You might be thinking that the system is full of mainly successful men but to your surprise, we have women leading the ecosystem. Not just women but African Women.
Paxful in honor of the Women launched an annual list of the leading female professionals and entrepreneurs in the African Blockchain and Bitcoin industries.
Individuals on this year’s list are all innovative and inspirational leaders who are actively making a difference and carving the pathway for other females to enter and make their mark in a space that has been predominantly occupied and led by men.
Ojuederie Doris (Nigeria)
The first on our list is OjuederieDoris, the founder of Blockchain Ladies Africa (BAL), a 3000-member all-female group that focuses on uniting African women and leading blockchain education.
Alakanani Itireleng (Botswana)
We also have Alakanani Itireleng popularly Known as “The Bitcoin Lady”. Alakanani is one of the leading blockchain influencers on the African continent. She joined the market in her battle to fund her son’s treatment. She established the Satoshicentre, a blockchain hub in Gaborone where she works with developers to try to increase the understanding of bitcoin and how to utilize blockchain technology in developing solutions to everyday-life problems faced by Africans.
Yaliwe Soko (Zambia/South Africa)
As a blockchain and crypto early adopter, Yaliwe has established her presence in the sector by becoming the Chairwoman of the United Africa Blockchain Association and founder of Essence Crypto Consultants, as well as United Africa Women in Blockchain. Passionate about education, technology, and financial inclusion, she ventured into cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in 2016. She has developed a learner guide for beginners and numerous YouTube tutorials on blockchain technology and cryptocurrency and how to explore opportunities.
Monica Singer (South Africa)
In 2017, Monica was appointed as South Africa Lead for Consensys, an international venture production studio using blockchain technology to build distributed applications on the Ethereum world computer. Monica has held numerous board and advisory positions including board members of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Accounting Blockchain Coalition which sets the audit accounting and tax guidelines for crypto assets based.
Sonya Kuhnel (South Africa)
Sonya was one of the first women involved in the industry in South Africa. In 2013, she started a bitcoin payment company called Bitcoin Payments, a BitPay Affiliate partner, which allowed online merchants in South Africa to accept bitcoin as a payment method for goods and services. She went on to co-found Bitcoin Events in 2014, a company that hosts South Africa’s leading cryptocurrency and blockchain events, namely the Blockchain Africa Conferences as well as the Crypto Fest. Realizing the need for education around blockchain and cryptocurrencies, Sonya established the Bitcoin Academy in 2015 which was later renamed to the Blockchain Academy. Sonya is also the co-founder and COO of Xango, a Cape Town-based company offering an XRP cryptocurrency exchange, gateway and payment platform for retailers enabling fast and cost-effective payments using the Ripple blockchain.
Imen Ayari (Tunisia)
Imen is a Mechanical engineer from Tunisia and executive MBA graduate from the Mediterranean School of Business with many years of experience working in finance and technology for multinational firms such as Ubitrade, Gltrade, Fis and Sungard where she founded the Sungard Byrsa Lab. She has been the Chief Blockchain Officer and Head of Innovation Factory at Talan since 2017. As a leading blockchain and cryptocurrency expert, Imen has established and managed a number of tech organizations aimed at disseminating consistent innovations in Africa.
Roselyn Gicira Mwangi (Kenya)
Roselyn is the Chairperson of the Blockchain Association of Kenya and also heads the Kenyan Women in Blockchain Chapter. She is very interested in the innovation coming from disruptive technologies like blockchain start-ups and has worked to empower innovative tech start-ups in East Africa. Roselyn is a certified member of the Kenya Institute of Directors, a non-political professional organization of individual corporate directors and senior managers committed to the professional practice of corporate directorship in Kenya. Roselyn previously worked for eight years as a UN Women program officer. Thereafter she went into business for 10 years as a Safaricom business dealer where she opened and operated several Safaricom retail and money transfer outlets.
Naomi Snyman (South Africa)
Naomi is the Blockchain Lead for the Standard Bank Group, a role that stretches across 16 African countries for both Commercial and Retail Banking. She is also Chair of the South African Financial Blockchain Consortium.
Michelle Chivunga Nsunsumuco (Zambia)
Michelle owns her own digital and investment business exploring emerging technologies such as blockchain technology in the context of emerging markets, trade, enterprise, and sustainable development. Michelle’s first engagement relating to blockchain was in 2009, which lead to the start of her journey to evaluate the growth of the digital economy and potential of emerging technologies such as blockchain, quantum computing, Big Data and others. Michelle has also been undertaking research and education on these technologies with university partners and global institutions such as WTO, UN, World Bank, African Union and many others. Michelle holds several positions on various boards including the African Union – Digital Trade and Transformation Taskforce.
Olayinka Odeniran (Nigeria)
Olayinka is a highly respected financial services risk management expert and renowned international attorney who specializes in blockchain, crypto and emerging technologies. She has over 15 years of experience in compliance and helping financial firms navigate through international regulations. Olayinka holds an M.S. in Cybersecurity Management and Policy which she relies on to provide information assurance to financial institutions and the blockchain landscape. She now combines her passion for blockchain, cybersecurity and compliance to provide consultancy services for financial institutions. In her spare time and as the co-founder of the Black Women Blockchain Council, Olayinka strives to increase the number of young girls and black women in blockchain, fintech and other emerging technologies. She is also a digital content writer and has produced several informative and engaging articles for major online global magazines. In addition, as a renowned speaker, Olayinka has presented at several blockchain conferences.
To other women out there, this is an encouragement to you. Embrace the leading digital system – blockchain.