In commemoration of the 2023 International Women’s Day, MTN Nigeria partnered with innovative digital platforms Tech Cabal and Neusroom to celebrate women making significant contributions to developing the Nigerian ICT industry.
Recognising these capable women is in line with the theme of the year, DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality. This year’s theme aims to improve the accountability of institutions within technology spaces and foster inclusion through training, hiring, and recognising contributions by women within the industry.
A 2021 report revealed that startups led by a single female founder and female-only founding teams raised less than 1% of the total funds raised by African startups within the period in question. Additionally, 2022 research by Briter Bridges showed that only 3% of capital invested in African startups between 2013 and 2021 went to female-owned startups. Statistics like these show the need to improve the support and recognition of women making a ground-breaking contribution within the Nigerian Tech ecosystem.
MTN Nigeria currently has an Executive Committee that comprises eight women out of 16 members, and a Foundation led by a woman. In addition to internal activities celebrating their women’s impactful contribution to the Nigerian ICT space, MTN Nigeria partnered with innovative media platforms Tech Cabal and Neusroom to publish a tribute to honor 27 women pushing development within the Nigerian tech ecosystem. The list includes Omobola Johnson, the Nigerian Technocrat and Chairperson of Global Alliance for Affordable Internet; Funke Opeke, the CEO MainOne Cable; Abisola O. Laseinde, the Founder of The CIO Club, Africa; Teju Ajani, the Managing Director of Apple, Nigeria and Adedoyin Odunfa, Founder/CEO at Digital Jewels Ltd, amongst others.
Additionally, MTN Nigeria hosted an insightful Twitter Space discussing the IWD theme with a panel of trailblazing women across industries. The variety of expertise made for a robust discussion of improving women’s representation and ensuring increased acknowledgment of their hard work.
The Twitter Space discussion highlighted innovative ways to increase gender equality in tech roles. Speaking on this, A’isha Mumuni, the Chief Digital Officer of MTN Nigeria, said, “Technology is becoming less frightening for everyone. To engage women, I would start with schools and get them involved and interested in activities like hackathons. We need to catch them while they’re young, from the primary school level, to get girls interested in technology and move it up through Nigeria’s educational system. ”
Also speaking during the Twitter Space, Nnenna Onyewuchi, the ED at Yellow Brick Road, spoke about the diversity of coding and non-coding positions in which women can thrive. She said, “There are many opportunities in technology outside of engineering roles. There are so many facets of technology that even if you do not have a coding background, there is still an opportunity to enter. Once you’re in, you can educate yourself and acquire more hardcore engineering or coding skills if interested.”
MTN Nigeria remains committed to fostering initiatives that continue to prioritise gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, which aligns with the 5th United Nations Sustainable Development Goal.