Blockchain was invented to facilitate cryptocurrency but has evolved to have numerous uses across different industries, including healthcare, finance, identity security, gaming, art, and media. According to Insider Intelligence, Global spending on blockchain is estimated to reach nearly $17.9 billion in 2024, growing at a five-year compound annual growth rate of 46.4%.
Here are 5 African women taking up space in the blockchain industry you should pay attention to.
Alakanani Itireleng (Botswana)
Alakanani Itireleng is the Founder & CEO of Satoshicentre, a center in Gaborone, Botswana, where she collaborates with blockchain developers to provide solutions to daily African challenges.
Alakanani discovered bitcoin while trying to raise funds for her sick son in early 2012. Unfortunately, he did not survive the illness. She quit all online activities after the tragic loss, but in 2013, she found her way back and decided to learn more about Bitcoin. She combined her training as a teacher with her interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to establish the Satoshicentre.
According to Alakanani, the concept behind the centre is to have innovative persons collaborate to use Blockchain technology to develop Botswana and Africa by extension. The Satoshicentre has a network of investors and leaders in the blockchain industry that supports startups and provides mentorship opportunities.
Popularly called "The Bitcoin Lady", Alakanani Itireleng believes that when it comes to blockchain, "Education is the key to adoption. People can't adopt what they don't know." Her vision for Satoshicentre is for it to become a leader in the blockchain African space and to produce globally recognised blockchain businesses.
- Connect with Alakanani on Linkedin.
Karla Obakpolor (Nigeria)
Karla Obakpolor is the founder of cryptosmartnow.io, a B2B Crypto Asset Management Company and QLIP NFT, a Cross-Chain NFT Platform. She began her foray into blockchain in 2016 and, since then, has conducted studies to provide an understanding of blockchain tech, including Algorand, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and EOS.
In 2019, she became an Algorand ambassador and used the opportunity to mentor over 300 people on blockchain and cryptocurrency. She created the BITSAVE platform to educate people on how to tackle inflation by saving in crypto.
Karla is currently working on a book about cryptocurrency fundamentals and using Blockchain technology to solve problems.
- Connect with Karla on Linkedin.
Michelle Nsunsumuco (Zambia)
Michelle Nsunsumuco is the Founder & CEO of Global Policy House and Senior Advisor to the Government of Bermuda, a Global Fintech Advisory Board. She got into the cryptocurrency-blockchain ecosystem as far back as 2009.
She has been (and still is) a frontliner for growth evaluation in the digital economy, Blockchain/DLT, AI, Quantum computing and Big Data. She has also conducted research into these technologies with support from major institutions, including African Union, United Nations and the World Bank.
Michelle is a professional blockchain investor and educator. She currently works across the globe to assess the impact of new digital technologies on business, government and female empowerment. She also runs a digital investment business exploring new tech like blockchain and its socio-economic improvement potential.
- Connect with Michelle on Linkedin.
Roselyn Mwangi (Kenya)
Roselyn Mwangi is a blockchain strategy consultant and economist. She is the co-founder and director of Azuri Blockchain Consultants Ltd, an Africa-based advisory company that works with companies in emerging technologies. She has headed the Kenyan Women in Blockchain Chapter since 2017 and served as the Blockchain Association of Kenya Chairperson from 2019 to 2020. In addition, she is a certified member of the Kenya Institute of Directors.
She worked for eight years in the United Nations as a women's program officer and ten years for Safaricom as a business dealer. She has spoken on different media platforms and at international conferences on adopting new technologies like blockchain to improve African economies.
Roselyn is committed to positioning and supporting the African youth to become contributors, not just consumers, in the global digital economy. She is passionate about leading initiatives toward appreciating and adopting blockchain technology. She is also focused on supporting innovative solutions from blockchain startups and empowering tech startups in East Africa.
- Connect with Roselyn on Linkedin.
Yale Soko (South Africa)
Yale Soko is the South Africa Ecosystems Lead at cLabs, Chairwoman of United Africa Blockchain Association, founder of Essence Crypto Consultants, and founder of Ethereum Foundation Devcon Alumni.
She discovered blockchain technology in 2016 and began working as a freelance Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Consultant for an online investment firm. In 2019, she was awarded Devcon V Queen because of her top learning capability by the Ethereum Devcon Scholarship program.
Yale is dedicated to educating people about technology to drive financial inclusion and expansion. As a training facilitator, she has created and shared several youtube tutorials and learner guides for blockchain and crypto beginners. She is passionate about being at the forefront of supporting Africa's adoption of emerging technology to combat the continent's numerous social and economic issues.
- Connect with Yale on Linkedin.