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They are entrepreneurs, influencers, technology leaders, academics and they all come from the southernmost tip of the African continent. They are the 50 most inspiring women of the South African panorama in 2017.

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Nafisa Akabor

Freelance Technology Journalist at Forbes Woman Africa, Destiny and Wired to the Web

Nafisa Akabor is a freelance technology journalist and blogger. Nafisa has been published on TechCentral, Sawubona, Destiny, Vodacom Now, ITWeb, My Digital Life, Brainstorm, TFG Tech, Marie Claire and various corporate blogs.

Pria Chetty

Regional Director at EndCode

Pria Chetty is the regional director of Endcode and the founder of Chetty Law. Chetty believes “that effective ICT policy, law and regulation is essential to delivering the benefits of ICT’s to all South Africans. I can’t think of a better way to spend my time than helping inventors and tech-geeks reach their goals”

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Anusia Chinsamy

Professor at the Department of Biological Sciences & Head of the University of Cape Town

Prof. Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan is a South African vertebrate paleontologist known for her expertise and developments in the study of the microstructure of fossil teeth and bones of extinct and extant vertebrates. Prof. Chinsamy-Turan believes that the world needs girls in STEM, as she states “Within your minds and heart lies the potential for better understanding the world we live in, for new discoveries and technologies that will enrich our lives, for cures to diseases, and for creative ways in which we can be better guardians of our planet’s biodiversity”.

Julie Cleverdon

Director at Cape Town Science Centre

Julie Cleverdon has an ongoing interest in the development of science centres and science communication across Africa as well as promoting coding as a must have digital literacy for the youth of Africa. She is currently the Director of the Cape Town Science Centre and is challenging the status quo promoting initiatives to improve digital skills and participation in digital world.

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Ms Phadiela Cooper

Principal at COSAT High School

Phadiela Cooper is the principal of a Khayelitsha school, Centre of Science and Technology, the first to make it on to the province’s list of top 10 schools.

Stephanie Cowper

Co-Founder & CEO at BeSpecular (Pty) Ltd

Stephanie Cowper is the co-founder of BeSpecular, a South African startup that is solving a global problem by connecting sighted volunteers to visually impaired, blind and deafblind people around the world.

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Emma Dicks

Founder & Director at Code for Cape Town

Emma Dicks founded Code4CT as a project of Innovate South Africa in 2014. She is passionate about seeing young people create sustainable solutions to pressing problems faced in South Africa. Dicks is also the African Code Week Ambassador and the Queen’s Young Leader.

Ellen Fischat

Managing Director at Sillicon Cape

Ellen Fischat is a change maker. She is the managing director of the Silicon Cape initiative, she is passionate about people development, economic development and transformation and believes that technology is the key to achieve these goals.

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Anne Githuku-Shongwe

Founder & CEO at AFROES Transformational Games

Anne Githuku-Shongwe is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Afroes Transformational Games - a company that builds mobile game-based learning platforms out of South Africa and Kenya. Githuku-Shongwe’s vision is to revolutionise learning in Africa with a focus on delivering positive Africa-focused mobile phone entertainment to the youth market across the continent.

Ellie Hagopian

CEO at Namosphere

Ellie Hagopian holds a number of positions, focusing primarily on the telecommunications sector and the commercialisation of new technologies. Currently she is group Wi-Fi strategist at The Liquid Telecom Group. Hagopian is also closely involved in the industry development space in a variety of volunteer capacities.

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Dr Mmaki Jantjies

Head of Department at University of Western Cape

Dr. MMaki Janties is a tech pironeer. She is one of the first black women to complete a PhD in computer science, she is an academic, educator and has passion for inclusive tech. She is also a researcher and focuses on how education technology can be developed and used to enhance learning in developing countries.

Maximillian Kaizen

Co-Founder of Treeshake

Maximillian Kaizen’s experience spans sectors, as an entrepreneur, business educator and technologist who believes that one should chase one’s curiosity.

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Xoliswa Kakana

CEO at ICT-Works (Pty) Ltd

Kholeka Tsotsotso is an esteemed corporate professional who has 25 years of solid experience in technology strategy development and execution, business development as well as technology and business operations. She is an alumnus of Instead, De Montfort University, Gordon Business School and is a standing PhD candidate at the Da Vinci Institute. 

Nomso Faith Kana

Managing Director at Sun n Shield 84 Technologies, Blaze Away South Africa and Taungana Africa

Nomso Kana is the founder of Sun n Shield and Blaze Away and believes in “seeking out environments where you can learn, grow and be part of big things that shape our world for better”.

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Yolisa Kani

Public Policy Head at Uber SA

Yolisa Kani is the Head of Public Policy for Uber South Africa. In this role, Kani focuses on stakeholder management and strategic advice on policy matters.

Ngwako Lethabo Ramohlale

CEO at Nunnovation

Ngwako Ramohlale is the 29 year female co-founder of Nunnovation African Foundation. Nunnovation has trained 400 unemployed youth, develop over 100 entrepreneurs and impact over 2500 high school learners.

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Anita Loots

Head: Office of African Planning at SKA

Anita Loots is responsible for the overall running of projects and programmes related to the SKA African partner countries namely; Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, and for ensuring an enabling environment for the smooth deployment of the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionisation Array (HERA) project, based in Carnarvon in the Northern Cape.

Regina Luki Kgatle

Founder of 67 Games & Co-Founder of WeSmooth

Regina Kgatle is the founder and MD of Educade, and its sister non-profit startup, 67games. Kgatle was named one of 24 Facebook young females around the world contributing to improving the quality of life through technology.

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Mokhudu Machaba

Teacher at Ngwanamago Primary School

Mokhudu Machaba is a professional teacher for more than 15 years. She taught primary school Maths, languages and Lifekills; Geography, History, English First Additional Language, Natural Sciences and Technology.

Fikiswa Majola

Deputy Director: Space Science and Technology at Department of Science and Technology

Fikiswa Majola is the Deputy Director: Space Science & Technology at the Department of Science and Technology. She defines herself a nerd and STEM junkie and her biggest passion is astronomy.

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Barbara Mallinson

Founder & CEO at Obami

Digital lover, IT Hero, top entrepreneur and African woman in business, Barbara Mallinson is the Founder and CEO of Obami. She strongly believes that the tech word needs more women that can make an impact within the digital space.

Dr Adriana Marais

Head of Innovation at SAP Africa

Dr Adriana Marais, theoretical physicist, Head of Innovation at SAP Africa and aspiring extraterrestrial, believes that we are living at a unique point in the history of life on Earth. Developments in science and technology are taking place at an unprecedented rate, and the expansion of our society beyond this planet is within reach.

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Pontsho Maruping

Councilor at South African Council for Space Affairs

Pontsho Maruping has always been passionate about science and technology and her career is a testament to this. Pontsho Maruping heads up Commercialisation at SKA (Square Kilometre Array) South Africa and is the Chairperson of the South African Council for Space Affairs.

Mickey Mashale

Managing Executive & Head of Region at Vodacom

Mickey Mashale’s experience in ICT is long and successful. Since the beginning of her career in 2002, she has had a positive impact on every company she worked for in terms of performance and growth. She is passionate about the growth of ICT in Africa.

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Lindiwe Matlali

Founder & CEO at Africa Teen Geeks

Lindiwe Matlali is the Founder and CEO of Africa Teen Geeks a non-profit organisation that teach school children and unemployed youth how to code.

Portia Maurice

Director at Nehanda Group

Portia Maurice is the managing executive at BCX and is a member of the International Women's Federation of South Africa.

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Ndoni Mcunu

Founder of Black Woman in Science

Ndoni Mcunu is the founder of the non-profit organisation Black Women in Science (BWIS), Ndoni Mcunu aims to promote careers for young black women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Boitumelo Menyatswe

Founder of Minderz

Boitumelo Menyatswe is a technology entrepreneur and a pet lover, founder of Minderz, a platform that connects pet parents and pet sitters in South Africa. She passionate about technology and development that she believes to be the keys for positive and sustainable change in Africa.

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Darlene Menzies

Founder of SMEasy & CEO at FinFind

Darlene Menzies is a technology innovator and serial entrepreneur who has established several successful tech businesses. She is a role model for those starting a business. She has firsthand experience in what it takes to start and grow a business in Africa and understands the enormous challenges entrepreneurs have to overcome to establish a successful enterprise.

Nothando Moleketi

COO at ReWare

Nothando Moleketi is the founder and currently Chief Marketing Office of ReWare, following her
experience as ReWare COO.

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Suzana Moreira

Founder of Mowoza

Suzana Moreira is the founder of moWoza in Maputo in Mozambique, a company providing informal cross-border traders in Southern Africa with a mobile information service on pricing and access to goods.

Lethabo Motswaledi

Founder & CEO at 3D Power

Lethabo Motswaledi is the co-founder and CEO of 3D Power. As an entrepreneur at heart with a passion for tech and development in Africa, she has also co-founded The Hourglass and Hello Baby 3D Prints.

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Saidah Nash Carter

Head of Strategic Partnership and Innovation at Thomson Reuters

Saidah Nash Carter, Head of Strategic Partnerships & Innovation, is ready to lead the brightest minds in the brand new Thomson Reuters Innovation Lab in Cape Town, South Africa.

Nokuthula “Nokky” Ndlovu

Strategic Engagement Partner at Barclays Africa Group - Africa Technology

Nokuthula Ndlovu is a wife, mother and a founder of Limit Breakers Global Foundation. The foundation focuses on Mentorship, Women, Young Women and Youth including Male Dialogues.

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Nneile Nkholise

Founder of Likoebe Innovation Consultants

Nneile Nkholise is the founder of Likoebe Innovations. She believes that “the biggest development in Africa is in technology and Africans' response to the advance in technology. But that development can never be fully achieved without the leadership of women in technological spaces, and technological disruptions necessary to propel greater economic growth in Africa”.

Kim Normand Dobrin

Founder & Executive Director at The Tomorrow Trust

Kim Normand Dobrin founded The Tomorrow Trust and is currently the Executive Director. The organisation works exclusively with orphans and vulnerable children and youth in South Africa to provide integrated education and holistic support in a sustainable manner enabling them to focus on their education and to access opportunities they otherwise would not have.

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Nunu Ntshingila

Head of Facebook Africa

Nunu Ntshingila is Facebook’s Head of Africa, with responsibility for leading the team that engages with agencies and brands in Africa to help them make the most of the company’s products including Facebook itself, Instagram and related services.

Aisha R. Pandor

Co-Founder & CEO at SweepSouth

Aisha Pandor is a former scientist and managing consultant and the founder one of the fastest- growing startups in South Africa: SweepSouth. With SweepSouth, Aisha provides working opportunities for thousands of women in Africa and is improving the access to technology in her country.

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Videsha Proothveerajh

Country Manager at Southern Africa Intel

Videsha Proothveerajh is the Intel Corporation General Manager: South Africa with over 19 years of experience working in high-profile ICT companies. and has been honoured and recognised as the most influential Woman in Business and Government for ICT.

Rapelang Rabana

Founder & CEO at Rekindle Learning

Rapelang Rabana is a computer scientist, entrepreneur, and keynote speaker. She is the founder of Rekindle Learning, a learning technology company, and previously co-founded Yeigo Communications, South Africa's first free VoIP mobile services provider.

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Anitha Ramsuran

Manager: Innovation Skills Development at Technology Innovation Agency

Anitha Ramsuran is the manager of innovation skills development at the Technology Innovation Agency in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Ramsuran believes that ”being different is your biggest asset, it does not need an apology, it is a reason to celebrate, to make your mark in pursuit of a meaningful purpose”.

Sibongile Sambo

Founder & CEO at SRS Aviation Ltd

Sibongile Sambo is a businesswoman, an entrepreneur and a Motivational Speaker. She is the founder and Managing Director of SRS Aviation, the first aviation company owned by black female. She was awarded several times both for her business-related achievements but also for her effort to promote youth and women empowerment.

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Vere Shaba

Owner & Director at Shaba & Ramplin Green Building Solutions

Vere Shaba is the Director: Green Buildings & Certifications at Shaba & Ramplin Green Building Solutions and faculty member and assessor for the Green Building Council of South Africa.

Prof. Esther Titilayo Akinlabi

Full Professor & Vice Dean at Teaching and Learning

Professor Esther Akinlabi is among the top researchers of the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment at the Johannesburg University. The over 160 scientific publications, and the extraordinary dedication to teaching and supervising students allowed her to climb the university ranking.

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Sibongiseni Tunzelana Thotsejane

CIO at Flavalite

Dr. Sibongiseni Tunzelana Thotsejane is the co-founder and a conscious leader at FlavaLite Innovations and LoveOlution. She runs the day to day operations of FlavaLite Innovations and LoveOlution.

Hema Vallabh

Founder of WomHub

Hema is a chemical engineer by profession, and a change-maker by passion! She is a serial social entrepreneur who over and above her “day-job” as a process engineer, co-founded WomEng and WomHub.

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Audrey Verhaeghe

Chairperson at Innovation Summit

Audrey Verhaeghe has a deep knowledge of the science, technology and innovation landscape in South Africa that she acquired during her 26 years of experience in the field. Now, Dr Verhaeghe is the Chairperson of the SA Innovation Summit.

Magda Wierzycka

CEO at Sygnia Group

Magda Wierzycka is CEO of the specialist financial services group Sygnia. She has 20+ years of experience in the financial industry. She is known for being the only female CEO of a fintech company in Africa and for her outspokenness.

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Lynn Wilson

Systems Manager: HR Information Manager at The Foschini Group

Lynn Wilson has been with the Foschini Retal Group (TFG) for 10 years and worked her way up from an administrative position to Systems Manager: HR Information Management. Lynn is also internal coach at TFG and a technology enthusiast.

Samantha Wright

Blogger, YouTuber & Content Creator at TechGirl

Sam Wright is a blogger, youtuber and Esports presenter with a love for all things tech related. Three years ago she started to share her love of technology with other girls and women around South Africa.

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