supply chain africa

Women Leading Innovation in Africa’s Supply Chains '2022

For many years, Supply Chain, a significant part of the African economy, has been male-dominated and driven by traditional methods, the latter significantly impeding its growth. The pandemic and other unprecedented challenges, also contributed to an increasingly complex landscape for industry leaders.

Research by the African Academy of Management and the International Forum on Sustainable Value Chains states that the escalation of social, political, and economic problems within the continent has impacted Africa’s ability to contribute demographically, politically, and economically to global prosperity.

Despite these issues, some dauntless women believe that there are no dreams too large, no innovation unimaginable, and no frontiers beyond their reach. They are creating ingenious solutions and building teams to solve global problems.

Supply Chain Africa presents 30 female leaders and innovators leading the supply chain industry with foresight, ruthless execution, and empathy.

1. Adefunke Adeyemi - Nigeria

"I believe that more women are needed in management positions. Women bring different but necessary perspectives for more balanced decision-making and leadership."

2021 Recipient of A.G.W. Lifetime Achievement Award for African Aviation

When Adefunke Adeyemi isn’t exploring cities around the world or writing, she serves as an aviation expert.

Adefunke was recently appointed Secretary General of the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC/CAFAC), the specialized agency of the African Union on aviation matters.

Before her recent appointment, she was Regional Director, Advocacy and Strategic Relations, Africa for the International Air Transport Association (IATA), advocating for the overall sustainability and growth of the aviation industry in the region and the intermediary between airlines, the wider aviation community, and the general public.

Adefunke conceptualized and is responsible for an ongoing campaign to promote Africa’s socio-economic prospects through enhanced air connectivity across the continent.

2. Aida Kandil - Morocco

"We need more women to take on the stage and to become start-up co-founders or founders.”

CEO, MyTindy

During the coronavirus pandemic, Aida Kandil preserved the income of hundreds of Moroccan artisans by enabling them to continue selling their services   through her innovation, MyTindy.

Through the app, visitors from around the world can buy art, furniture, jewellery, and more from Moroccan artisans and get them delivered to their location.

Aida co-founded MyTindy in 2019 to promote local crafts to international buyers. Since the launch of MyTindy, Aida has supported more than 250 Moroccan artisans in their digital transition and upgrading projects.

3. Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu - Ethiopia

"If we want to have truly equitable societies, we need to embrace equity on all levels.That means women’s economic empowerment, and the key to that is women entrepreneurs.”

Founder and Managing Director of soleRebels

Growing up, multi-award winner Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu observed how people of her community were unemployed and living in abject poverty despite possessing remarkable artisanal skills.

This was the motivation she needed to start soleRebels- the world’s fastest-growing African footwear brand and the first to emerge from a developing nation. soleRebels is also the first WFTO Fair Trade-certified footwear company.

Through soleRebels, Tihahun Alemu has created hundreds of jobs in Ethiopia that have empowered her community and presented a dynamic face of African creativity to the global market.

Her passion for empowering Ethiopian youths has earned her several accolades, including a spot as one of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa by Forbes, and the Young Global Leaders award by the World Economic Forum.

4. Bridget Poppy John - Botswana

“Our actions in the public sector should inspire public confidence.”

Former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Basic Education

In 2010, Bridget Poppy John became the new Permanent Secretary and administrative head of the Botswana Ministry of Basic Education. Here, she re-engineered the underachieving education system.

Pamela eliminated an overburdened curriculum, weak institutional administration, and poor governance, as well as a highly centralised purchasing system mainly responsible for shortages of teaching and learning resources.

She introduced the Integrated Procurement Management System (IPMS) in 2019 to improve the public procurement process by automating the procurement system. The IPMS also provides convenience and improved transparency in public procurement in Botswana.

Her support for COVID-19 protocols and minimized disruptions to education in the 2020 and 2021 school years allowed for education amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

5. Carine Toure Yemitia - Cote D’Ivoire

"By encouraging women to work in male-dominated industries, businesses can
increase their performance and retention rates with a larger number of women in
leadership positions—able to move the needle."

Senior Procurement Officer for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Carine Toure Yemitia was disappointed when she was offered Logistics instead of Marketing at Engineering Business School. Because she did not want to repeat the exams, Carine decided to create her future in the industry. After finishing her program, she started her career as a Logistics Assistant. Her commitment to work and passion for excellence helped her rise through the ranks quickly.

Her goal to influence her community through supply chain education and coaching led her to volunteer as the Chairperson of Women in Logistics and Transportation (WiLAT), Côte D’Ivoire, helping women in more than 30 countries break into Logistics and Transport.

Today, Carine Yemitia oversees regional procurement for 24 nations in West and Central Africa on behalf of the UN organisation IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development).

6. Clarisse Iribagiza - Rwanda

"We need to continue supporting innovation and initiatives such as eTrade for Women to bridge the digital divide."

CEO and Co-founder, HeHe Limited.

At only 22 years and still a Junior in College, Clarisse started HeHe Limited, a leading tech company digitizing over 200 businesses and serving 2 million consumers. HeHe Limited is currently the largest e-commerce business in Rwanda.

Clarisse is driven by a desire to help Africans live a life of abundance by optimizing supply chains to match demand and supply. 

Little wonder why she was one of the changemakers selected by the African Development Bank to serve on the Presidential Youth Advisory Group to advise the bank on how to harness the skills of African youths and build inclusive and transformative African economies. 

Clarisse is one of UNCTAD’s seven “eTrade for Women Advocates from the developing world”. She occupies advisory board positions at the African Climate Foundation, African Development Bank, and the United Nations Conference on Trade.

7. Dagmawit Moges Bekele - Ethiopia

"African nations shall devote themselves and invest their time, money, and resources in safe and sustainable mobility."

Minister of Transport and Logistics, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

In October 2018, H.E. Dagmawit Moges Bekele was appointed Minister of Transport and Logistics in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

Under her leadership the federal government’s ministry of transportation successfully launched Ethiopia’s transformative 30-Year Integrated Transport Master Plan.

This master plan is designed to modernize the transport sector, increase Ethiopia’s economy and help the agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and tourism sectors to grow by making transportation accessible to all parts of the country.

8. Farah Emara - Egypt

“Determination, perseverance, and transforming your setbacks into comebacks is what will build a truly successful enterprise.”

Co-Founder and CEO, FreshSource

Farah Emara usually gets an early start every day because her work in the fruit and vegetable industry necessitates it. She has to get up at 7 a.m. to check communication channels with her team, then walk her two beautiful dogs, Mocha and Yogi, before heading to the gym.

Farah and her brother, FreshSource Co-Founder Omar, have always been interested in and passionate about agriculture. The duo discovered massive inefficiencies in the value chain while looking for meaningful ways to contribute to their home country. According to their findings, an average of 45% of crops are lost before reaching store shelves due to poor harvesting, transportation, and storage.

As a result, they launched FreshSource in January 2019 to revolutionize agriculture in Egypt. FreshSource is the first B2B agri-supply chain platform that uses technology and data to improve the agriculture value chain in the north African nation.

Farah previously worked for Procter & Gamble as Strategic Corporate Manager Near East and Endeavor as Entrepreneur Selection & Growth Manager.

9. Felicia Marfo - Ghana

‘’When more women work, economies grow.’’

Chief Vision Officer, PSL

Felicia Marfo is an audacious trailblazer who walks the talk. First, she set up Ladybird, Ghana’s first female-only logistics firm. Then, she put her money where her mouth is by training them to become globally certified truck drivers, thereby contributing her quota to closing the gender gap in supply chain.

Aside from setting up the LadyBird, Felicia has led cultural teams across Africa and Europe to deliver on business advancement projects in oil & gas, health care, and logistics.

She oversaw several Shell worldwide initiatives in Africa as a Senior Shell Africa Manager. Among these were, the successful management and implementation of the Shell DownStream 1 project by a commercial team in South Africa, the introduction of the Sales 1 Stand Customer Promise across 25 African nations, and the transition of Shell Ghana to Vivo Energy Ghana.

10. Izin Akioya - Nigeria

"Affirmative action and increased access to education will provide more women with economic security and opportunities."

Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Supply Chain Africa

A serial Entrepreneur, Marketing Expert, and Author, Izin’s garment manufacturing and export business unlocked her interest in cross-border logistics and the formation of exportA, a tech start-up digitizing freight forwarding, e-commerce shipping, and cross-border mobility on the African continent. 

Her interest in facilitating trade and export performance for made-in-Africa brands was the driving force behind her co-founding Supply Chain Africa, where she doubles as Editor-in-Chief.

11. Jasmine Samantar - Somalia

“A definite challenge I’ve faced is working as a woman entrepreneur."

Founder, Samawat Energy

Working as a female entrepreneur running a clean energy start-up in Somalia has been one of the most difficult challenges Jasmine Samantar has faced.

Despite the obstacles she had to overcome, she was able to assemble a team of 38 engineers and marketing personnel to create, manufacture, and market solar-powered ready-to-use hardware, including medical device backpacks, home lighting kits, mobile cooking kiosks, and backpacks for mobile cooking devices.

In East Africa, her products have touched over 9,000 people, and her clients say they have, on average, 70% more spare income.

12. Jenny Froome - South Africa

"I firmly believe that Supply Chain Management - when done properly - makes the world go around!"

Deputy Chair Upavon Management and Chief Operating Officer of SAPICS

When Jenny Froome upskilled in event management and association management, she discovered the amazing world of supply chain management.

She is now COO of SAPICS (South African Production and Inventory Control Society), the South African Professional association for supply chain management. She is also a director and founding partner of Upavon Management, an event and association company.

SAPICS professionalises supply chain management by providing a community to develop individuals and organisations in the supply chain profession through educational programmes. SAPICS’ training produces supply chain proficiency professionals who contribute to economic growth.

She firmly believes that supply chain management is what keeps the world going around, and she wants to create a vibrant community of educated and professionally designated supply chain professionals across Africa. 

Watching people succeed in their careers from being members of the SAPICS community is her favourite thing about working in the industry.

13. Josephine Nyebaza - Rwanda

"You must know why you are going into business and what areas need improvement."

Programs Officer in Training and Professionalism at the Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations (FEAFFA)

There are many reasons why Josephine Nyebaza makes this list. First, she defied the odds and set up Intra Cargo, one of Rwanda’s most consistent freight forwarding firms, right after graduating from college. 

Josephine is also the Chairperson of Women in Logistics in Rwanda under The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) Rwanda Chapter. She was named one of the top 100 most influential women in the supply chain in Africa in 2021.

14. Miishe Addy - Ghana

"…Trust your intuition"

Founder, Jetstream

Miishe had always had a strong desire to do something impactful and innovative. Born in the United States but with Ghanaian heritage, she travelled back to Ghana in 2017 on a teaching fellowship for an NGO.

On that fellowship, she spotted a logistics challenge in Africa’s cross-border trade and responded with Jetstream, a technology-enabled logistics company powering cross-border trade in Africa.

Jetstream, based in Ghana, currently operates in various countries like Nigeria, with agents in South Africa, China, the US, and the UK. The company has served over 17 African trade corridors, processed over $42m, and disbursed over $7m.

Miishe believes she is wired to identify challenges and provide technological solutions for them. ‘’My favourite thing about my career choice in tech entrepreneurship is the ability to make an impact. Technology is like nothing else in the sense that a relatively small team of people who build a relevant technology platform to the market can impact people within a relatively short timeframe – and (have) the ability to create things that are of value to other people and scale those things across countries, across geographical boundaries, across cultures. That’s incredibly rewarding,’’ says Miishe.

15. Nathalie Gambah Kpante - Togo

"We create wealth and joy for many families. Today we are changing the economic story of our country, which for many years relied just on exporting cocoa beans."

Co-Founder, Chocotogo

Nathalie is a citizen of Togo, a country that historically exports 100% of its cocoa production. Now, she is rewriting the economic history of her country one chocolate bar at a time through ChocoTogo.

ChocoTogo is Togo’s first cocoa beans processing company and produces delightfully yummy chocolate from organic cocoa seasoned with peanut, coconut, and exotic ginger.

Nathalie, through her innovative start-up, is reducing her country’s 150 years of dependence on the export of cocoa beans. Although Nathalie’s company is creating jobs and sourcing all its cocoa beans from 1700 smallholder farmers, she says that changing the economic story of her country, which has relied on exporting cocoa beans for many years, gives her the most satisfaction.

Currently, ChocoTogo exports chocolate to the Republic of Benin and Cote D’Ivoire.

16. Nkiru Amadi-Emina, Ijeoma Akwiwu - Nigeria

“The truth is that you cannot prepare for every scenario, but you can prepare yourself
to deal with every scenario."

Co-Founders, Pivo Africa.

Nkiru and Ijeoma started SourcePro, a procurement platform for agro commodities for exportation. They soon realised that they had to use personal funds to help truckers fulfill their orders. This led them to create Pivo, a financial service platform for SME vendors that operate within large supply chains. The platform helps clients make secure payments and transact securely.

By the end of October 2022, a year after launch, Pivo had disbursed over $4.5M to their customers and recorded a gross transaction volume of more than $8.5M through Pivo accounts. The start-up recently secured a $2 million seed fund to expand its product offerings to supply chain SMEs in East Africa.

17. Dr. Ola Brown - Nigeria

"True success is about a passion to create a better world, live a life that you can look back on and be truly proud of."

Healthcare Entrepreneur, and Founder, Flying Doctors & Health Capital Africa

Transferring a 27-year-old sickle cell patient, who was in a near-death condition at no cost from Nigeria’s commercial hub, Lagos, to Sokoto, a northwestern Nigerian city, is one of the experiences that convinced Dr. Ola that her company, Flying Doctors, can change the world.

Dr. Ola started Flying Doctors after experiencing the loss of her sister under harrowing circumstances. To improve medical services in Nigeria, she established Flying Doctors, a tech-enabled global marketplace for urgent/emergency medical care serving the oil & gas, mining, and international insurance industries primarily.

Flying Doctors is the first indigenous air ambulance in West Africa and has the largest network of ground and air ambulances (fixed and rotary wing aircraft) in West Africa, strategically located in major Nigerian cities, e.g., Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and others.

Dr. Ola’s desire for a healthier continent and to impact the lives of billions of Africans led her to create Health Capital Africa, a pan-Africa investment company that has invested in nearly 30 start-ups in fintech and health tech. The company has a pipeline of almost $800m in healthcare, clean energy, and clean water projects across the continent.

Dr. Ola also facilitates trade between Nigeria, the US, and the UK through her memberships on the British Business Group (Lagos) committee and her leadership of the Healthcare Business Forum of the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce. She is also a member of Women in Finance Nigeria’s executive committee.

18. Olori Boye-Ajayi - Nigeria

"For more women to sit at the table of leadership, they must understand how to reinvent themselves at the different levels of the ladder called visibility."

Founder of Borderless Trade Network (BTN)

You can’t talk about Olori Boye-Ajayi without mentioning international trade, Africa, and women. Her desire to empower and open doors of global opportunities for women in business led her to establish the Borderless Trade Network, a gender and trade advocacy network that collaborates with key players in the international trade space to boost the participation of women in trade and investment.

Borderless Trade Network currently has a network of 800 female entrepreneurs and has delivered facilitation programs for over 10,000 female entrepreneurs. With offices in Lagos, Accra, Monrovia, and the United Kingdom, the network is also an official partner of the prestigious White House initiative – Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) Lagos.

As a result of her thoughtful contributions to the increased participation of women in international trade, Olori was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Women’s Leadership and Global Trade Development from the ESCAE University in the Republic of Benin.

Olori was appointed to drive ‘WINHer’ – a gender-inclusion investment program, on behalf of the Office of the Commissioner of Trade and Investment of Vanuatu to Nigeria and South Africa and was also appointed MANSA Ambassador by AfreximBank driving the inclusion of African SMEs in the global trade scene.

19. Pamela Awuor Steele - Kenya

"There is a need to have more women in the humanitarian supply chain sector. When given a chance, women are good organisers and problem solvers."

CEO, Pamela Steele Associates (PSA)

Pamela has mastered the art of using supply chain to save lives and improve the living conditions of those in critical need. A daring decision she took in December 2005 after a devastating earthquake in Indonesia changed her life forever. 

She was the Acting Head of Logistics and Supply chain at Oxam, a humanitarian organisation when the quake hit. Her organisation needed to provide 50,000 survivors with clean water and sanitation equipment, but only senior executives could approve, and they were not available to make the decision. 

She took a chance, approved the shipment at the expense of losing her job, and saved thousands of lives. From that moment, Pamela has audaciously contributed her quota to global humanitarian efforts by sending supplies to countries hit by calamities. She has worked with the United Nations Populations Fund as a Humanitarian Logistics specialist. She also worked with the United Nations Children’s Fund in Denmark.

Doing active field work, Pamela could not help but notice how innovative logistics solutions allowing for the provision of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical supplies helped doctors save lives in emergencies. She adds that while women would be affected most during calamities, very few were working with a humanitarian organisation in the supply chain field to ensure their needs were being met sensitively and adequately,

Her desire to encourage more women to join the humanitarian supply chain led her to start Pamela Steele Associates, a consultancy firm that encourages, and sponsors young women to build careers in supply chain.

Partnering with the county government of Kisumu and The Reproductive Health, she has sponsored 30 women to join the humanitarian supply chain sector.

20. Ramatu Abdulkadir - Nigeria

"We have the power to reinvent our lives and businesses."

Head of Pharmacy Department, National Ear Care Centre, Kaduna

Ramatu Abdulkadir grew up surrounded by brothers, which led to her becoming a “tomboy.” She didn’t realize this until she shocked her friends in college by repairing fans and lightbulbs despite being unable to wear makeup.

Ramatu who later learnt how to apply makeup came to a critical conclusion from her experience that “we have the power to reinvent our lives and businesses.” Currently, she leads the Pharmacy Department at National Ear Care Centre, Kaduna, a city in northwestern Nigeria. 

Before this, Ramatu served as the Chief Executive Officer for the Health Supplies Management Agency where she led the transformation of health supply chain systems serving over 10 million people in the northwestern state of Kaduna. She oversaw and coordinated the upgrading of the first government-owned and operated pharma-grade warehouse, which was worth over NGN 200 million.

Ramatu also leads the charge on the professionalising of supply chain in Nigeria. This has led to the integration of supply chain and logistics curricula in Nigerian universities.

In December 2022, Ramatu was the facilitator at the first orientation programme for supply chain management students at Kaduna State University.

21. Dr Rasha Rady and Doaa Aref - Egypt

“I have the dream that ‘CHEFAA’ will become a verb, that people will use the word when they talk about filling their prescriptions like they say ‘Uber’ or ‘Google.”

CEO, and Chief Operating Officer, Chefaa

Dr Rasha Rady received a call from her friend, Doaa Aref, who was receiving radio-iodo therapy treatment for thyroid cancer. During Doaa’s time in isolation, she discovered they could order anything online excpet the medication Doaa needed to stay alive.

Rasha and Doaa also noticed that all existing pharm-tech apps provided the same service of delivering medicine to patients before launching Chefaa. In 2017, they launched Chefaa to cater to both patients and pharmacists in order to provide a more innovative product.

Chefaa, an AI-powered and HIPAA-compliant platform, provides online services to clients for the delivery of health products and prescriptions, as well as medication reminders and information. The platform enables chronic patients to order, schedule, and refill their recurring medication regardless of location or income status.

Every feature of the Chefaa app and platform is built in-house to ensure quality and timely healthcare services. Another service Chefaa provides is 24-hour support with real pharmacies answering customers’ questions. Since 2018, the platform has signed on 960 pharmacies covering about 52 cities in Egypt and has a record of 4.5 million monthly users across all different platforms, representing the Arabic-speaking population in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iraq, and Kuwait.

Advertising and e-marketing strategist, Doaa, serves as the CEO of the startup while  Rasha who serves as COO is a Paediatrician and Lecturer of Paediatrics at Cairo University.

22. Shantha Bloemen - South Africa

"The time has come for a true poverty revolution in rural Africa. Affordable transport can deliver that goal."

Managing Director & Founder at Mobility for Africa

Shantha Bloemen used to live in Zambia, where women walked long distances carrying goods, water, and children without any support.

This turned out to be one of the most pivotal experiences that inspired her to start Mobility for Africa, a social enterprise that promotes renewable transport solutions for people (women especially) who need it in the most rural and peri-urban communities.

According to Global Citizens, the more time women spend doing unpaid work, the less likely they are to receive an education or earn an income to escape extreme poverty.

Shantha’s Hamba electric tricycle helps women move, sell their goods and shave off hours usually spent walking to pick up essential items for their families.

During the pandemic, the Hamba electric tricycle was famous for helping rural communities receive essential supplies amid a country-wide lockdown.

23. Sophia Alj - Morocco

“I truly believe that in North Africa, we can make unicorns and billion-dollar companies.”


Sophia Alj left her consulting job with McKinsey to co-found Chari with her husband, Ismael Belkhayat, in 2019. is a B2B e-commerce platform that connects retailers in French-speaking Africa to FMCG multinationals. The platform, which was valued at $100 million after its latest seed-round extension, is one of North Africa’s leading start-ups, and is widely tipped to be Morocco’s first Unicorn.

In 2022, acquired Axa Credit—the credit arm of Axa Assurance—for $22 million. aims to finance 200,000 FMCG B2B clients across Morocco, who can then lend to their consumers based on credit risk analysis. Chari was awarded the ‘Disruptor of the Year’ trophy at the Africa CEO Forum 2022.

24. Temie Giwa-Tubosun - Nigeria

"What keeps me going is that someone is about to die, and they don’t die.”

Chief Executive Officer, LifeBank

Surviving complications from a harrowing delivery in 2014 left Temie Giwa-Tubosun with a new purpose – saving lives through the quick delivery of blood to patients in dire need.

That purpose led her to start LifeBank, a logistics company that uses data and technology to discover and deliver essential medical products to hospitals.

Temie employs more than 160 staff members delivering blood, medical oxygen and health consumables to 1,200 hospitals. She was named one of the six World Economic Forum Innovators in 2017, won Jack Ma’s Africa Netpreneur Prize in 2019, and the Global Citizen Prize for Business Leader in 2020.

When Covid-19 struck in 2020, LifeBank’s innovative and swift response was to partner with institutions to give oxygen to Covid-19 patients at no charge. Temie not only built her healthcare, technology, and logistics company LifeBank from the ground up in Nigeria but expanded to Kenya and Ethiopia within five years.

25. Tendai Masamba - Zimbabwe

“Find someone who believes in you but, most important, challenges you and gives you straightforward feedback.”

Head Of Operations and Supply Chain, Abodo Wood Ltd.

Tendai Masamba’s formative years endowed her with a great work ethic and the ability to feel comfortable being different. She was born into a family of strong female leaders who raised her on gender-neutral chores in rural Zimbabwe.

In addition to her upbringing, Tendai attributes her success to her twin sister Tafadzwa, her biggest supporter. At the age of 14, Tendai and her twin sister, Tafadzwa, left home for high school with a clear vision for success. Their nocturnal study culture raised suspicions and accusations from people, but that didn’t stop the girls. In fact, Tendai’s early exposure to trials fortified her resilience.

Fate met preparation as Tendai’s hard work paid off when she won a scholarship to study Electrical Engineering in Canada. Tendai’s scholarship programme was the beginning of open doors ushering in opportunities that sky-rocketed her incredible 25-year career in the logistics field.

Tendai has had the privilege of working at many of New Zealand’s biggest companies. Currently, she is Head of Operations and Supply Chain at Abodo Wood; a family-owned New Zealand business delivering sustainably crafted and eco-friendly timbers to the building industry. Before her role at Abodo, Tendai worked at Fonterra where she led a Logistics resources COVID-19 Pandemic Risk Management & Recovery Programme that enabled the company deliver its financial objectives.

Tendai aspires to raise the next generation of supply chain professionals by teaching them through her experiences. She’s also passionate about recreating efficient systems she has learnt throughout her career in her community back home in Zimbabwe.

26. Therese Izay Kirongozi - Congo

"We are ready to supply our technology to other countries. We want to expand our market share."

DRC, First Solar-Powered Traffic Robot in the World

After her brother was killed in a pedestrian accident in her native country, Thérèse Izay Kirongozi noticed the high incidence of traffic accidents and began to work on solutions.

Women’s Technologies, a training centre for women she founded, produced an intelligent-traffic robot. This machine has improved traffic flow in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi, improved road safety, reduced death rates caused by traffic accidents. This has also helped the flow of goods and services in that region. 

The traffic robots have been exported to other African countries, including Nigeria and Ivory Coast.

27. Tope Omotolani - Nigeria

"Solving problems is one way to be impactful. You can start in a little way."

Co-Founder/Managing Director Farmcrowdy

Since she was a teen, Temitope Omotolani has launched numerous enterprises. Gifted Hands, her debut at age 16, ran for ten years. And at the age of 19, she established Fnfn businesses, a cleaning services business.

She developed the agricultural produce purchasing and selling platform Ojawara in 2012 with a focus on rural communities.

Temitope is currently the co-founder and managing director of Crowdyvest, an impact-driven platform that connects its users to a variety of sponsorship opportunities in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

She joined Farmcrowdy in 2016 as one of the Co-founders because of her passion for youth involvement in agriculture.

Temitope is an ardent believer in entrepreneurship as the most sustainable way to eradicate poverty in Africa.

28. Tosin Joel - Nigeria

"The future belongs to organizations and leaders who will be ready and positioned for growth."

Founder, GTBOOL

Tosin Joel is an accomplished operations and supply chain executive, currently leading process optimization and capacity planning for Amazon logistics last mile upstream operations.

Tosin has led technical operations for major multinational energy companies across Africa and Europe to maximize opportunities across entire value chain. She is a graduate of MIT Sloan Business School MBA and Stanford LEAD executive programs.

She is also the founder of GTBOOL (, a networking organization centered on personal growth and sponsorship of high talent professionals and startups.

She is a mentor for Silicon Valley design thinking ‘SVDT’ club entrepreneurs on go to market strategies. She was Italian country director for most Influential People of African Descent ‘MIPAD’.

29. Uche Ogboi - Nigeria

"Leaders must be agile, resilient, and build a community of support around them."
CEO, Lori Systems

Uche is the brain behind Lori Systems, the brand powering African logistics and revolutionizing the cargo-transport value chain in frontier markets. Before joining the start-up, Lori Systems was primarily an East African company in two Kenyan cities (Nairobi and Mombasa) and Kampala, the Ugandan capital.

Uche led the expansion of the brand to Nigeria and increased competition in the country’s tech-enabled logistics sector. Despite the evident challenges in the logistics sector, Uche continues to explore the power of digital technology to make a difference in the industry. She introduced real-time information on goods and trucking assets through web-based apps and continues to stun clients.

With a fine blend of finance, banking, tech investing, and operational experience, Uche has earned her spot as one of Africa’s leading women in supply chain.

30. Yasmin Chandani - Kenya

"We cannot control what anybody else does, we can only control what we do and be an example for the future."

CEO, InSupply Health

If you asked Yasmin Chandani’s family for the most possible career path she would choose, they would have said law without missing a beat. Yasmin was a clever child who always noticed flaws in arguments.

However, Yasmin had an intuition that she was meant to work in healthcare. The only snag was that she could not stand the sight of blood. Public health was the saving grace, She could finally pursue her dreams in healthcare without having to become a doctor. 

Now, she leads inSupply Health, an East African public health advisory firm dedicated to transforming the lives of people and communities by pioneering innovative solutions for improving access to essential health products and services.

Under her visionary leadership, inSupply is spearheading the professionalization of Kenya and Tanzania’s supply chain workforce and shaping the culture for more robust supply and demand planning and supply chain visibility. Yasmin has also led the contextualizing and adapting of innovative solutions such as mHealth, the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for last-mile delivery of medicines and health supplies, gaming for health, and data-driven quality improvement approaches for building optimised, resilient supply chains.

Ms. Chandani previously served as a Director at JSI and has worked in the international public health arena for over 20 years supporting and advising national governments and multilateral partners in 15 countries in the strategy, design, implementation, and measurement of strong, sustainable supply chains for health. Notable projects include multi-country, multi-year initiatives such as the Supply Chains for Community Case Management (SC4CCM) Project which developed transformative solutions for community health supply chains.

1. Adenike Onasoga - Nigeria

"Improving women's participation in SMEs requires a multidimensional strategy that addresses context-specific, socio-cultural, and legal hurdles."

Head of Supply Chain at Kimberly-Clark Nigeria

When Adenike first entered the supply chain industry 12 years ago, she wrongly assumed she would be disadvantaged as a woman. However, as time passed, she learned that the supply chain industry was much more than moving around heavy equipment.

Adenike is currently the head of supply chain at Kimberly-Clark, a logistics, customer service, purchasing, and inventory control veteran with diverse business and technical abilities.

Before joining the company, she implemented strategies to enable efficiency as Assistant Manager CSE/Logistics at Unilever. This included the new “Modern Trade Ways of Working”, aimed at robust customer engagement. She also led her team to drive efficiency through the Order to Cash (O2C) chain for the company and Regional Key Accounts.

Now, she runs an agile and productive supply chain team comprised 70 percent by women committed to continual improvement and has worked with clients in over 15 nations of Africa.

2. Amel Saidane - Tunisia

“Investing in ventures with women co-founders has proven profitable”

President, Tunisia Startup

Amel Saidane understands the difficulties that women face in the startup world because she has faced them herself. Armed with statistics indicating that female-led startups have a better chance of remaining active and surviving longer, the entrepreneur has become an outspoken advocate for women’s visibility in the startup world.

Amel is the president of Tunisia Startup, where she co-organizes start-up weekends for women, teaches electronic engineering courses to encourage schoolgirls to pursue tech careers, and speaks at conferences about women in tech.

Amel is also the founder and CEO of Betacube, a technology venture builder that invests in, builds, and scales B2B fintech and mobility startups. She is also a co-founder of the Digital2Value platform that connects SMEs to an ecosystem of experts and tech solutions to accelerate their digital transformation.

Amel was also the Executive Director of SlickStone and the Account Manager of NSN from January 2004 to October 2008.

3. Fatma Ibrahim - Egypt

“Starting a business requires a lot of work, effort, time and money."

Co-Founder and CEO of Kiwe

Fatma Ibrahim is the Co-Founder and CEO of Kiwe, an Egypt-based fintech that allows young users to collect, send, and spend money via its app. Kiwe also provides a digital payment platform for small businesses and startups, with the goal of alleviating the daily financial struggles that young entrepreneurs face.

Kiwe is a peer-to-peer money transfer app that allows users to send money to one another in real-time. Aside from electronic money transfers, the digital platform assists small businesses and startups with a simple and cost-effective payment process.

The Central Bank of Egypt recognized the Kiwe app as one of the well-established startups on Egypt’s fintech map. The startup has collaborated with a number of businesses to develop payment systems. For instance, Kiwe’s partnership with KlickIt Egypt, to launch a cashless solution to be implemented within educational institutions in order to alleviate cash-handling pain points.

4. Oluyemisi Whyte - Nigeria

"Every one of us has a duty to ourselves and generations to come to do the right thing in our small areas of influence…"

Head of Supply Chain Management, Oriental Energy Resources

Oluyemisi Whyte is a proud mother of three. 

She heads the Supply Chain Management of Oriental Energy Resources Ltd, an Exploration, and Production marginal field operator. Before this, she served as Head Supply Chain for Oando Energy Services. 

She also served as Procurement Customs and Shipping Manager, Gulf of Guinea for Transocean Support Services between 2009 and 2010. 

In this role, she managed inbound logistic operations, suppliers, planning, sourcing, purchasing, and coordination of imported and locally sourced drilling equipment, general materials, POS items, and service providers from different locations in the world.