CEO of  Founder and CEO at MainOne

Country: Nigeria

Sector: Technology

Funke Opeke returned to Nigeria after 20 years of working in telecoms in the United States to begin addressing the country’s connectivity issues. During this time, she established the main one, a communications services firm based in Lagos State, south-western Nigeria. Her company, MainOne, is West Africa’s leading provider of communications services and network solutions.

Early Life and Education

Funke Opeke attended Queens School for Girls in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. She was born and raised in Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State, despite being a native of Ile-Oluji, Ondo State. Born into a family of nine, her father was the first Nigerian Director of the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, and her mother was a teacher.

Funke Opeke earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University and Columbia University, respectively.

After graduating from Columbia University, she pursued a career in ICT in the United States as an executive director with Verizon Communications’ wholesale division in New York City. She joined MTN Nigeria as chief technical officer in 2005. (CTO). She was an adviser at Transcorp and the chief operating officer of NITEL for a short time.

 

PROFESSIONAL LIFE

Funke Opeke founded MainOne in 2008 after returning to Nigeria and noticing the country’s poor internet connectivity. When she noticed Nigeria’s low internet connectivity, creating a solution seemed unattainable and too ambitious, but not for Opeke, who turned her engineer’s eye towards the ocean, raised $240 million in funding, laid 4,400 miles of fiber optic cable from Nigeria to Portugal, and founded MainOne, West Africa’s leading communications services, and network solutions, provider.

This resulted in a large number of business-to-business customers, which included major international technology enterprises, social media companies, global telecommunications operators, financial service providers, and cloud service providers.

MainOne is the leading provider of communication services and network solutions in West Africa. The company built West Africa’s first privately owned, open access 7,000-kilometer undersea high capacity cable submarine stretching from Portugal to West Africa, with landings along the route in Accra (Ghana), Dakar (Senegal) in 2019, Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) in 2019, and Lagos in 2019. (Nigeria).

Her desire to improve her home country gave birth to Africa’s largest cable company. Main One Cable Company became more tangible after pledging all of her savings, facing additional challenges of raising capital for the start-up cable business, and carrying out extensive foundational works, feasibility studies, business plans, and technical plans. Her company began operations of MDXi, reputed to be Nigeria’s largest Tier III Data Center, in 2015, as well as extending a submarine cable from Lagos into Cameroon. Many people are inspired by her accomplishments. Funke founded Mainstreet Technologies, which later became MainOne Cable, a leading provider of network solutions in West Africa.

Opeke has transformed Nigeria’s Internet presence, which was previously associated with scams, into a thriving hub for foreign commercial opportunities.

The MainOne CEO was named one of the World’s Top 50 Women in Tech by Forbes in 2018 for her efforts in encouraging internet adoption, and she was recently named one of Data Centre Magazine’s Top 10 Women to Watch in the Data Center Industry.

 

Honors

In 2009 Funke Opeke won NIITA -Telecom personality of the year, and she won African Telecom hall of fame – Telecom personality of the year in 2010.

in 2011, she has listed Top 10 African Women in ICT, in 2012 she won the All Africa Business Woman of the Year Award, All Africa Business Leaders Awards, Thisday Award for Excellence, and Technology Africa – Legend of Technology Award.

In 2013 she won Ghana Telecoms Awards – African Telecom Personality of the Year, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria/Cross River State Government: Distinguished Knowledge Ambassador, and e-Business Life’s Tech Achiever of the Year.

In 2014, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Goodwill Ambassador, and Harvard University Veritas Award for Excellence in ICT.

In 2015 she got the Nigerian Society of Engineers – Recognition Award, in 2017 she won Global Telecoms Power 100, Capacity Africa “People’s Choice Award”, Data Economy EMEA 50, and she was listed in the GTB 50 Women to Watch for 2017, NTITA Woman in Technology Award.

2018 she was listed in ATCON 100 leading Telecom & ICT Personalities and in Forbes’ The World’s Top 50 Women in Tech 2018 List

,  and she won the Data Centre Dynamics Business Leader of the Year Award.

2019 she was listed in Capacity Magazine’s 20 Women to watch in Telecoms 2019 List and Data Economy Power 200 List

she won the Capacity Media’s Global Women In Telco Tech Awards’ – Woman of the year in 2020

 

Networth

Funke Opeke has an estimated net worth of  10 million dollars.

 

(Wikipedia, Forbes, Factboyz)

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