By Charndré Emma Kippie
Topco Media hosted the Africa Tech Week Virtual Summit and Awards Ceremony, in November 2020. The much-anticipated event allowed attendees the opportunity to interact with business leaders who are actively shaping the future of Tech and all its intersections. The event brought together more than 300 key decision makers, and provided a space to network with global peers in the tech industry, as well as the opportunity to learn from thought leaders charting the path which is accelerating Africa across the digital landscape.
Along with the 2-day virtual conference, Topco Media took the opportunity to accolade the cream of the crop who are excelling within South Africa’s technological sector, recognising a few phenomenal Top Leading Women in Tech with prestigious nominations in a number of celebratory categories.
WHO ARE THESE TOP WOMEN IN TECH?
Siddika Osman, Managing Director of Nkgwete IT Solutions
Previously an Africa Tech Woman of The Year Awards winner, Siddika Osman was a finalist in the Africa Tech Awards in the Women in Tech and CEO Award 2020 categories. Siddika is a self-motivated black female entrepreneur, and is the primary shareholder of Nkgwete. With more than 20 years experience within the ICT sector, in companies such as Transnet IT, T-Systems and arivia.kom, Siddika’s seasoned expertise and acute business acumen are essential to the triumph of Nkgwete IT Solutions. She has accreditations in a variety of fields, such as an ITIL Service Manager certification, COBIT Certification, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Science and Financial Management Certification. Siddika also attended Gordon Institute of Business studies Leadership Development
Yashmita Bhana, Founder & CEO of Nihka Technology Group
Yashmita Bhana was a finalist in the Africa Tech 2020 CEO Award category. Yashmita was the recipient of the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year Award from BWASA, and was also a finalist in the 2018 Standard Bank Top Women Awards in the category of most gendered empowered SMME. She obtained a Masters in Engineering from Wits and an MBA (GIBS). Today, she has acquired more than 20 years of experience in ICT and Engineering, and is certified in multiple Project Methodologies. Her company, Nihka Technology Group, is a Black Women Owned (BWO) enterprise and a Level 1 BBBEE contributor, with a 135% Procurement Recognition Level. Aside from her professional Tech career, Yashmita is passionate about education, acting as the Chairperson of the ABB (Quant) Education Trust for Women in Engineering, and also the Chairperson of the Dhiya Development Foundation ─ an organisation accelerating youth development in digital technologies.
Jennifer Anne Ward, Founder & CEO of Neighbiz
Jennifer Ward was one of 2020’s Africa Tech Start–Up Award finalists. She is popularly regarded as somewhat of a serial entrepreneur, and was rewarded by Ernst & Young for entrepreneurial excellence, being a finalist Entrepreneur of the Year. Her company, Neighbiz, was launched as a platform for getting the informal sector online. Jennifer saw that unemployment was a huge concern in South Africa, but insisted that it could potentially be one of the biggest business opportunities for the country to be exposed to global initiatives. Jenifer then went on to devise the Poppalloon Marketing Strategy, and further innovations, which are now patent-pending in the USA. She previously obtained a Basic Electronics Certification from Damelin, and studied Law at the University of Witwatersrand. Jennifer’s previous company, Big Brother, was named one of the Top 300 empowerment companies in the DTI’s annual roundup. Recently, she has also added ‘published children’s author’ to her resume.
Geraldine Eve Kasambara, Founder of 143 Communications
Social Media guru, Geraldine Eve Kasambara, received a nomination in the coveted Africa Tech CEO Award category, for 2020. She is known for being a self-motivated go-getter who knows what she wants and is assertive. Geraldine’s company, 143 Communications, has been recognised as a truly dynamic digital media agency, which aids brands in growing their online presence and overall public engagement, using quintessential social media tools and digital platforms. Previously, she was a Marketing Executive at Daily News, and completed her Master of Business Intelligence (MBI) at the Chinhoyi University of Technology. Geraldine also obtained a BA Honours Degree in English and Communication: Public Relations from Midlands State University. As a strong, tech-savvy business woman, she is committed to leveraging leading information communication technologies to enhance and complement all her clients’ marketing, public relations and distribution needs.
As we continue to innovate and enhance the technological landscape in South Africa, it is important to shine a spotlight on key role players who are making a difference, and paving the way for future generations of women in tech.