Is a tech revolution the panacea for Africa’s challenges? Senegalese Marieme Jamme seems to think so!
Kariuki Gathitu, Gbenga Sesan, Joshua Ihejiamaizu, Bright Simmons, Amr Sohby and others are just a few of the Techpreneurs who are taking over the African creative landscape and Marieme hopes to see even more young Africans tap into the opportunities offered by the advent of technology in Africa.
For a continent that is catching up to the rest of the world in terms of internet access and distribution, I would say we are not doing badly; proof that Africans are a versatile, hardworking people!
Born in Senegal, Marieme was constantly swimming against the tide; refusing to be coddled by her affluent family and fighting to succeed on her own terms. Strange right?She even worked menial jobs to fund her education after the death of her Father.
According to her, “I fought all the way to be where I am today. I was very eager to go and find my own identity.”
With her plethora of accomplishments, I would say she did just that and even more!
Marieme has put her money where her mouth is.She assiduously promotes technology, good governance, transparency, mentorship and better standards of education in Africa. She has founded many ventures with the aim of supporting the development of Africans, such as Spot1mentoring, a mentoring and Business Accelerator, and Africa Gathering (where she is a co-founder), a platform bringing entrepreneurs and others together to share ideas for positive change in Africa.
She also engineered the creation of the JJiguene Tech Hub in Senegal: the first women Tech Innovation Network supporting young women in Science,Technology, Engineering and Maths.
Marieme has supported Google in Senegal, Appfrica International Inc. and the State Department in the United States of America for three years in organising the Apps4Africa contest across Africa and the Africa Progress Panel Chair by Kofi Annan.
She recently joined the Microsoft 4AfriKa team as a council member advising them on how to engage the youth in Africa’s development and increase their competitiveness in the global market by creating profitable SMEs.
“I kind of like protect Africa when people talk bad about the continent. I try to bring good narratives about Africa now because I see something different in the continent…We need to make sure there’s a way of building, having infrastructures in Africa, make sure the youth are getting educated.” Marieme shared.
A blogger, tech activist, international speaker and social entrepreneur, Marieme is the CEO of Spotone One Global Solutions which helps international technology companies selling enterprise software solutions to set a foothold in Africa, Middle East and Asia.
She was named as one of Forbes ’20 Youngest Power Women in Africa 2012’, nominated by The Guardian African Community Network as one of the ‘African Women to Watch’ in 2013, and recently nominated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. She was also voted as one of Africa’s ‘Top 25 Women Achievers’ by The Guardian newspaper.
Africans like Marieme inspire us to do more with the much we have been given; how else do you think technology can reverse the fortunes of the Continent? Do share!
Marieme tweets at @mariemejamme.