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Home Business Forbes Africa 30 Under 30; Kenyan Technology and Business stars of 2019

Forbes Africa 30 Under 30; Kenyan Technology and Business stars of 2019

by Feritter Owich
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Forbes Africa very recently released the fifth edition of its 30 under 30 list, honoring some of the continent’s most accomplished young artists, entrepreneurs, and tech stars.

This year, the popular magazine has released the names of 120 young African game-changers, all under the age of 30, in each of the four sectors – business, technology, creatives, and sport. Amazingly so this is an increase from last years list of 90 people.

The list was announced at the annual Forbes Africa Under 30 Meet up that took place at the Houghton Hotel in Johannesburg. This being a Tech and business centered platform we thought it would be nice to highlight and applaud our fellow countrymen who graced the list.

The lists are in no particular order.

Technology

  • Jacob Rugano, 29, Kenya, Co-Founder & Director of AfricarTrack International

Jacob Rugano was also listed among the 2016 Top 40 Under 40 Men in Kenya by Business Daily. He founded AfricarTrack International after developing a mobile-controlled road-accident control system that uses a mobile phone to reduce accidents on the road.

A programmed chip is installed inside the car which acts as a liaison between the car’s computer and the reporting and control system.

The system then collects data on whether the driver had been driving drunk, driving carelessly, as well as the location of the vehicle if hijacked.

The company has won numerous awards including the Changemaker Of The Year at the  2016 African Achievers Awards in Sandton, South Africa.

  • Diana Esther Wangari,, 27, Kenya, Co-Founder & Chief Medical Officer of Sagitarix

Diana Esther Wangari ventured into health communication and entrepreneurship to bridge the gap between the health system and doctors, policy-makers, and patients.

In 2016, she co-founded Sagitarix, a digital platform that facilitates the direct distribution of drugs to those most in need, with a focus on patients with chronic diseases.

The company launched an app called iSikCure which allows patients to place orders for drugs and the medicine is then delivered on the same day.

They also introduced a subsidiary company, Checkups Medical Centres, a low-cost rapid diagnostics medical clinic which uses technology.

Last year, they were able to distribute medical supplies worth over $200,000 and currently have five clinics, four in rural areas and one in an urban area.

Diana’s organization were also finalists at the SBC AfriTech 2018 in Paris, France and has won the Get In The Ring Contest 2018 in Hague, Netherlands.

  • Eric Muli, 27, Kenya, Founder & CEO of Odyssey Capital (LipaLater)

He may be only 27 but Eric Muli’s company has been listed by the London Stock Exchange Group as one of the companies to inspire Africa. Eric started his first venture, a marketing company called Jossle while studying.

At the time, Odyssey was recognized by Business Insider as one of the best college startups, along with Uber and Microsoft.

After graduating, he launched Odyssey Capital, a non-deposit-taking financial institution which provides financial products and services to individuals and businesses in the lower to middle-income bracket in Kenya.

The company has a strict policy of 50/50 male-to-female hiring policy, and have since built a team of over 90 employees, 500 sales agents and built partnerships with Samsung, Huawei, TECNO Mobile, Walmart, and Airtel.

This year, Muli is expanding into Uganda and Tanzania.

  • Dorcas Owinoh, 28, Kenya, Co-Founder & Director of LakeHub

Dorcas Owino who was born in Kibera, works at improving technology access to girls from similar backgrounds.

Co-founded with her team at university, LakeHub is a technology and social innovation hub in Kisumu that supports a community of creatives, programmers, hackers, designers, and entrepreneurs; a majority of whom are girls aged between 13 and 19 years old.

Last year, Dorcas was a runner-up at the Queens Young Leaders awards.

In 2017 they had one of their biggest successes, a group of girls from LakeHub were the only team picked to represent Africa at the 2017 Technovation Challenge, sponsored by Google, Verizon and the United Nations in Silicon Valley, US.

Some of her company’s partners are Siemens Stiftung, Pluralsight, Hivos, and Segal Family Foundation.

The rest of the finalists from other regions in Africa under the Technology category:

  • Nthabiseng Mosia, 28, South Africa, Co-Founder & CMO of Easy Solar
  • Evans Akanno, 29, Nigeria, Founder & CEO of Cregital
  • Micheal Paul Mollel, 29, Tanzania, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of Jimz Technologies Co. Ltd
  • Nureshka Viranna, 27, South Africa, Co-Founder & Director of Shopli
  • Fred Oyetayo, 25, Nigeria, Founder & CEO of Fresible
  • Alpha Nury, 29, Senegal, Founder & CEO of Jamaa Funding
  • Hansley Noruthun, 27, Mauritius, Founder of Mauritius Space & Science Foundation
  • Schizzo Thompson, 29, Malawi, Founder & Managing Director of Sky Energy
  • Wilford Mwanza, 29, Zimbabwe, Founder & CEO of Fordolutions
  • Vèna Arielle Ahouansou, 25, Benin, Co-Founder & CEO of KEA Medicals
  • Damilola Olokesusi, 29, Nigeria, Co-Founder & CEO of Shuttlers Logistics Company
  • Chinedu Azodoh, 29, Nigeria, Co-Founder & Chief Growth Officer of Metro Africa Xpress (MAX)
  • Shaun Benjamin, 29, Zimbabwe, Co-Founder of Simba Solutions
  • Matthew Piper, 25 and Karidas Tshintsholo, 24, South Africa, Founders of Khula App
  • Courtney Bentley, 29, South Africa, Co-Founder & CEO of Visibility Insight
  • Josh Okpata, 27, Tochukwu Mbanugo, 29, Nigeria, Founders of Eazyhire
  • Muhammed Salisu Abdullahi, 28, Nigeria, Co-Founder & Managing Director of eTrash2Cash
  • Silas Adekunle, 26, Nigeria, Founder of Reach Robotics
  • Joshua Chibueze, 26, Somto Ifezue, 28 and Odunayo Eweniyi, 26, Nigeria, Founders of PiggyVest
  • Uka Eje, 29, Nigeria, Co-Founder & CEO of Thrive Agric
  • Melissa Mwale, 29, Zimbabwe, Founder of Hive Incorporation & Co-Founder of CryptoGem
  • Eric Rutayisire, 28, Rwanda, Founder & CEO of Charis UAS
  • Khalid Machchate, 26, Wissal Farsal, 27, Morocco, Founders of K&W Technologies
  • Siyabonga Thomas Tiwana, 29 & Tyrone Adams, 28, South Africa, Founders of Skywalk Innovations
  • Chika Madubuko, 27, Nigeria, Co-Founder & CEO of Greymate Care
  • Marnus van Heerden, 29, Matthew Smith 26, Ndabenhle Ngulube, 28, South Africa, Founders of Pineapple  App

Business

  • Sadaam Suleiman, 28, Kenya, Co-Founder & Managing Director of DragonflyLimited

Suleiman registered DragonFly in 2014 after noting a gap in the digital marketing field. It focuses on digital advertising, media, branding, and public relations.

DragonFly has worked with numerous brands including Nutella, LG and Sanlam.

Last year, Suleiman bagged a gold award at the Muse Creative Awards. The company’s star continues to rise as he plans to open new offices in the East African region as well as invest in technology and innovation using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

In 2024, he plans to launch an incubation hub.

  • David Kyalo, 29, Kenya, Founder & CEO Koncepts & Events Ltd

David Kyalo founded Koncepts & Events Ltd in 2014 while studying at Kenyatta University in Kenya.

Having been a student leader in charge of events and entertainment at the university, Kyalo grew passionate about his role and decided to register a business.

Koncepts & Events specializes in event planning, catering, marketing, and public relations.

The company has worked on over 80 events, 35 marketing projects and has won nine awards.

Some of the clients they have had include the World Bank Group and Red Cross.

In one of his first features in a local Kenyan newspaper after the business started, Kyalo was asked if he had any won major awards yet.

He responded, “No major awards, not yet. But I should be in FORBES magazine soon”. And look at him now, he made it!

  • Shirlene Nafula, 27, Kenya, Founder & CEO of Crystal River Products

Business Daily named her one of the top 40 Under 40 Women in Kenya and she was also recognized by the British High Commission among women leading British and Kenyan businesses in Kenya and across the Commonwealth countries.

Shirlene Nafula founded Crystal River Products, a manufacturing company for bio-based beauty and hygiene products after mixing products from her parents’ dining room table.

Her company grew ten-fold and now she supplies her products to corporates and institutions including the office of the Deputy President of Kenya, William Samoei Ruto. Her products have been sold in Uganda and Tanzania.

  • Kimani Adam, 29, Kenya, Co-Founder & CEO of Nature Expeditions Destination Management

Kimani founded Nature Expeditions Destination Management in 2015 using his personal savings and third-party angel capital

It is an African tour and photographic safari operator with offices in Rwanda, Seychelles, Mauritius, the US, Morocco, Uganda and Tanzania, with signed partnership deals in Asia and Canada.

The company worked in conjunction with his family business that was failing at the time, called Nature Expeditions Africa.

“I created a global expansion proposal to the board of the group, who were comprised of well respected ‘old school’ veterans in the hospitality industry; however, they didn’t believe in my proposal and rejected it,” he says.

He challenged them and implemented that proposal to create his global enterprise. His goal is to become an “industry powerhouse in Africa and global photographic tour operator space”.

The rest of the finalists from other regions in Africa under the Business category:

  • Bruce Diale, 29, South Africa, Founder & Managing Director of Brucol Global Development
  • Terence Mathe, 29, Zimbabwe, Co-Founder of Southern Incineration Services (SISCO) PBC
  • Mariam Manack, 29, South Africa, Founder & Director of iTrain
  • Khanyisile Madonko-Nderezina, 25, Zimbabwe, Co-Founder and CEO of Sakhile Madonko Enterprises
  • Isaac Mbatha, 28, South Africa, Founder & CEO of Sky Tents SA
  • Adeniyi Omotayo, 28, Nigeria, Founder & CEO Betensured Group
  • Ogechukwu Anugo-Obah, 28, Nigeria, Founder & CEO of Bodylikemilk
  • Dorn Ndlovu, 26, South Africa, Founder & CEO of Entrepreneur Blue Print Africa
  • Busisiwe Mkhumbuzi, 24, South Africa, Co-Founder & Chief Executive of Tshimong
  • Sydney Sam, 26, Ghana, Founder & CEO of Workspace Global
  • Kgahlego Rasebotsa, 29, South Africa, Founder & Director of Interior Bubble
  • Ijeoma Balogun, 29, Nigeria, Founder & Managing Director of Redrick PR
  • Bright Jaja, 29, Nigeria, Founder & CEO of iCreate Africa
  • Jesse Carlton Happy Ndongo, 28, Cameroon, Founder of Easy Group
  • Henrich Akomolafe, 26, Nigeria, Co-Founder & Managing Director of Akotex Nigeria Limited
  • Lesego Mokae, 24, South Africa, Co-Founder of Ditsogo Projects
  • Oginni Tolulope, 29, Nigeria, Founder & CEO of Transfurd Limited
  • Theo Baloyi, 29, South Africa, Founder & CEO of Bathu Swag
  • Avthar Aniruth, 21, South Africa, Founder and Executive Producer of Audience Networks
  • Barbara Okereke, 28, Nigeria, Cake Designer, Founder & Managing Director of Oven Secret Limited
  • Jessica Anuna, 27, Nigeria, Founder & CEO of Klasha
  • Charles Edosomwan, 29, Nigeria, Founder & Chief Strategist of TekSight Edge Limited
  • Charmaine Mbatha, 29, South Africa, Co-Founder Millennial Business Administrators
  • Shaney Vijendranath, 29, South Africa, Co-Founder & CEO of Vimage Media
  • Adetola Nola, 29, Nigeria, Founder & CEO Veritasi Properties Limited
  • Caleb Stephen David, 27, South Africa, Founder & CEO of Versatile Commodity Traders

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