Meet Funke Opeke founder and CEO of MainOne

Connectivity pioneer Funke Opeke’s ambition to bridge West Africa’s digital divide and make Internet services more widely available led her to a mammoth project.

Her company, MainOne, built West Africa’s first privately owned, open access submarine cable system – a 7,000km system with landing stations in Nigeria, Ghana and Portugal and reserved branching units Morocco, Canary Islands, Senegal and Ivory Coast. The $240 million project was completed in 2010 – on time and on budget.

Nigerian-born Opeke spent 20 years of her career in the US – with high-profile roles like executive director of Verizon Communications Wholesale Division. In 2005 she decided to return to Nigeria to take up the role of chief technical officer at MTN. After that, she advised Transcorp on the acquisition of former state telecoms monopoly, NITEL, and briefly served as the interim COO post-acquisition.

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