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African countries will no longer spend billions to import SIM, ATM cards, thanks to this Nigerian innovator

June 07, 2019 at 02:00 pm | Tech & Innovation

Etsey Atisu

Etsey Atisu | Staff Writer

June 07, 2019 at 02:00 pm | Tech & Innovation

Nigerian innovator and technology market leader, Kofo Akinkugbe, is the first woman whose ATM company is the first in Sub-Saharan Africa to be Verve, Visa and MasterCard certified.

Her company, SecureID, is a world-class manufacturing facility with the only smart card production plant in West Africa, and one of only six on the continent. The company serves 21 countries in Africa, including her home country, Nigeria.

SecureID, which produces 200 million cards, has been recognized as setting the standard for innovation and creativity in the SmartCard sector in sub-Saharan Africa, helping save a country such as Nigeria, billions in imports for SIM and ATM cards from China.

As part of her contributions as well, Kofo is recognized globally as a leading African woman entrepreneur, who has founded a world-class manufacturing company competing successfully in a global market.

The company, built in 2015, was inaugurated in December 2016, as west Africa’s first smart-card plant.

Kofo, one of Africa’s thought leaders in the subjects of entrepreneurship and innovation in the technology sector, has once also won the Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship Mature Business Award.

Kofo’s Startup Story 

Mrs. Kofo Akinkugbe – Thrive Women

Kofo served in the Nigerian Youth Service Corps after which she started her career in the banking industry, working with International Merchant Bank Plc and Chartered Bank Limited. She stayed on in the financial sector for over 12 years until 1997 when she left to start Interface Technologies, a security management and biometrics technologies company. 

With a mathematics major and an MBA from the University of Strathclyde, she successfully ran Interface Technologies Ltd. (ITL) for nine years, before establishing SecureID Nigeria Ltd., an offshoot from a small department in Interface Technologies and the first VISA certified plant in sub-Saharan Africa. 

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