As digital technology steadily grows in Africa, the indispensable contributions and commitment of tech entrepreneur Rebecca Enonchong towards fostering it on the continent cannot be overestimated.
Born in Cameroon, Enonchong has devoted much of her life to promoting African interests, both in Africa and in the U.S.
The world’s first Oracle Financials Certified Professional and with over 100 Oracle certifications, Enonchong holds both a Bachelors and Masters in Economics from the Catholic University of America and is fluent in English and French.
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In 1999, she kick-started her career in digital technology when she founded AppsTech, which has grown to become a leading global provider of enterprise application solutions. With offices on three continents, AppsTech counts clients in private and public sector across the globe and has done business in more than 50 countries.
Enonchong is also Board Chair of Afrilabs, a Pan-African network of over 100 innovation centers in over 20 African countries that help mentor entrepreneurs as well as also Board Chair of ActivSpaces (African Center for Technology Innovation and Ventures) supporting entrepreneurs from two tech hubs in Cameroon.
“Hubs have had such an impact on African tech and entrepreneurs,” she told the World Bank about Afrilabs in an interview. “This organization takes this one step further, in that hubs and labs can all work and communicate together and learn from each other.”
“We’re here to support those in the most difficult of situations and connect them to other hubs that can maybe provide them with free support. We want to reach out and bring more country members on board and be part of the family of innovation centers across the continent,” she added.
Enonchong, who told the World Bank about how she and her ActivSpaces co-founders long realized the “transformative potential of tech” on the continent also touched on its revenue potential and feasibility.
“It’s one of the easiest and simplest ways to build our economy — through digital innovation. I really believe that it’s one of the areas that can have the most impact that requires the least investment.”
On how tech entrepreneurship can thrive on the continent, she said: “I get asked a lot about what governments and donors can do to help start-ups and I always respond: ‘they’re businesspeople.’ If you have a bad business environment, it’s going to hurt their prospects. We have a huge opportunity not just to catch up, but to link different sectors.”
Enonchong is also cofounder and CEO of I/O Spaces, an inclusive coworking space in the Washington DC metro area.
She has been named a Global Leader for Tomorrow (GLT) by the World Economic Forum of Davos, Switzerland. Forbes magazine listed Enonchong as a top female tech founder in Africa. New African magazine named her one of the most influential Africans in 2014, 2016 and 2017. Jeune Afrique magazine listed her as one of Africa’s 50 most influential women of 2017 and as one of world’s 50 most influential Africans in 2018.
She also sits on the board of Venture Capital for Africa (VC4Africa), of Salesforce.org, the African Media Initiative, Eneza Education and iamtheCODE.
She is co-founder of Cameroon Angels Network and co-founder and Vice-President of African Business Angels Network. Enonchong currently serves as a mentor/advisor to several technology startups.