Ms. Opeke was the only Nigerian winner on the night as she edged out Jeniffer Barassa, CEO of Top Image Ltd, Kenya for the coveted award. Other Nigerian nominees were Mitchell Elegbe, CEO/MD Interswitch (Business Leader of the Year Award); Ernest Azudialu-Obiejesi, CEO & President of Nestoil (Entrepreneur of the Year) and the Late Tayo Aderinokun, former MD, GTBank (Lifetime Achievement Award).
Funke was born and raised in Nigeria where she obtained a degree in Electronics & electrical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife in 1981 before she proceeded to New York for a Master’s degree at Columbia University. Following graduation from Columbia, Funke pursued a career in ICT in the United States and successfully ended that phase of her career as an Executive Director with the Wholesale division of Verizon Communications in New York when she decided to return to Nigeria in 2005. She joined MTN Nigeria as Chief Technical Officer, and also served as adviser to Transcorp and Chief Operating Officer of NITEL for a brief period before launching Main Street Technologies in 2007. The company went on to raise $240 Million to build the pioneer private submarine cable system in West Africa – Main One Cable. The 7,000km cable runs from Portugal down to Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria and is delivering wholesale broadband capacity across several countries in West Africa today.
About Main One
Main One is a wholly African-owned communications Services Company delivering international connectivity and world-class broadband services to companies in West Africa. Backed by its open access, 1.92 tbps fibre optic cable and a state-of-the-art IP NGN backbone network, Main One delivers communication services to Telecom Operators, Internet Service Providers, Governments and Large Enterprises in the region. Leveraging on a growing regional terrestrial network, world class data centre facilities, a partnership with Tier 1 upstream carriers for Internet Connectivity, Main One ensures reliability and affordability of its services and has become the preferred communications service provider in West Africa.