When law professor Douglas Branson published the book The Future of Tech is Female in 2018, he must have imagined that the global tech industry would soon be led by women.
Four years later, that future is evident in east Africa. For a long time, men dominated all senior and c-suite tech roles in the region. But as more women gained opportunities and skills, they’ve not only joined the tech industry in droves—in 2019, women made up 30% of people in tech in sub-Saharan Africa—they’re increasingly sitting in positions of power, creating tech products and services that impact more people.
Their impact on the sector has been hard to ignore. In Kenya, women-led medium-sized enterprises accounted for 48% of such businesses in 2021, which contribute around 20% to the country’s GDP.
Through leadership of local and Silicon Valley companies, women are brushing aside hurdles in tech. Meanwhile, organizations in every east African nation have popped up to mentor and train more girls who are becoming the next generation of startup founders.