Paxful launches list of Africa’s top women in blockchain, bitcoin market

19 Mar 2020, 12:00 am
Financial Nigeria


The list of top 10 influential female leaders in blockchain and bitcoin in Africa includes Ojuederie Doris, CEO and Coordinator of Blockchain African Ladies; and Olayinka Odeniran, Co-founder of Black Women Blockchain Council.

Ten top-tier female professionals and entrepreneurs in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Tunisia, Botswana and Zambia have been listed in the inaugural annual list of leading women in African blockchain technology and bitcoin market launched by Paxful, a peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace. In a statement released today, the tech firm said the women on this year’s list are all innovative and inspirational leaders who are actively making a difference and empowering other females to enter the industry.

Bitcoin is the world's largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation. The digital currency is notably built on the blockchain technology, known as a "distributed, decentralized, public ledger." Paxful said it launched the list to showcase some of the most influential African women in these emerging sectors, which have been dominated by men.

The inaugural list of top 10 influential female leaders in blockchain and bitcoin in Africa includes two Nigerians, Ojuederie Doris, CEO and Coordinator of Blockchain African Ladies (BAL); and Olayinka Odeniran, Co-founder of Black Women Blockchain Council (BWBC). The list features four South Africans, Yaliwe Soko, Founder and Chairwoman of United Africa Blockchain Association (UABA); Monica Singer, Country Lead at Consensys SA; Sonya Kuhnel, Founder of Blockchain Academy; and Naomi Snyman, Blockchain Lead at Standard Bank Group and Chair for the South African Financial Blockchain Consortium.

The others are Roselyn Gicira-Mwangi, a Kenyan and Chairperson for Blockchain Association of Kenya; Michelle Chivunga Nsunsumuco, a Zambian and Founder/CEO of Global Policy House; Alakanani Itireleng from Botswana and Founder of Satoshicentre;
and Imen Ayari, a Tunisian and Head of Innovation Factory at Talan.

According to a 2018 study by blockchain incubator and venture capital firm, Longhash, only 14.5 per cent of blockchain startup team members were women. Paxful said it is committed to growing female participation in the sector, and especially championing female talent from emerging markets.

“The tech sector rightly gets a bad rap for not yet being inclusive enough,” said Ray Youssef, co-founder and CEO of Paxful. “As an industry, we can all do better. Beyond a moral imperative, there’s no question that tech businesses and our society can only benefit from embracing talent with diverse backgrounds, experiences, values, and ideas.”

The digital currencies trading platform said more than 40 per cent of its employees are women and the company is set to further increase that proportion. As an advocate for inclusion, Paxful said it provides training and development opportunities to all employees and ensures that their wellness and health remain top of mind.

Paxful said it introduced the list as part of the celebration of the International Women’s Day 2020, which was marked on March 8.

“Personally, I think women are better at tech. Women add a new dimension to innovation, they’re better collaborators, community builders and in many ways better problem solvers. And as such (sic) are absolutely critical to the future of the blockchain and bitcoin ecosystem,” added Youssef.

Doris is a Certified Blockchain Expert and serial entrepreneur. Her BAL is a non-profit blockchain forum, which educates African women on the potential opportunities of blockchain technology and how they can utilise the technology for financial inclusion.

Odeniran is a respected risk management expert and attorney, specializing in blockchain, crypto and emerging technologies. Part of the mission of BWBC is to increase the number of black women pursuing professional and entrepreneurial careers in blockchain and fintech through training, mentoring, networking and other programmes.