Our Role Model

Ms. Funke
Early Life 
Our group is talking about Engineer Funke Opeke, who is from Ile-Oluji, Ile-Oluji|/ Oke-Igbo Local Government, Ondo State, Nigeria. She is 60 years old, she was born into a family of 9, her father was the first Nigerian director of the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) while her mother was a teacher. She grew up in Ibadan. She was raised by high-achieving parents who encouraged her and her siblings to explore their talents to the fullest. In addition to being the first Nigerian director of the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria,  her father, late Professor Chief L.K.Opeke, won the World Cocoa Gold Merit Award. He was one of the directors of Cocoa Industries Ltd, one of the major companies in Nigeria in the 80s. He was also a member of the first Senate of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo state, where he was the Dean, School of Agriculture & Agricultural Technology. Her mother who is a retired teacher headed several Catholic private schools.

AWARD
The following are the awards of Engineer Funke Opeke
2019
Nigeria Business Leadership Award for Connectivity and Data Centre Service Provider of the Year
BoICT Award for Best Tier III Data Centre in Nigeria – MDXi
BoICT Award for Best Interne Delivery Company  – MainOne
Datacloud Africa Award for Excellence in Data Centre (Africa) and Africa Cloud Service Provider of the Year
Capacity Magazine 20 Women to watch in Telecoms 2019 List
Data Economy Power 200 List
2018
NTITA Internet Service Provider of the Year (Enterprise)
MOBEX Africa Innovation Award for Enterprise Solution Provider of the Year ( Ghana) Beacon of ICT Award for MDXI as Most Connected Data Centre award
ATCON 100 leading Telecom & ICT Personalities
Data Centre Dynamics Business Leader of the Year Award
Forbes’ The World’s Top 50 Women in Tech 2018 List
2017
NTITA Telecoms Wholesale Provider of the Year
Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) Impact Award
 Global Telecoms Power 100
Capacity Africa “People’s Choice Award”
Data Economy EMEA 50
GTB 50 Women to Watch for 2017
NTITA Woman in Technology Award
 
2016
African Information Technology and Telecoms Awards, Telecoms Wholesale Provider of the Year
Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry Award for Excellence in Broadband Infrastructure
2015
Nigeria Communications Commission Licensed Infrastructure Company, Lagos Region
Nigerian Society of Engineers – Recognition Award
2014
Office of the National Security Adviser – Special Recognition Award for Contributing to the National Cyber Security Agenda
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices winner for the Nigerian Data Centre Customer Value Leadership Award
Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Goodwill Ambassador
Harvard University Veritas Award for Excellence in ICT
2013
Nigerian Communications Commission Award for Deployment of Broadband across the nation
Ghana Telecoms Awards: Telecom Wholesale Carrier of the Year
Ghana Telecoms Awards – African Telecom Personality of the Year
Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria/Cross River State Government: Distinguished Knowledge Ambassador
e-Business Life’s Tech Achiever of the Year
 
2012
All Africa Business Woman of the Year Award, All Africa Business Leaders Awards
Thisday Award for Excellence
Technology Africa – Legend of Technology Award
2011
Nigerian Telecoms Awards – Broadband Company of the Year
Informa/Africom Africom Awards – Best Pan African Initiative (in conjunction with Seacom)
Top 10 African Women in ICT
2010
African Telecom Hall of fame – Best Telecoms project of the year
African Telecom hall of fame – Telecom personality of the year
2009
Project Finance & Infrastructure Finance Deal of the Year
NIITA -Telecom personality of the year
Her Career
Funke Opeke attended Queens School (girls only) in Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria. She obtained a bachelor degree in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife, Osun State and graduated from Columbia University for her Masters’ degree in Electrical Engineering respectively. She followed with her career in Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the United States as an Executive Director with the wholesale division of Verizon Communications in New York City. She joined MTN Nigeria, in 2005, as chief technical officer (CTO).  She served as adviser at Transcorp and chief operating officer of NITEL for a brief period.

Her Quote

“I am not overly sensitive, I just do what needs to get done…I cannot apologize for being a woman, it is who I am”.

TechPoint Interview

Her Achievement

About In 2008, she came back to Nigeria and noticed the poor internet connectivity in Nigeria. She is the founder of Main Street Technologies and Chief Executive Officer of Main One Cable Company based in Lagos state, a leading communication services and network solutions provider is West Africa.

Her company built West Africa first privately owned, open access 7,000-kilometer undersea high capacity cable submarine stretching from Portugal to West Africa with landings along the route in Accra (Ghana), Dakar (Senegal) in 2019, Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) in 2019 and Lagos (Nigeria). Her desire to add value to her home country birthed Africa’s biggest cable company. She turned her engineer’s eye towards the ocean, raised $240 million in funding and laid 4,400 miles of fiber optic cable from Nigeria to Portugal. Big business quickly followed. Online banking, booking services and retail websites helped build what is now Africa’s biggest economy. Nigeria’s’ Internet presence, once associated mostly with scams is now a growing space in for international business opportunities. It’s a change for which Opeke is often credited. After pledging all her savings, facing more challenges of raising capital for the start-up cable business, carrying out in-depth foundational works, feasibility studies, business plans, and technical plans, Main One Cable Company become more tangible. In 2015, her company started operations of MDXi reputed to be Nigeria’s largest Tier III Data Center, also extending a submarine cable from Lagos into Cameroon. Her achievements are a source of inspiration to many.

In her recent interview with TechPoint, Ms. Opeke named Fola Adeola– the founder of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) and chairman of MainOne– as one of her mentors. He was the first person she met with her idea of MainOne and has supported her ever since even though he initially thought she was overly ambitious in terms of what she was setting out to do. According to Ms. Opeke, Fola Adeola’s support gave credibility to the MainOne brand at its inception. When asked what is like being a woman doing business in a male-dominated industry, she said “I am not overly sensitive, I just do what needs to get done…I cannot apologize for being a woman, it is who I am”. Being the only female in her undergraduate engineering class prepared her for this.

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