Head of Airtel Money in Kenya wins women in IT award

The Head of Airtel Money Topyster Muga has been crowned the IT woman of the year at the first annual IT women conference in sub-Saharan Africa organised by Techno Brain – Kenya.

Dubbed the Pink Potential Initiative, the pioneering event aimed at celebrating the great achievements by women in the industry. The conference brought together over 100 women in the IT industry to mentor, inspire and network to wrap their minds around topical issues affecting the IT woman in the 21st century.

It was a meeting of minds where experienced women networked with upcoming female professionals and discussed thought provoking issues in the ever changing, innovative and competitive world of IT.

This awards ceremony sought to acknowledge individuals who have spearheaded innovative new software or products, or generally-available IT services, which make the biggest contribution to business technology or to IT in general.

Topyster was part of a panel of five women that discussed about what the private sector is doing to ensure that there are more women taking up leadership and innovative positions in the sector. The panel also highlighted the tremendous value that women continue to bring to IT roles and identifying the much-need role models for young women.

She has been recognised for her contribution in technology and the IT industry as a whole. The award recognises her contribution in IT by recently leading the Airtel Kenya’s Airtel Money team in innovating the Airtel Money Pesa Card – a Visa card mirroring the Airtel Money account, being part of the project steering committee to spearhead the formation of the mobile money association of Kenya, winning the Nelson Mandela scholarship award to undertake MBA in the prestigious INSEAD Business School in France and previously while at Vodafone Group, leading the launch of M-PESA in several emerging markets.

“Pink Potential fosters a mentoring approach. Mentoring is a critical link to career advancement because it enhances employee satisfaction, improves retention, advances business objectives, and increases productivity. It can also enrich the professional and personal lives of both mentor and protégé. We are excited for Toppy and for Airtel for demonstrating their support for women in IT because one of our key objectives is to recognize and celebrate IT women who are making a difference in their world as well as to inspire more women into an IT career trajectory and leadership. Toppy has exhibited this in her leadership and the strides she has made at Airtel,” said Sarah Richson, Global HR Director, Techno Brain Group.

Asked how she felt about the awards, Topyster said: “I am humbled to be the recipient of this award. This clearly is recognition of the continuous effort that women in Kenya continue to put to ensure that their contribution in IT sector. This recognition is a great motivation to hundreds of women who continue to give their contribution in different sectors of the economy and also a challenge to our young women who are inspired to achieve their dreams.”

While congratulating Topyster, Airtel Kenya CEO Adil El Youssefi said; “Women are breaking barriers and succeeding in careers that many could never have imagined. As more opportunities become available to women, have continues to not only enrich their own lives but they have also support the growth and development of the economy in the country. Topyster’ s recognition is a timely motivation to our women employees and many others in different sectors who need to believe in their potential to succeed in whichever fields they want to pursue.”

Being part of the private sector, Airtel continues to play a huge role by ensuring that it empowers women within the organisation. The company continues to give equal opportunities for women, with women constituting a big part of its workforce.

Apart from driving inclusivity as one of its key company values, Airtel also continues to empower women through its mentorship program that was launched last year. This is part of the company’s Leadership Development Program through which the participants undergo at least five rigorous sessions with a mentor on topics that are deemed key and are linked to the mentees Performance Development Plan. The program has contributed in developing potential successors for senior leadership positions, retention of talent, improved productivity and achievement of career goals.
Source: Capital FM 28 October 2015

Microsoft 4Afrika appoints its first female regional director

Microsoft has announced Amrote Abdella as the new and first female regional director of its 4Afrika economic development initiative.

Abdella moves from her previous position as 4Afrika’s director of startup engagement and partnerships, and takes over from outgoing regional director, Fernando de Sousa, who was at the helm since the initiative was formed in 2013.

Microsoft 4Afrika said Abdella’s appointment reaffirms its commitment to all 54 African countries. So far, it has reached over 273 000 small to medium-size enterprises, 76 000 youth, 20 000 government employees, and nine innovation hubs providing them with access to technology, resources and skills development.

It’s also behind the TV white spaces projects in a number of African countries, including right here in South Africa where they’re currently being trialled in Limpopo and Joburg.

“Creativity is what I love most about working in Africa and is what I hope to continue to help unlock and ignite across the continent — to see Africans not just being empowered by technology but also building innovative solutions relevant for our markets,” Abdella said in a statement.

“Having worked with the initiative since its launch in 2013, Abdella has a deep understanding of both the continent and 4Afrika’s mission. Her wealth of firsthand, on-the-ground experience with startups, investors, government bodies and non-profit organisations has given her insight into the exact challenges and opportunities we’re focusing on through 4Afrika,” added Ali Faramawy, corporate vice president for Microsoft Middle East and Africa.
Source: 20 October 2015