Funke Opeke MainOne CEO Industry: Information and Communication Technology
Ms Funke Opeke is the founder and CEO of Main One Cable Company, a Nigerian cable and communications service provider that built West Africa’s first privately owned high capacity cable submarine. An Electrical Engineering graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife Nigeria, Ms Opeke has served as the Executive Director of Verizon Communications Wholesale Division. Armed with a twenty-year career in the United States as a telecommunication executive, Opeke returned to Nigeria in 2005 as the Chief Technical Officer of MTN. She also served as an adviser to Transcorp on the acquisition of NITEL and briefly served as the interim Chief Operating Officer, NITEL after which she created Main One as a result of the dearth of infrastructure which forms a huge information and knowledge gap between Africa and the rest of the world. She creatively built Main One as a result of the non-existent internet services in the country at that time. She built Main One over a 2-year period, from inception with a total investment of $240 million financed entirely from African investors (The founding shareholders are called Main Street Technologies) plus $28 million contingency. Since her company began operations in 2010, Main One has transformed Nigerian and African broadband landscape. Recently, her company began the building of a $25 million Tier III + data centre in Lagos which would be the largest of its kind in West Africa at 1,500 square metres with a 600 rack capacity as part of its growth strategy and vision to enhance infrastructure in its primary market – West Africa. Her efforts have been recognised over the years. Last year, she won the 2012 CNBC All Africa Businesswoman of the Year Award (AABLA) in Midrand, South Africa.