Funke Opeke is Nigerian by birth. She is the Founder and CEO of Main One Cable; an Internet solutions company in Nigeria that built a sub-marine cable system which provides advanced network, voice, data, and cloud services to locations across West Africa.
Funke was born into a lovely family and has six siblings; she grew up in Ibadan, Oyo State. Her father was the first indigenous Director of the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria and her mum once worked as Head Teacher of different Catholic private schools in Ibadan.
She attended Queen’s School, Ibadan for High School, and graduated with a B.Sc in Electronics and Electrical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University in 1981. She also has a Master’s Degree in the same discipline from Columbia University, New York; she got that in 1984.
She started her career as a Systems Engineer, then joined PA Consulting Group where she held several senior positions at Allied Signal and Telcordia Communications.
- Between 2001 and 2005, she was the Executive Director, Performance Assurance with the Wholesale Division of Verizon Communications, New York, and was involved in designing and implementing business frameworks for Verizon.
- In 2005, Funke Opeke returned to Nigeria, after a successful career spanning over 2 decades in ICTs in the United States.
- In October of that year, she replaced Demola Eleso as the Chief Technical Officer at MTN Nigeria, and resigned her appointment after 5 months. Her role at MTN Nigeria included planning and management for business operations.
- She also had a brief stint at NITEL (Nigerian Telecommunications) as the Interim Chief Operating Officer (COO) and was part of the team that advised Transcorp on the Privatization of NITEL.
- On July 22nd, 2010, Main One Cable started full operation. This feat became possible after 7,000km of fibre optic cable was laid under sea from Portugal down to Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria. Capital for this project (touted as the biggest of its type in West Africa) was gotten by raising $240 million, and a contingency fund of $28 million.
Part of Main One Cable’s mission is to start a cyber revolution that would connect the whole of Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Funke Opeke has a keen interest in identifying and utilizing opportunities, and this shines through all the projects she gets involved in.
In 2012, Funke was recipient of the CNBC All Africa Businesswoman of the Year Award. She is a member of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, USA and the Nigerian Society of Engineers.
On the 20th of January 2015, Funke Opeke was appointed as Independent Non-Executive Director to the Board of Atlas Mara, a top notch investor relations firm.
Why TechHer Loves Her
She’s a rare Amazon and epitome of hard work for women folk and a result-oriented Engineer. She’ s a woman with great foresight, and has excellent work ethic. She sees problems as surmountable challenges, which is perhaps one of the reasons she started Main One in the first place. Beyond being shocked at the abysmal level of internet connectivity, she did something.
Prior to Main One Cable, she advocated for the fair treatment of subordinates, especially junior employees in her work places.
Funke Opeke is known to have said “While the developed world was fully connected, here in Nigeria the average young person didn’t know what the internet was. We can’t leave an entire generation of young people without prosper access to the internet.” We agree, and are inspired by her achievements.
Information gleaned from the Internet.