Sophia Bekele is a Group CEO of the PanAfrican DotConnect Africa group. Sophia is a technology and industry pioneer, business leader, policy and Governance expert, and philanthropist.
Post her successful Career in Fortune 500 companies in the US in the Corporate Governance & cybersecurity security space, She became well known for her trailblazing efforts as she straddled between US and Africa to bridge the digital divide for the past two decades. Her early career in Africa was marked by implementing large-scale nation-building projects and introducing the DNS space in her country Ethiopia.
She then pioneered and championed the ‘.Africa’ domain name for the benefit of the African continent, using tech to her advantage by creating the first-ever multilingual social media digital marketing infrastructure in Africa and globally, engaging online communities in a highly acclaimed 6-year “yes2dotAfrica” global awareness campaign. Combining her US and African experience in tech & policy, She also pioneered the Internet governance (IG) public policy debate by utilizing her leadership platforms on the UN and the ICANN to address the policy gaps she witnessed in IG policy between Africa and the rest of the world. She then initiated the first “Women-In Tech” (WIT) space in Africa in 2008 through her Miss.Africa Digital program, currently rebranded as FemPower and led an effort to set up a seed-fund impact program which is now in 12 African countries.
Currently, she has launched a technology-driven panAfrican eCommerce Marketplace ecosystem built to assist MSMEs in Africa to have access to international markets. The platform provides a unique opportunity for women entrepreneurs to sell online, process payments, and manage their finances to ensure their business grows through sales.