Often lauded as the figure behind Nigeria’s growing Internet presence and digital economy, Funke Opeke is a leading force in the telecoms market in West Africa and beyond. After 20 years working in US telecoms as a Verizon executive, Opeke returned to Nigeria in 2005 and began reconfiguring the country’s connectivity system. There she founded and became the CEO of MainOne (formerly Main One Cable Company), West Africa’s leading communication services and network solutions provider. In the span of just a few years, Opeke and MainOne raised 240 million USD in funding, laid 4,400 miles of fiber optic cable to join Nigeria with mainland Europe, and built West Africa’s largest Tier 3 data center. Thanks in large part to Opeke’s work, big business, online banking, booking services and retail websites helped build what is now Africa’s biggest economy and one that operates on the world stage.