Funke was born and raised in Nigeria where she obtained a degree in Electronics & electrical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife in 1981 before she proceeded to New York for a Master’s degree at Columbia University. Following graduation from Columbia, Funke pursued a career in ICT in the United States and successfully ended that phase of her career as an Executive Director with the Wholesale division of Verizon Communications in New York when she decided to return to Nigeria in 2005. She joined MTN Nigeria as Chief Technical Officer, and also served as adviser to Transcorp and Chief Operating Officer of NITEL for a brief period before launching Main Street Technologies in 2007. The company went on to raise $240 Million to build the pioneer private submarine cable system in West Africa – Main One Cable. The 7,000km cable runs from Portugal down to Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria and is delivering wholesale broadband capacity across several countries in West Africa today.
The most challenging aspect of my work is building the team to drive such an innovative project and deliver world class service quality out of our operational headquarters in Nigeria. The most satisfying is seeing how much we have achieved in four years with the establishment of the company and early progress towards the transformation of the Internet economy in West Africa.
My Master’s degree was critical, but so were numerous training classes in Business and Finance that I obtained during the course of my employment.
ICT offers a tremendous opportunity for young women to work on solutions and technologies that impact people’s lives and change the world. A career in ICT can be diverse, varied and offers good rewards. Young women with the Science and Math aptitude and skills who do not explore a career in ICT are limiting themselves.