If there is one person who has become the ambassador and face of technology in Africa, the name of Ethel Delali Cofie would top the list. In a continent where patriarchy is still very much rife, this is a remarkable feat as she commands respects including from her male counterparts.
Providing a platform for young IT women
Cofie is not only an IT professional, consultant for various IT projects but she is also a shrewd entrepreneur. She is a founding member of a prominent Women in Tech Africa, formed to empower a pool of young African women. The organisation has become a critical platform for women pursuing IT and STEMi fields to interact and support one another and has members in over 30 African countries including in the diaspora.
“I created a network of women in tech week, a global event which started in 2016 to bring together women in technology. The first events brought together over 10,000 women virtually with physical events in Ghana, Nigeria, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Canada, Germany, Belgium and China,” says Cofie.
Amassing valuable experience
In 2013 Cofie went on to form another entity: Edel Consultancy to pursue the same objectives of creating vehicle through which women in technology can network, form alliances and help to enhance one another’s careers. By forming Edel Consultancy, Cofie fulfilled one of her other dream of becoming an entrepreneur. By combining her IT knowledge and her business acumen, Cofie will be able to assist scores of young technology geniuses to commercialise their innovations or intellectual properties. She worked for a variety of organisations where she amassed valuable experience and gained exposure to transformational tech systems and innovative products.
String of covetable qualifications
Cofie holds a series of covetable qualifications including a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the Valley View University in Ghana, a master’s degree in distribution systems from the University of Brighton, and an executive degree in leadership, business and entrepreneurship from the Yale School of Management. Other achievements include holding different technological and commercial roles in the United Kingdom, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. She has also worked with Vodafone Ghana as head of commercial solutions.
Gracing pages of prestigious publications
- Cofie’s knowledge and as an authority on IT topics saw her featured on BBC and CNN shows. She has also been shortlisted for the UN GEMTech Awards for her vast and enviable knowledge on innovation and technology and was also named one of the top five women impacting IT in Africa. Not only that but she was also profiled in prestigious and esteemed publications such as Wired UK, New Africa Woman, European Business Review and Business Africa. On top of that she is a Mandela Fellow for President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative Network.
Cofie also was also roped in to be part of projects funded by Bill and Melinda Gates such as ‘mobile technology for health’ project, the Ford Foundation’s election monitoring project for Nigeria and as head of commercial solutions for Vodafone. She conceptualised, executed and worked with the Vodafone teams to align corporate strategy to IT strategy and to develop and manage creative technology solutions.
Awards and recognitions
Cofie has received several awards, they include:
- Recognised as Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Business and Government for ICT by CEO Global
- USA Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker mentioned Ethel Cofie in her 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Summit speech in Morocco
- She won the 2020 Glitz Africa Ghana Women award
- Named one of the Top 5 Women impacting IT in Africa
- Shortlisted for United Nations GEM Tech Award in October 2014
- 100 Most Outstanding Women Entrepreneurs in Ghana
- Africa Woman of Influence in Business: ICT Category
- Africa’s Leading Women in IT