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SA- Inspiring Fifty Opens Nominations For South Africa’s Most Inspiring Women In Technology

The Kingdom of the Netherlands launched Inspiring Fifty South Africa with an open call for nominations for “Inspiring South African Women” working in the different spheres of technology and innovation. Deadline for nominations is 24 June 2017.

Inspiring Fifty is a Dutch-based non-profit organisation that showcases inspiring female role models in the technology industry in the Netherlands, France, Europe, and the Nordics. Built on the core philosophy ”If she can see it, she can be it”, it annually awards the 50 most inspiring women in the technology sector with the aim of providing a platform that brings more visibility to the achievements of women in the innovation and technology sector.

Inspiring Fifty has now partnered with the Kingdom of the Netherlands to launch the initiative in Africa, creating the first platform of inspiring women in technology outside Europe.

“The African tech ecosystem is growing exponentially. This is re-shaping the South African economy as technology and innovation are leapfrogging beyond established technology, ideas, and infrastructure. The instrumental role played by women in this sector should be made more visible on a local and global level. These women are the inspiring role models for the future,” says Inspiring Fifty co-initiators Janneke Niessen and Joelle Frijters.

Creating a platform

“Inspiring Fifty South Africa allows us to create a platform for these women in technology, showing our girls that they can do the same.” says Bonnie Horbach, the Netherlands Consul General in Cape Town. The collaboration forms part of the Dutch campaign in South Africa, named #cocreateSA.


“We’re thrilled to be moving this initiative to the African continent as we share the same important goals around inclusive economic growth, diversity, innovation and entrepreneurship. We look forward to collaborating, to co-create and shape ideas to bring about positive and lasting change to the sector across the globe,” says Niessen and Frijters.

There is ample evidence on the critical benefits that diversity brings to innovation, problem-solving and creativity. Based on these insights, it is clear that there is no shortage of opportunities for women in the industry.

Jury panel

The Inspiring Fifty South Africa jury panel consists of the following local technology pioneers who themselves have proven inspirational in the technology space:

  • founder and CEO of GirlHYPE Coders Baratang Miya;
  • Carol Bouwer, founder of Carol Bouwer Productions;
  • co-founders of Inspiring Fifty and Improve Digital, Janneke Niessen and Joelle Frijters;
  • co-founder and CEO of Yoco, Katlego Maphai;
  • co-founder and CEO of WomEng and JourneyMap, Naadija Moosajee;
  • founder and CEO of Karisani IT, Portia Masimula;
  • director of Board, SDG Center Africa and UN SDSN & CEO, Perennis Africa Proprietary,
    Niclas Kjellström Matseke;
  • tech journalist, Samantha Perry, and;
  • Vanessa Raath, the managing director of It’s About People.

To meet the criteria, a nominee has to be a founder of a technology company; or hold a position in a c-level position in a technology company; or be an influencer, academic, or politician in the
technology or innovation space. The initiative encourages South Africans and the technology eco-system to nominate their most inspiring female role models. Nominate on
For more, go to


Written by How Africa

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