Funke Opeke Biography

Funke Opeke is a Nigerian businesswoman and entrepreneur known for her contributions to the telecommunications and technology industry in Africa.

Ms. Funke Opeke, is founder and CEO of MainOne. MainOne is West Africa’s leading communications services and network solutions provider that built West Africa’s first privately owned, open access 7,000 kilometer undersea high capacity cable submarine, a $240-million-dollar project that was completed in time and on budget in 2010. MainOne also built West Africa’s largest Tier III Data Center, MDX-i’s Lekki Data Center, a $40 million investment with a capacity for 600 racks.

Ms. Opeke is an experienced telecommunications executive who returned to Nigeria in 2005 as the Chief Technical Officer of MTN after a twenty-year career in the United States. Prior to her return, she was the Executive Director of Verizon Communications Wholesale Division. 

Subsequent to MTN, Ms. Opeke advised Transcorp on the acquisition of NITEL and briefly served as the interim Chief Operating Officer, post-acquisition of NITEL. 

Early Life and Education:

Funke Opeke was born in Nigeria and received her early education in the country. She attended Queens School (girls only) in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. She grew up in Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State, although, she is a native of Ile- Oluji, Ondo state. Born into a family of 9, her father was the first Nigerian director of the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeriawhile her mother was a teacher.

She obtained a first degree in Electrical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife Nigeria (1981) and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, New York (1984).

After she graduated from Columbia University, she followed with a career in ICT in the United States as an executive director with the wholesale division of Verizon Communications in New York City. In 2005, she joined MTN Nigeria as chief technical officer (CTO). She served as adviser at Transcorp and chief operating officer of NITEL for a brief period.

Career and Achievements:

Funke Opeke's career in the technology sector began in the United States, where she worked for various technology companies, including Verizon Communications and Sprint. She gained significant experience in the telecommunications industry during her time in the U.S.

In 2005, Funke Opeke returned to Nigeria with a vision to improve internet connectivity and telecommunications infrastructure in the country. In 2008, she founded Main One Cable Company, a telecommunications and data services company focused on providing high-speed internet connectivity in West Africa.

Main One Cable Company:

After moving back to Nigeria, Funke Opeke started MainOne in 2008, when she noticed the poor internet connectivity in Nigeria. MainOne is West Africa's leading communication services and network solutions provider.

As the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Main One, Funke Opeke spearheaded the laying of an undersea fiber-optic cable from Portugal to Nigeria, providing high-speed internet connectivity and digital services to West Africa. This initiative significantly improved internet access and data connectivity in the region, fostering economic growth and technological advancement.

Main One has since grown to become one of West Africa's leading providers of telecommunications services and data solutions, serving both corporate clients and consumers.

Recognition and Impact:

Funke Opeke's contributions to the telecommunications industry have earned her numerous accolades and recognition. She has been featured on various lists of influential business leaders and women entrepreneurs.

Her visionary leadership and commitment to bridging the digital divide in Africa have had a transformative impact on the region's technological landscape. By improving internet connectivity and access to data services, she has helped empower businesses, educational institutions, and communities across West Africa.

Funke Opeke's story is an inspiring example of how visionary leadership and entrepreneurial spirit can drive positive change and create opportunities for growth and development in emerging markets. Her dedication to improving telecommunications infrastructure in Africa continues to be a driving force behind Main One's success and the region's digital transformation.