#Okay100Women

ETHEL D. COFIE

OkayAfrica's 100 Women celebrates African women who are making waves, shattering ceilings, and uplifting their communities.

Ethel Cofie’s entrepreneurial successes have shown that African businessswomen are “not new to this, they are true to this” as the popular slang phrase goes. She has created a global platform, “Women in Tech Africa," which is a week-long event showcasing over 10,000 women’s contributions in technology. In addition to spearheading “Women in Tech Africa,” she is the CEO and Founder of Edel Technology which is an internationally renowned IT Consulting firm.


Cofie is a Ghanaian born, Yale graduate who is vocal about the originality and authenticity of creating an IT culture unique to Africa’s customs and resources, as opposed to simply imitating what  famous technological hubs in the West. She is cited as saying, “In the attempt to ‘copy and paste’ a Silicon Valley, we ignore what our inherent advantages are in Africa for creating entrepreneurial ecosystems and that’s why we are most likely to fail at it.”

Failing doesn’t seem like it’s in Cofie’s immediate future. She was named one of the top 5 women impacting IT in Africa and her company, EDEL Technology Consulting Company, was recently named IT Consulting Firm of the year by the Telecoms and IT Industry. —MB

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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