Airtel Kenya head of mobile money transfer services Topyster Muga has been crowned the IT woman of the year at the first annual tech women’s conference in sub-Saharan Africa.
The award organised by Techno Brain, a regional ICT firm headquartered in Kenya, recognises individuals who have spearheaded innovative new software, products or generally-available IT services which make the biggest contribution to business technology or to IT in general.
Ms Muga was awarded for her contribution in creating the Airtel Money Visa card, a virtual debit platform mirroring the telco’s mobile money account.
She was also part of the project steering committee to spearhead the formation of the Mobile Money Association of Kenya which won her the Nelson Mandela scholarship award to undertake an MBA in the prestigious INSEAD Business School in France.
She also previously led the launch of M-Pesa in several emerging markets while at Vodafone Group.
Airtel Kenya chief executive Adil El Youssefi said Ms Muga’s recognition is a timely motivation to women employees in different sectors who need to believe in their potential to succeed in whichever fields they want to pursue.
“Women are breaking barriers and succeeding in careers that many could never have imagined,” Mr El Youssefi said in a statement.
In February last year, Airtel partnered with leading global payments technology company Visa and Chase Bank to launch Airtel Money Visa card.
The debit card allows Airtel money users to withdraw money from their Airtel Money accounts from more than two million Visa and Kenswitch ATMs worldwide, shop and pay for goods and services using Airtel Money at tens of millions of Visa-accepted merchants globally.
Airtel ventured into the local mobile commerce business three years ago and also provides e-commerce solutions including online payments, online banking, and utility bill payments.