Our Tech Personality of the Week is Liberian-born Fatumata Soukouna Coker, an exemplary business leader in the ICT industry. She has over two decades of experience working with Fortune 500 companies such as IBM and Microsoft.
Fatumata worked for close to a decade at IBM. She started out in 1999 as a Sales Territory Rep in second-largest school district in the USA. By her fifth year, she was in a senior position in IBM’s public sector operations where she managed sales enablement programmes. She was invited to join the IBM Service Oriented Architecture worldwide team in 2005 to develop the brand’s go-to-market strategy and roll out its worldwide web strategy. During her time at IBM, she took a sabbatical to work at an IFC-funded initiative in Ghana, the firm’s first fintech investment, as a means to contribute to the continent’s socioeconomic development.
She was headhunted and joined Microsoft, working there from March 2008 to September 2010 as Partners Strategy and Programs Lead, Anglophone West Africa, with the role expanding to cover West, Central and East Africa. During her time at Microsoft, Fatumata was instrumental in the over 200% partners revenue growth and in enabling long-term regional capacity development through programs like Microsoft Partner University. In October 2010, Fatumata became the Managing Director/CEO of Soft Solutions Limited (SSL) and led the company to become one of the leading information technology solutions providers and consultancies in Nigeria and West Africa.
Fatumata founded Ygroup Holdings, Inc. and YGH West Africa Limited, a business payments and settlement integration company with offices in Liberia and Nigeria. She also co-founded the non-profit Center for Women & Children Empowerment, Inc. (CEWCE) which caters to the needs of vulnerable women and children in post-war Liberia. She is the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Afrinvest Securities Limited; Chairperson of the Board at CreditRegistry Services; the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at ReEnergy Africa; and Vice Chairperson of CIO Club Africa Board of Trustees. She is a member of the NESG Technical Subcommittee; and a member of the National Planning Committee of the Institute of Directors (IoD) Nigeria where she received the 2022 Olutoyin Olakunri Woman Director of the Year Award.
She shares her expertise with the business school students at Lagos Business School, Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, and American University in Cairo School of Business, as well as with participants in start-up forums and IT incubators across the globe. She’s been awarded honorary degrees by the Joint Senate of the Africa Institute of Public Administration (AIPA, Ghana) and the London Bridge Business School, (LBBS, UK), as well as by European International University, France.
She was recently Elected 1st Vice President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON).