Mariéme Jamme

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Mariéme Jamme
Mariéme Jamme, March 2020.jpg
Born1974 (age 48–49)
Dakar, Senegal, West Africa
Occupation(s)Tech entrepreneur, founder of iamtheCODE

Marieme Jamme (born 1974) is a Senegalese-born French-British businesswoman and technology activist. In 2016 she founded the iamtheCODE initiative and is on the board of the World Wide Web Foundation. In 2017, Quartz Africa included Jamme in their "Quartz Africa Innovators 2017" list.[1] In 2013 she was nominated as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.[2] In 2017, she won the "Innovation Award"[3] in The Goalkeepers Global Goal Awards, curated by UNICEF and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for globally supporting girls and young women and advancing the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. That same year, she was listed as one of BBC's 100 Women.[4]

Early life[edit]

There have been conflicting accounts from Jamme with regards to her early life. In early interviews, including with CNN in 2012, she stated that she had a turbulent childhood and was born in Senegal to privileged parents with her mother being an aristocrat, and after the death of her father in 1992 moved to France, where she worked in restaurants and cleaning jobs to fund her studies in marketing and communication.[5][6] In a 2014 interview with Radio France Internationale, Jamme discussed coming from a wealthy family living comfortably in Dakar before moving to France, where she worked a number of odd jobs to independently finance her Master's in Marketing and Communication.[7] According to the same interview, she then moved to the UK to improve her English, and obtained an MBA at the University of Surrey, before being hired by Citibank and then by JP Morgan and Lloyds Bank, before spending time in management at software manufacturers Oracle and Microsoft.[7]

In other publications, Jamme has stated that she experienced considerable hardship during her childhood; she was abandoned by her mother, did not receive a formal education, and at age 11 was raped by her Quranic teacher in Senegal.[8] She has also said that at age 13, she was trafficked to France, where she spent time homeless and in prostitution, with some interviews saying that at age 16 she was taken by the police to a refugee camp, and at 18 moved to the United Kingdom. Other reports say she moved to the UK at 16, and there she began to educate herself and taught herself computer programming.[9][10][11] During a 2019 interview with O Globo in Brazil, Jamme said that she was abandoned by her mother at age 6 and moved to Guildford, Surrey, UK at age 16, where she taught herself to read and write in a local library and worked as a cleaner.[12]

In a 2019 interview, Italian newspaper La Repubblica raised these discrepancies; however, Jamme terminated the interview and did not comment.[13] La Repubblica commented that she had a personal history that is "as romantic as it is dubious".[13]


Jamme is the founder and CEO of SpotOne Global Solutions, which is based in the UK and was established in 2007[14] in order to help IT organizations establish in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. She is the co-founder of Africa Gathering, the first global platform for entrepreneurs and experts to network with regards to development across Africa.[15] Jamme was referred to as being "at the forefront of the technology revolution that is slowly transforming Africa" by CNN.[16] She has been involved in various competitions for tech innovation including the annual "Apps4Africa" competition as an organiser and judge, showcasing innovation and app ideas across the continent of Africa,[17][18] and the Royal Academy of Engineering Africa prize for Innovation.[19]

In 2013, Jamme was honoured as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum[20] for her activism work in empowering and investing in young girls and women in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia through creative learning, entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics, and design (STEAMD). In 2015, Jamme collaborated with a group of African leaders[21] to create "Accur8Africa",[22] an initiative to help governments, civil society, entrepreneurs, and businesses evaluate progress on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 using Accurate Data.[23]


2017 saw the launch of Jamme's "iamtheCODE" initiative, which became the first African-led initiative that collaborated with government, private sector, and investors to advance STEAMD education for girls from under-privileged areas in Africa, South America and the Middle East. The program's goal is to contribute in achieving the UN sustainability goals for education by reaching 1 million girls by 2030.[24][25] The program aims to inspire more girls worldwide to learn to code, with an emphasis on including marginalised communities by providing them with educational spaces, tools and employment guidance.[26]

World Wide Web Foundation board and awards[edit]

In 2017 Jamme became the first black woman on the board of the World Wide Web Foundation.[27][28] That same year, she was recognised as one of five inspiring leaders at the Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards, which were hosted by U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed and Melinda Gates, where she won the Innovation award.[29]

Jamme has been included in the 2019 and 2020 editions of the Powerlist, a listing of the 100 most influential people in the UK of African/African-Caribbean descent.[30]


  1. ^ Staff, Quartz (5 May 2017). "Quartz Africa Innovators 2017". Quartz Africa. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  2. ^ "Community". The Forum of Young Global Leaders. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Global Goals Awards honour five champions for their work to make the world a better place". Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  4. ^ "BBC 100 Women: Who is on the list?". BBC News. 1 November 2017. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  5. ^ OCarroll, •Myriam (5 December 2013). "Inspirational Woman: Mariéme Jamme | CEO SpotOne Global Solutions - WeAreTheCity | Information, Networking, news, jobs & events for women". WeAreTheCity. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  6. ^ Robyn Curnow (24 July 2012). "Marieme Jamme: Shaping Africa's tech revolution". CNN. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  7. ^ a b Cessou, Sabine (10 January 2014). "Mariéme Jamme, tête pensante des nouvelles technologies en Afrique". RFI (in French). Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  8. ^ Maria Dermentzi and Nikolay Nikolov (27 February 2019). "She was abandoned and abused as a child. Now she is on a mission to teach a million girls how to code". Mashable. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Programar para escapar à pobreza e à violência. Mariéme Jamme quer ensinar um milhão de mulheres". SAPO 24 (in Portuguese). Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  10. ^ Refugees, United Nations High Commissioner for. "Award-winning technologist inspires girls to learn coding". UNHCR. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  11. ^ Elmendorp, Ruud. "Former Child Prostitute Inspires as Computer Programming Teacher | Voice of America - English". Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  12. ^ Rosa, Bruno (11 March 2019). "'No Brasil, as meninas negras não têm chance', afirma Mariéme Jamme". O Globo (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  13. ^ a b Rijtano, Rosita (27 February 2019). "Dal Senegal al palco del Mwc 2019 con Alibaba: "Così vogliamo insegnare a 1 milione di donne a programmare"". (in Italian). Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  14. ^ "SPOT-ONE ASSOCIATES LIMITED - Overview (free company information from Companies House)". Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  15. ^ Nsehe, Mfonobong. "The 20 Youngest Power Women In Africa 2012". Forbes. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  16. ^ Curnow, Robyn. "Marieme Jamme: Shaping Africa's tech revolution". CNN.
  17. ^ "Apps4Africa: Using Crowdsourced Mobile Apps to Tackle Climate Change". Global Voices. 25 March 2012.
  18. ^ Jamme, Marieme. "Why tech innovators are Africa's future". CNN. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
  19. ^ "A 31-year-old South African innovator's medicine-dispensing Pelebox just won another R470,000 international prize". BusinessInsider. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  20. ^ "Authors". World Economic Forum.
  21. ^ "Press Release: African Data platform launched to challenge global development community for accuracy of Data: "The African continent deserves better and more accurate data"".
  22. ^ "Accur8Africa – Africa Deserves Accurate Data". 10 June 2014.
  23. ^ Quartz Staff (5 May 2017). "Quartz Africa Innovators 2017". Quartz Africa. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  24. ^ "Sustainable Investment: Code, the language of our time". 4 September 2017. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  25. ^ "'Decoding' the Sustainable Development Goals: UNDP China and iamtheCODE to launch Hackathon in Beijing". UNDP in China. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  26. ^ Lieu, Alice (9 September 2018). "iamtheCODE: Rising Tech Entrepreneur Inspires Girls to Learn to Code". BORGEN. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  27. ^ "Mariéme Jamme". World Wide Web Foundation. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  28. ^ Cellan-Jones, Rory (15 March 2019). "Tech Tent: The web turns 30". BBC News. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  29. ^ Maunz, Shay (20 September 2017). "Meet the Young Women Changing the World Right Now". Glamour. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  30. ^ Mills, Kelly-Ann (25 October 2019). "Raheem Sterling joins Meghan and Stormzy in top 100 most influential black Brits". mirror. Retrieved 20 April 2020.