Yaya Koné: the man who wanted to transform waste into raw material
In Abidjan, a region in which the volume of plastic waste is destined to increase over the coming years, managing and upcycling this waste is a major challenge with regard to sustainable development. An African startup, a pioneer in solidarity economy initiatives in Côte d’Ivoire, intends to respond to this challenge and shift public policies concerning the environment.
Andy costa: the ivorian ambassador of cycling in africa
I met Andy Costa a few years ago. He’d called on me for a photo project. This 40-year-old Ivorian ecologist, who is married and the father of two young boys, constantly sees life in green. What could be more normal when you’ve grown up in the Sud-Comoé region of Côte d’Ivoire, and more specifically in Grand-Bassam: this town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the country’s first sustainable town via the agenda 21 project.
“My blog has enabled me to establish my credibility within the Ivorian tech ecosystem”
Meet Charlette Désire N’Guessan, a 25-year-old Ivorian who strongly advocates gender balance in the African technological ecosystem. In 2018, thanks to her courage and commitment, this tech blogger cofounded BACE GROUP, a Ghana-based startup in the disruptive technologies sector providing facial recognition services powered by artificial intelligence that notably helps African businesses to fight online fraud and improve KYC (Know Your Customer) strategies.
The architect and anthropologist designing the African smart city
After spending two years studying advanced maths at the University of Lomé in Togo, Sénamé Koffi Agbodjinou moved to France to continue his education. It was during his studies in Paris that he became interested in Design, the History of Art and Architecture. That’s also when he discovered digital fabrication laboratories (or fablabs). In 2012, he founded Hub Cité.
Bénédicte Mandy Ambassador of African mixology
More and more African women are venturing into entrepreneurship by embracing sectors that are wrongfully considered to be reserved for men. And that’s exactly what Bénédicte Mendy – a committed entrepreneur and explorer of aromas and flavours – decided to do.
The founder of Okana Bar Nomade, she specialises in making African spirits and liqueurs via her African Mixology approach: this is the art of creating high-quality artisanal cocktails & mocktails (non-alcoholic cocktails) steeped in history, with a customised professional service, an inclusive social approach vis-à-vis her suppliers and staff and innovation thanks to modern techniques that are environmentally friendly.
Thanks to O'plerou Grebet, African Emojis are here to stay on whatsapp
The first time I met O’Plerou was at an audience with the then Ivorian Minister for the Digital Economy. We had been invited because O’Plerou, some other people and I were winners of the 2018 Adicom Awards, a ceremony rewarding the creative and influential web and digital industry in Africa. He had just won the Young Talent award for his Zouzoukwa project regarding Ivorian emoticons.
I hadn’t been expecting to meet a young man who is so shy and reserved, but quick-thinking…
Monique Ntumngia, the young woman who wants to increase the share of renewable energy in Cameroon
Buea, it is one o’clock when I meet with Monique Ntumngia in her favorite restaurant: IYA. The young entrepreneur, 26, is running Monafrik Energy, a company that builds solar and biogas installations in rural areas in Cameroon.
It all begins in September 2014, Monique Ntumngia works in Kana, the second most populated city in Nigeria. She oversees the question of gender in the Nigerian organization Human Rights and Education.
Manka Angwafo: The face of female agriculture
The first time I met Manka Angwafo was in the Bubble bar in Makepe, a location run by a friend, Eric. It’s the sort of place young Cameroonians meet up after work. A radiating Manka was there, and we had a brief chat. I must admit I was intrigued by her career path. She left a comfortable job as a consultant with the World Bank in Washington DC to move to a rural area and create Grassland Cameroon Ltd. Her business provides services to help improve food supply chains in Africa through affordable asset-based financing to smallholder farmers.
Douala Art Fair, second edition!
“The African art boom is of little interest if Africans themselves don’t buy it”. That’s what I said in 2018 in an interview with Le Monde newspaper. That’s the level at which our thought process began. We started from the simple observation that Africa had to create its own art market. For the last two decades, so-called African contemporary art has been resonating on the international contemporary art scene.
Alain Nteff: Co-founder of Gifted Mom (healthcare for all)
We’re in Douala, at the Café de France, a wonderful location in the city’s Akwa district. Alain Nteff, co-founder of Gifted Mom, is just back from Paris where he had been invited to pitch his project at Vivatech. For those who don’t know, VivaTech is a global annual event for startups and business leaders to celebrate Innovation.
Arielle Kitio Tsamo, Cameroon's Queen of Code
I first met Arielle Kitio Tsamo at the second edition of the Women in Africa event in Marrakech in September 2018. She was representing Cameroon. At 26 years old, this young entrepreneur with a PhD in software engineering is on track to change the way we see new technologies in Cameroon thanks to her startup, Caysti, which was officially launched in February 2017. She’s also the ambassador of the Next Einstein Forum.
Meryanne Loum-Martin: The only black woman to have a boutique hotel in Morocco
I went to Jnane Tamsna for the first time a fortnight ago. It was for AFreeCulture, the annual creativity event organised by three women: Meryanne Loum-Martin, Mashariki Williamson and Roberta Annan. It was held in Meryanne’s boutique hotel and I wanted to find out more about her background.
Read more interviews
- Wilma Sickout Assele: “I beat depression through the power of african art”
- Flavien Kouatcha, the aquaponics pioneer in Cameroon
- Meet Jacobleu, the contemporary visual artist from the Ivory Coast
- Edith Tialeu: The woman who wants to make Douala a creative capital
- Sofia S'Mouni: A touch of tenderness, a hint of craziness and a good dose of determniation
- James Nsia Ekollo: classical music in Cameroon
- Emmanuel Henao: Rugby Coach and Entrepreneur
- Hayek Hassan: Côte d’Ivoire’s vagabond of charity and love
- Sadrak: bush Hip Hop pioneer
- Amee: an Ivorian slam poet
- “Beauty hides within ugliness”, says painter Obou, Ivorian visual artist
- Douala Art Fair, an opportunity to meet Landry Mbassi
- Entrepreneur Ange Frédérick Balma: a beam of light for African farmers
- F.I.A.C. International Business and Trade Fair in Douala
- Patricia Zoundi: democratize money transfers in rural Côte d'Ivoire
- Germaine Lonteu, dyer in Cameroon
- The new civil engineering and construction player in Cameroon
- A media watchdog in Côte d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso
- Cameroon at the heart of innovation thanks to the CardioPad
- Christelle Jackson Ndongou set up Cameroon's first online grocer
- Young leader in recycling plastic waste in Côte d'Ivoire