A digital revolution in ongoing on the African continent … a technological leap with the surname « leapfrog » that rushes trough the traditional steps of development as the Western countries have undergone. From Rabat to The Cape, via Accra, Lagos, Nairobi and many other major cities, new digital and entrepreneurial ecosystems are being developed which the whole world is nowadays watching with amazement. Technological innovations, startups, new digital services, fab labs, collaborative spaces: young people are at the heart of this revolution. They are called the afropreneurs.
Within the framework of the 2017 Africa Week organized by the S&D Group of the European Parliament, BOZAR invites five outstanding afropreneurs to come and present their success stories and to debate about the economic, social, political and cultural challenges of the African digital revolution: Sename Koffi Agbodjinou, Njoki Gichinga, Ellen Houston, Vérone Mankou and Eyram Tawia. The debate will be hosted by Sami Abdelkrim, entrepreneur and founder of StatupCRICS.com.
#LowHighTech Design Experience
From 19.30 to 20.00, preliminary to the panel, Koffi Agbodjinou will demonstrate a 3D printer made from electronic waste parts and developed by the young computer engineers from Woelab in Lomé.
Sename Koffi Agbodjinou
Sénamé Koffi Agbodjinou, an architect and anthropologist from Togo, created ‘L’Africaine d’architecture’, a collaborative research platform, and devised the concept of # LowHighTech. He is also the founder of fablab and grassroots incubator “WoeLab” renowned for building the first 3D printer made out of electronic waste parts.
Aphrodice Mutangana is a social entrepreneur and kLab General Manager which is the biggest hub in Rwanda with more than 1600 members and 60 companies. He is also the founder and Managing Director of FOYO Group Ltd, a company that designed and developed Foyo M-health mobile application and Napteker. Lately he created the tech Support Incike initiate:a mobile crowd funding used to raise funds to help elderly survivors of the 1994 Genocide. He also founded Future Coders, a program teaching children aged between 8-15 years old how to code and program.
Ellen Houston is in charge of the programs for She Leads Africa (SLA), a digital media and event company dedicated to the support of young and ambitious African women entrepreneurs. It was launched four years ago in Nigeria by two young women. Starting with 20 000 members at the beginning, the network now has 350 000 members. Ellen has helped to form some 6 000 women entrepreneurs with various programs she supervises (accelerators, webminars, etc.)
Verone Mankou developed the first African tactile tablet and smartphone. He is the founder and CEO of VMK, a Congolese startup dedicated to mobile technologies. He also leads Vox Médias, a press and communication group with its head office in Brazzaville. Lastly he has set up the Bantu Hub Foundation for the promotion of TICs and encouraging young entrepreneurship in the Republic of Congo.
Eyram Tawia is the CEO and co-founder of Leti Arts, a pioneering company within the video games industry in Africa with locations in Ghana and Kenya. He has won many prizes, amongst which the British Council Young Creative Entrepreneurs Media Award 2012. The video games of Leti Arts are revisiting Africa’s history and heroes.
Samir Abdelkrim is a French entrepreneur, an innovation consultant and blogger. He is the founder of StartupBRICS.com, a specialized media about innovation in emerging countries. During eight months per year he explores the entrepreneurial ecosystems in Africa, visits the best startups of the continent and connects entrepreneurs with investors. He writes specialized columns for several media (Le Monde, the Huffington Post and the Echos) and takes part in numerous international forums.