Guinea Conakry Incubator in Tech
If medias grant little interest in Guinea, it is clear that the country is full of talents. The Guinea youth, like elsewhere in the continent, innovate, undertake, and participate in the transformation, 2.0, of the country. Proof of that dynamism, the next edition of Transform Africa Summit, the huge mass of Tech made in Africa, will be held in Guinea in 2020. Explanations with Aminata Kaba, President of the Comity of Organization of the digital week in Conakry.
Interviewed by DBM
Before we talk about Conakry and digital, tell us about you, Madam manifestly Tech at Conakry?
I am the president of the Comity of the organization of the digital week in Conakry in which the fourth edition was held last June, our Capital. I have an atypical profile. I am trained in telecom, I have a master holder of Mobile network and satellite communication.
I followed my studies in France, at the University of Creteil before I start my professional career in London as a consultant. After that, I went back to Guinea where I worked as an assistant in a sea company, from there I joined Unicef, two years, as a telecommunication officer, before I work for for a telecom operator. Finally, I entered theARPT (NDLR : l’Autorité́ de Régulation des Postes et Télécommunications de Guinée), in 2011, as director of operations then director of telecommunication. Before a path to OIF (NDLR : Organisation internationale de la Francophonie), I went back as an assistant director, my actual post. Lastly, I am 41, mother of two.
Form the beginning, was your come back to your country in your aims? Which is also a characteristic in the Guinean diaspora…
People talk, criticize our countries a lot, but if all human resources stay out of the continent, it does not help. We can contribute with experiences we acquired internationally and contribute to make positive changes. That is my philosophy. I love my country. It is true that we have many diffucties but all actions we can take are beneficial.
Did you set up the digital week in Conakry by applying that philosophy?
Note that it was not my idea from the start. It is an institutional event, set up by the MINISTRY OF POSTS, TELECOMMUNICATIONS and of DIGITAL ECONOMY (MPTEN) and Agency of Promotions and Private investments (APIP).
Concerning me, I started to manage it since 2à&_ and the third edition as the president of the organization comity, fact of my experience. I then started my network as well as the social networks to approach personalities that I was targeting and I did not know. We had to find a way to bring them despite our little resources. Step by step, I succeded to interst them. And they came. Because the big problem was the first two editions were too national, on the level of the panelists as potential investors. But, we can not succed this kind of events by ourselves. We had to change the paradigm and be open internationally. That is what happened. The events grew. The occasion to show what we were capable to do, by ourselves. Because we organize all entirely, without going through eventile agency.
Exactly, how was the last edition, and did it go as you planned?
Yes, we received many people and notably international and panafrican companies. For instance MTN, Ernest and Young, Tata communication that works on a project on interconnectivity of African Countries… We had almost 3000 participants, with nationals and internationals.
The occasion to show the dynamism of youth entrepreneurship in Guinea…
The digital week has a precise goal to promote entrepreneurship of young people in Guinea, Guinean skills, , both for Guinea and Africa. What really matters. We are not going to conceive roads: there are projects adapted to their environment and their needs, with a strong social impact. That is the reason we organize competitions. This year, we have integrated the public youth with workshops to introduce primaries to new technologies. We even associated former winners of the Digital Week to the program. For the school kids, we organized contests of Smart city.
I suppose like in other countries, young entrepreneurs know some difficulties in Guinea. What are their complaints?
It it usually a financing problem. They also have lack of visibility. The reason of the interest of that kind of platform to reveal them to nationals and internationals. They sometimes do not have accompaniment. They, sometimes, have very good ideas but do not know to make their business plan.
That is the impotance to invite technical partners and financiers to this appointment to connect them to the ecosystem of the international tech?
Indeed. This year we also invited Israelite companies who came to share their skills in the cyber security domain along with Israelites. They are the worldwide leaders in that sector and we have all interest to learn from them.
Meanwhile, the next edition will be special because i twill be integrated in Transform Africa Summit, the huge mass of Tech made in Africa…
It is a great opportunity for our youth. Because the Tics, is a transversal sector which affect others. There is hope in Guinea. Our youth have talents. We just have to involve them more, give them visibility. And that is what we are doing with the Digital Week, in order to have a start-up incubator which, in short and middle term, will become SMEs and will give socio-economic of our country. The private sector must hold that incubator society trough the digital
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