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Rodrigue Fouafou, entrepreneur et start up investor- Intervention à l'Afro Tech Talk Abidjan mars 2020-DR
CareerFeatured

Career Rodrigue Fouafou “Wouessi, a channel to raise Africa to the rank of world leader in the digital economy”

An entrepreneur, an investor in startups, a business mentor, Rodrigue Fouafou combined numerous roles. This success is due to two talents: being a computer engineer and a genius in ICT first and having an innate sense to create entrepreneurial success stories– skills that he’s putting in the service of his continent. Born in Cameroon and with a second home in Canada, he links Occident and Africa to mobilize African startups’ fundings. Today, he is settled in the heart of the African Tech Ecosystem, in Kigali,Rwanda, and reunites through his platform Wouessi, young African developers of tomorrow’s technologies.

By Dounia Ben Mohamed

 

Rodrigue Fouafou, born in Cameroon, lived 20 years in Canada, where he had a brilliant university course in computer engineering at the Ottawa University. “I started by working for a startup, then for IBM as a software developer,” he explains. But quickly, Rodrigue directs his career towards entrepreneurship. A sector in which he reveals numerous talents. “With a partner, we created a web platform to consult free videos. We earned money thanks to advertising. It was like YouTube now, but we were in 2007.”

 

“While I was in Occident, my white friends were creating startups in Africa. It challenged me”

 

Precursor, the young entrepreneur, will experience a real success story. “From two employees, we have progressed to twenty in Canada, fifteen in the US, and hundreds in Asia.” Nevertheless, in 2012, Rodrigue leaves this adventure and goes to the startup Mecca, the Silicon Valley. “I had the opportunity to meet all the top bosses of the Silicon Valley, a unique space in terms of innovations in the world.”There, something clicked for Rodrigue: “While I was in Occident, my white friends were creating startups in Africa. It challenged me. That is when my interest in Africa started. Back then, I was an afro-pessimist, but every economic expert predicted that Africa was the last border, where opportunities were. I changed my vision.”

 

“We improve technological perspectives by making them more affordable, and useful than what is simply necessary for existence”

 

From his numerous travels on the continent, from afro-pessimist to afro-optimist, he invites investors to see Africa as an opportunity and it translates into investments in startups that Rodrigue spots. It was during one of his “African tours” that the young man, confined in Kigali because of the Covid-19, launches Wouessi, a platform that connects developers of the continent with companies looking for technological solutions in Africa and worldwide. “Modern organizations and companies focus on relationships between each other and relationship with technology. Those relations are governed by principles and actions that help every member to grow and develop. This is the spirit of Wouessi, Rodrigue explains. Our approach consists of examining key values and aims of every company or organization before looking at how technologies can serve their interest and how to help them to do more.” He underlines: “First and foremost, we are a real partner for the development and growth of every company we serve. We improve technological perspectives by making them more affordable and useful than what is simply necessary for existence.”

 

And tools provided to companies are numerous: digital marketing, social networks, applications, blockchain, artificial intelligence… “It results in enhanced growth, higher incomes, and even a reduction of costs over time. Technology becomes an investment and not an expense anymore.”

 

“I want Wouessi to be a mean by which African talents can develop “

 

Within the company today, they are 15 talents, coming from all over the continent, which allows them to know entirely African consumers’ needs. In a few months, the company gets its first clients: about twenty companies from Africa, the US, Canada, and Europe. “Right now, the value of the company is estimated at 2,4 million dollars. We are raising 100 000 dollars’ funding to stimulate our growth locally and globally. By the end of thefirstyear, we plan to reach a turnover of more than 500 000 dollars.”

 

Ambitions that are related to Africa’s potential, Rodrigue ensures. “I want Wouessi to be a service company and a provider of technological solutions as important as every big actor at the global level, with clients and projects worldwide. A channel that will position Africa as the leader of the digital economy globally. I want it to be a meanby which African talents can develop.”

 

 

“There came atime when investing was not enough anymore. This time, I had to be in Africa to develop and reinforce the African technological ecosystem. Today I’m based in Kigali,Rwanda, where Wouessi has its headquarter and knows a quick expansion all over the continent.”

 

Ce message est également disponible en : French