After a lengthy career in the telecom industry in France, Congolese entrepreneur Christian Massoji has decided to go back to Africa with his company ME. MOBILE ECOSYSTEMS, a digital platform that aims to support the digital transition underway on the continent.
By Jacques Leroueil
At the age of 50, Christian Massoji could have continued his successful career as a telecom executive, working for the industry giants in France. But the man – native of the Katanga region, Democratic Republic of Congo – preferred to leave the well-trodden paths of the workforce to embark on another adventure, entrepreneurship in Africa.
It was an inner call that, like for other African diaspora members, has grown as Christian Massoji’s desire to participate in the development of his continent became more and more compelling. Once this was established, all that was left to do was to take the plunge and leverage his solid expertise on all issues related to telecoms and digital technology in Africa, acquired over a quarter of a century with global leaders in the industry. “I have a Master’s degree in Business Management from ESCP Europe, and I have built a 25-year career in the telecom industry, working for leading global groups such as Ericsson and Sony,” says the former executive turned entrepreneur.
«A digital platform of integrated services in the form of mobile apps, aimed at supporting the digital transition underway on the continent »
Christian Massoji is now putting this expertise, methodically honed over the past decades, at the service of Africa, through his company ME. MOBILE ECOSYSTEMS, “a digital platform of integrated services, in the form of mobile apps”, which aims to support the digital transition underway on the continent. The timing is, indeed, propitious. In 2004, less than 3% of Africans had a fixed-line telephone. Sub-Saharan Africa has today half a billion unique mobile subscribers, a penetration rate of 45%, making it the fastest growing market in the world, according to the GSMA, the Global System for Mobile Communications Associations. Mobile telephony has been the preferred instrument for digital transformation on the continent, more than anywhere else, with a whole range of applications that have thrived on this dynamic (mobile payment, education-related services, health, agriculture, energy, etc.).
« Working on digital inclusion issues in Africa »
It is no surprise under these conditions that Christian Massoji “has taken an entrepreneurial turn with the main objective of working around the issues of digital inclusion in Africa [and] developing digital ecosystems which provide real tools to improve daily life for ME. MOBILE ECOSYSTEMS users with ease.”
With his expertise and his knowledge of the African market, including “the vision of digital technology must be able to integrate local specificities and adjust to the ways of life of the continent”, the Franco-Congolese entrepreneur now wants to change the game, as the telecom market in sub-Saharan Africa is mostly dominated by international groups. “It will be a long-term task and will require the implementation of many synergies, both at the public and private levels,” admits the CEO of ME. MOBILE ECOSYSTEMS, who also acknowledges that the final success of the project “will not depend only on his initiatives, because all good wills (public, private…) have to be brought together so that everyone can begin to generate wealth, in a logic of inclusive growth.”
Tailor-made digital solutions adapted to the needs of the continent
Nevertheless, by offering “tailor-made” digital solutions adapted to the needs of the continent and with a real socio-economic impact, Christian Massoji is convinced that he can “make a difference”.