Francophone Africa: 35 under 35 Africa Innovators to watch!

Thu, 18 Aug 2016 15:16:10 GMT

Meet the Francophone Africa 35 under 35

Did you know that the African continent has the most French speakers in the world?

What is Francophone Africa?

Francophone Africa pertains to all countries in Africa where French is officially spoken either as a first or second language. French is mostly a second language in Africa. In some African countries (like Tunisia and Morocco) it is a first language amongst certain “classes” of the population.

In each of the Francophone African countries French is spoken with their own local dialects.

The Francophonie 35 under 35 Youth Prize is an annual ceremony aimed at recognising French speaking youth, spread across five continents, who have made outstanding achievements. This year the event will take place on the 29th October 2016 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

In their various categories, here are the 35 Young Innovators:

Culture and Entertainment

  1. Esther Marie Dupont
  2. Nowak Jan & Iris Munos
  3. Kakou Fonou Rosine (a.k.a Yehni Djidji)

Esther Marie Dupont (27): Radio Show Host, Haiti / USA

“Bringing a perfume of Haiti to the Diaspora in America”

Esther embraced music as a source of inspiration for her show which provides an opportunity for members of the Haitian Diaspora to stay connected to their home culture; as well as for Americans to discover a different music genre.

Nowak Jan and Iris Munos: Drameducation, Poland

“Teaching French as a foreign language through theatre”

Drameducation is behind a Program called “10 of 10” for the past five years. It is a writing residency program during which 10 French authors write in 10 days;

  1. 10 plays
  2. Consisting of 10 pages each
  3. For 10 non-Francophone comedians

These plays are then made available to teachers and young people interested in theatre.

Kakou Fonou Rosine (a.k.a Yehni Djidji) (28):, Côte d’Ivoire

“Promoting reading and writing through various initiatives” offers authors an alternative platform to publish their writings. Kakou’s latest project “Louko” is to democratize audio books to enable the 51% illiterates as well as the 200,000 visually impaired people in Côte d’Ivoire to “read” differently and reduce the intellectual divide.

Agriculture and Agro Business

  1. Gninlnagnon Koné
  2. Kpante Gambah Labopou
  3. Zodome Gildas

Gninlnagnon Koné (29) – Katio-Akpa, Côte d’Ivoire

“Helping achieve self-sufficiency in rice”

Côte d’Ivoire consumes more than 1.6 million tons of rice per annum but only produces 600,000 tons per annum. Filling this gap is the mission Koné Gninlnagnon assigned to himself. His company, Katio-Akpa, is responsible for growing and marketing the first Ivorian luxury rice brand called “Riz Délice” (Rice Delight)

Kpante Gambah Labopou (29) -Choco Togo, Togo

“Revolutionizing the cocoa industry in Togo”

Kpante’s brand “Choco Togo” is putting chocolate “made in Togo” on the map, using organic and fair-trade cocoa.

Zodome Gildas (32): Bio Phyto, Benin

“Providing healthier crop care products”

Zodome Gildas was witnessing some of the adverse impacts of chemical pesticides in agriculture. This gave birth to Bio Phyto, a social enterprise in Benin, which produces organic fertilizers and pesticides based on a seed called NEEM and local herbs.

Blog and Media Innovation

  1. Guebo Yoroba Israel
  2. Katche Corinne
  3. Kouamé Ouattara Amie

Guebo Yoroba Israel (34): Avenues, Côte d’Ivoire

“Democratizing the practice of blogging”

Guebo Israel is a pioneer for a whole generation of bloggers in Sub-Saharan Africa! He runs a popular blog in Côte d’Ivoire and believes in journalism that puts the citizen at the heart of information. He created the “Avenues”, a platform that trains young people in journalism, blogging and multimedia creation across Africa

Katche Corinne (28):, France

“Showcasing the vibrant Afro Culture scene of Paris and beyond”

, is the go-to site which lists all events related to Afro culture in France, ranging from sports to beauty and fashion to music. MyAfroWeek represents a platform that highlights the best of what Afro culture as a whole can offer.

Kouamé Ouattara Amie (32): – Ayanawebzine, Côte d’Ivoire

“Awakening the great qualities in each woman”

Ayanawebzine is the first web magazine in Cote d’Ivoire celebrating the African woman through her achievements. The magazine has a strong following locally with its catch phrase “Ayana Girls are Super Women”.

Management and Intrapreneurship

  1. Barry Mamadou Bailo & Chaikou Ahmed Tidiane Balde
  2. Dosso Moussa Kofamos
  3. N’Zore N’Doli Kouadio Germain

Barry Mamadou Bailo and Chaikou Ahmed Tidiane Balde

“Celebrating excellence in education”

Destin en Main, Guinea Destin en Main is the leader in the organization of extra-educational and recreational activities such as TOP SCHOOL, an annual televised national inter-school competition for children in Guinea, which also focuses on youth empowerment.

Dosso Moussa Kofamos (28): Top 10 of the Ivorian Fashion, Cote d’Ivoire

“Promoting Cote d’Ivoire fashion industry”

A pioneer specialising in the fashion industry in Côte d’Ivoire. Dosso hosts an annual event the “Top 10 of the Ivorian Fashion” which provides fashion designers the opportunity to showcase their designs as well as allows younger models a chance to integrate the environment.

N’Zore N’Doli Kouadio Germain (35): Douce Mer, Côte d’Ivoire

“Filling the gap in animal and fish proteins”

The deficit in animal and fish proteins is estimated at 40% of the population in Africa. Douce Mer sells frozen fish and meat both on a wholesale and semi-wholesale basis, within Côte d’Ivoire.


  1. Bakayoko Mohamed Lamine
  2. Vangsy Goma
  3. Hamidou Abdoulaye Nafissa

Bakayoko Mohamed Lamine (33): Avva Group, Côte d’Ivoire

“Democratizing made-in-Africa coffee”

Avva Group is a company that produces coffee mixed with local spices (kinkéliba, kanifi, ginger) giving it a fruity taste highly favoured by locals. The company offers its coffee waste free of charge to local gardeners who use that as a potent organic fertilizer.

Vangsy Goma (31): Africab, Congo / Côte d’Ivoire

“Simplifying individual mobility in Africa”

Africab is an on-demand mobility app that wishes to revolutionize the transportation of people in Africa while providing stable employment for its drivers. Africab recently celebrated its 15,000th ride in just 4 months of activity. Impressive!

Hamidou Abdoulaye Nafissa (30): Salma, Niger

“Providing high-quality animal feed in Niger”

Hamidou Nafissa founded Salma which specializes in the production and sale of high-quality animal feed. The company owns sales outlets throughout the country to then sell its production.


  1. N’Goua Aubin
  2. Poueme Serge
  3. Aminata Sow

N’Goua Aubin (29): Solar Box, Gabon

“The popularization of solar energy”

In Gabon, nearly 3,000 villages are not yet electrified. Solar Box Gabon rents and sells PV Solar Cubes “With reflective rays which bounce off the walls of the cube, providing three times more power than conventional solar panel.”! Solar Box Cubes can serve as the main energy source or as a replacement to generators.

Poueme Serge (33): Camidus, Cameroon

“Ensuring the Life cycle management of land by leveraging tech”

Camidus has developed CALAR, a technology platform which combines geospatial data, cloud computing and mobile with the principles of urban planning, for the governance of the cadastre and land registry. The adoption of this type of technology could prevent land disputes; reduce processing times for land transactions including those related to obtaining a land title and to protect the property rights of citizens. To date, the company has achieved 5 major demonstrations, notably for Bangladesh and Nepal.

Aminata Sow (28): Genius Family, Senegal

“Walking the informal sector participants towards the use of ICT solutions”

The informal sector is a heavy part of the Senegalese economy. It occupies 45% of the active population and accounts for over 40% of GDP. Genius Family offers web, mobile, SMS and app solutions tailored to the needs of informal participants such as the ability to have a traceability of their business transactions from their smartphone or computer. The company is present in 5 cities of Senegal and ambitions to deploy in the West Africa region soon.

Other categories

  1. Favourites of the Jury
  2. Social Entrepreneurship
  3. Public Service
  4. Entrepreneurship Support

,Jobs in Francophone Africa,!

CA Global Francophone Jobs in Africa CA Global

Do you know anyone making a difference in Francophone Africa? Tell us in the comments below.

For the full list of the 35 under 35 Francophone Africa, the source for this article, click HERE.

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