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Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

Warning: ftp_nlist() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 420

Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

Warning: ftp_nlist() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 420

Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

Warning: ftp_nlist() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 420

Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

Warning: ftp_nlist() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 420

Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

Warning: ftp_nlist() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 420

Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

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Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

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Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

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Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

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Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

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Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

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Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

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Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

Warning: ftp_pwd() expects parameter 1 to be resource, null given in /home/customer/www/afrotechtalk.com/public_html/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php on line 230

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Afro Tech Talk xBENIN: Challenges and Prospects of Benin’s Tech Ecosystem – Afro Tech Talk

Afro Tech Talk xBENIN: Challenges and Prospects of Benin’s Tech Ecosystem

https://www.afrohustler.com/challenges-and-prospects-tech-ecosystem-benin/

The evening of January 15th hosted a defining event in the history of Benin’s tech ecosystem. This kick-start-the-year event took place in EtriLab, the largest tech hub in Benin.

This meeting was motivated by the intent to seek solutions to the challenges facing the tech ecosystem in Benin. Reforming Benin’s tech ecosystem was indeed the point of focus. This huge exchange session brought together 60 young Beninese and also some high profile personalities.

Some noteworthy figures included:

  • Ulrich Sossou, CEO of Happierco and Co-founder of Etrilabs and TekXL
  • Arel ZANNOU, President of the Patronage of startups in Benin and Co-Founder of DIS-MOI, DOC
  • Rachael Orumor, Vice-President of African ICT Foundation, Founder of FemCODERS ROBOTICS
  • Gloria Ahonoukou, Co-Manager of the WHISPA program.

These were all lead speakers at the event who came together to be part of a move to reform Benin’s tech ecosystem.

Cameroon was represented

On this historic day in Benin’s tech world, Cameroonian entrepreneur Rodrigue Fouafou greeted the Benin soil. The successful entrepreneur was welcomed into Benin EtriLabs to preside over this event.

Rodrigue Fouafou is the Co-Founder and CEO of HartNamtemah Inc, an investment and consulting firm catering to African entrepreneurs. He is also an entrepreneur and computer engineer. He has made great ventures on the hemisphere of Afro tech which has earned him the nickname, ‘Minster Africa.’

Rodrigue Fouafou Co-Founder and CEO of HartNamtemah Inc in Benin

 

Challenges of Benin’s tech ecosystem

The various entrepreneurs brought out clear factors that are contributing to the backlash in Benin’s tech ecosystem. As well as Africa’s entrepreneurial prowess as a whole.

One of the main issues that drew attention was the brain drain in Africa which Happierco’s CEO, Ulrich Sossou elucidated on this aspect. He explained that the greatest wealth within African countries today is in its youth and that it is a wealth that is wasted by brain drain.

According to Ulrich, “the biggest mistake we are making is leaving Africa for the West. Technology, especially in the field of software, was the ultimate gateway for Africans,” exactly where Africa should tackle its investment efforts.

Ulrich Sossou, CEO of Happierco, Co-founder of Etrilabs and TekXL

 

Amongst some disturbing factors mentioned was the constraint in marketing products internationally. Putting this point out, Ulrich called that immediate solutions be sort for.

Moreover, Ariel Zannou, President of the Benin Start-up Bosses, pointed out three main constraints to the advancement of the Beninese tech ecosystem.

  1. The weak tech entrepreneurship culture in Benin
  2. The lack of an enabling environment
  3. The lack of training adapted to realistic implementation.

These, he said, are the major challenges tech entrepreneurship in Benin faces.

Little or no devotion to entrepreneurship

Ariel Zannou explained that very few people are willing to devote themselves to entrepreneurship. For one thing, many prefer to work for the public service or in private institutions where their needs are guaranteed.

Arel Zannou, President of the Patronage of startups in Benin and Co-Founder of DIS-MOI, DOC

 

As a proposal to low consumption of technology, he said “we need to find ways to help people sufficiently consume technology whilst demonstrating the importance of entrepreneurship. This will emulate and motivate people to take an interest in it.”

He also shared his dream of having a law for the status of startups in Benin to solve the lack of an enabling environment for these ventures. Such a law, according to Zannou, would present the advantages and the obligations of startups in Benin. It will also foster a more adequate environment for the full emergence of the country’s entrepreneurial tech ecosystem.

If this is done, it will, no doubt, necessitate the training of young people. They will have to see themselves advancing globally and not just locally.

Strengths of Benin’s tech ecosystem

Amidst the many challenges Benin’s tech ecosystem faces, are equally some strengths the francophone African country is proud of.

Some of these strengths include the economic stability of Benin and good quality education. Ulrich Sossou believes the educational system is an already good asset. One that serves rightly as a springboard to set out for more opportunities.

Taking a more comparative approach, Ulrich Sossou said Africa has a larger workforce and a cheaper cost of living than Europe. This, to him, is an asset worth acknowledging.

This Afro tech meeting was in a bid to sort out solutions that could enable the Benin tech community to thrive above its challenges.

Rodrigue Fouafou (Minster Africa) provided very precise tips for establishing a successful ecosystem in African countries. Minster Africa’s first and core point was that there is a need for governments to create the environment and framework that is favorable for African entrepreneurs and their startups to flourish.

He focused more on what these startups need to do:

  • Startups need to have a strong global vision that goes beyond the limits of their country.
  • They need to create viable solutions to tackle existing problems.
  • Startups should have a digital presence.

Besides these, he also cautioned that startups should make their ideas mature before seeking funds and not the other way round. 

Seek Cooperation, NOT Competitor

In Rodrigue’s own words, he called on startups to be more collaborative than competitive. Getting proper English communication skills was also one of his prescriptions, something that can place these startups at international standards. Plus, it will give them a good chance at pitching to English-speaking potential partners and investors.

The established entrepreneur and CEO also advised these startup agents to surround themselves with mentors and like-minded people who understand their ideas and struggles. To make this possible, however, he advised that there should be the creation of a mentoring network for startups.

Mister Africa didn’t end his talk until he had decried the issue of African startups copying from the West. Encouraging uniqueness, he said “only Africa can offer new ideas that are completely unique to the rest of the world today.

Women are part of the tech world too

Gloria Ahonoukou, Co-Manager of WHISPA (Women High Impact School Preparation  Academy) said women should occupy a prominent place in the Beninese startup space. Her reason; “they are very creative and our ecosystem needs creativity.”

She readily addressed a vital issue which is the emasculation of the tech world. Women are progressively becoming celebrities in this field and are raising high, the flag of femininity.

As a co-manager of this girls tech school focused on raising women of the tech world, Gloria mentioned the areas of training which turn these girls into tech experts: programming design, digital marketing, and an introduction to innovative entrepreneurship.

This meeting was a full package. It not only was a warehouse of knowledge but also gave room for networking, something that can simply not be undermined in such gatherings.

Several localities of the country were able to network and exchange with industry-leading innovators in the Benin tech space. With a meeting this endowed, the obvious next logical move of any startup in Benin will undoubtedly be a success. The purpose of reforming Benin’s tech ecosystem would have been one step on.