Businessman Martial Monthe is very optimistic about Information and Communication Technologies, seeing them as an excellent way for citizens to own businesses. These businesses also require very little investment Technology-enabled business start-ups of this kind also help to fight unemployment, he adds. Monthe recently outlined his vision during the presentation of Cinetpay, a project of his aimed at the millions in Africa without bank accounts but who would now be able to buy things on the Internet.
With 300 businesses as partners and in just 18 months of operation, Cinetpay has recorded 12,000 transactions and generated more than 200,000 Euros in sales on its platform. The target is now to spread its services to the nearly 7 million citizens of Cote D’Ivoire, with a view to increasing its reach to between 100 and 250 million Africans and in the next three years.
“Today, all you need to set up a business is only a computer, an Internet connection, a Facebook page or a webpage,” Monthe says, creating businesses taht will contribute to the nation’s wealth. According to him, the Internet “also provides high quality virtual learning opportunities to young Africans to train themselves in different skills through online courses. If Africa missed out on the industrialization train it must not also be allowed to miss the “number” train and digital transformation.
At the presentation with Monthe was Toucoly Donatien Foua, another businessman, who created an application to help young people easily find work via sms messages, with or without Internet. According to Foua, in just three months of operation, they were able to get 12,000 users in Kalejob community with 100,000 persons. They are targeting 250 million unemployed African youth.
A young African from Benin Republic, Jimmy Kumako, is championing another project, CoinAfrica. CoinAfrica, styled like Wallapop or Vibbo is an online shopping platform, which helps to connect buyers and sellers and aims to serve the entire African continent. In Kumako’s words “in Africa, for people to use something, you have to offer them something simple. People face many challenges such as access to the Internet, so, when we created CoinAfrica, we kept this fact in mind. Something simple and nice for the African context”, he concluded.
Kumako believes that African innovators can likewise do wonderful things in the field of health, agriculture and education.
Eugene Ohu writes from Lagos.