The government of Côte d’Ivoire has just added a new stone to building an environment conducive to the growth of its digital economy. After the fund of 500 million CFA francs to support ICT projects, announced on February 15, 2016 by Bruno Nabagné Koné (photo), the Minister of Digital Economy and Post, the country has just set up a foundation that will frame young ICT innovators.
The foundation, the fruit of the Ivorian government’s collaboration with Microsoft and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), is called “Smart-Up”. It was installed at the Information Technologies and Biotechnology Village (VITIB), in Grand Bassam, on March 31, 2016. Its mission is to detect and incubate, over two years, innovative projects with strong economic potential and job creators. For the start of the project, reports the newspaper Le Patriote, 50 young promoters were selected out of the 200 retained among 800 applications. They constitute “the first incubator of ICT projects designed by local intelligences”, explained Bruno Nabagné Koné.
Speaking to the first beneficiaries of the “Smart-Up” framework, the Minister of Digital Economy and Post said: “We will do everything to support you, but you will have to do your part. You are expected to produce tangible and concrete results. You will have to prove yourself worthy of the trust placed in you, by your seriousness, by your regularity, by your commitment to succeed in your project. The financial support you will benefit from should not be seen as a simple donation (…), but as a lever for the development of digital technology in our country. ”