Jean-Patrick Ehouman Profession of faith: ICT
“If I can’t change the world I’ll improve some lives” is the motto of this young entrepreneur. From Bingerville to Nairobi, where his speech opened the 6th World Entrepreneurship Summit in July 2015 in the presence of Barack Obama, his journey is that of a coherent and determined man.
At the head of the NGO Akendewa since 2009, he believes that the salvation of African youth requires ICT *, which he tirelessly promotes.
At first glance, the man is hardly causative. A relative coldness that we could blame him in his environment. He does not take offense: “Many people find me weird. But I’m only friends with my friends. In the ultra-community environment of the Web, some people sometimes find it difficult to put things right. ”
Serious voice, rare verb, athletic silhouette maintained by a long practice of basketball, impeccable pace … we feel that it takes on him, that the RP annoys him. That his hyperactive mind is caught in the mesh of other canvases, other ideas, other projects. Far from the “star system” of the Ivorian technosphere and its corollary to the hunt for popularity, this fan of Tony Elumelu – he is one of the mentors of the program set up by the Nigerian philanthropist – and dad of binoculars carves the road with efficiency, one project and one step at a time, regardless of what we will say.
Born in 1981 in Aboisso (south-east of the Ivory Coast), he was introduced to associative activities and computer science at a very young age, via the scienti ﬁ c club of his college. His baccalaureate in pocket, it is in Poitiers that he leaves to continue his studies, sanctioned by a DUT in electrical engineering and industrial computing, and a professional license in computer systems and software obtained, she, at the Saint-Charles University of Marseilles. In 2004, still a student, he was hired in a Japanese SS2I based in Toulouse, Index Multimedia, the first company specializing in the development of mobile applications on Java / J2Es. Next step: Paris, where our traveling bird integrates Capgemini then AOL (then number 2 on the Internet in France) as an independent developer of Web applications, participating in particular in the design of the Vodafone live portal for SFR, before working as engineer of studies and development in the banking sector (Natixis Bank) then software architect.
TEST AND ERROR
In 2007, he returned to Côte d’Ivoire after seven years of absence. First impression ?
“The shock: I came back there, and I found friends who were still hanging out at college at 27-28 years old. On the other hand, I realized that people were more interested in the Internet than I would have thought … “Back in Paris,” JP “set up AllDenY, a structure specializing in consulting and the development of Web and mobile applications. He is trying to create a subsidiary in Ivory Coast, but the experience turns to ﬁ asco: “I gathered five engineers and I trained them. We started to work, but the quality of European standards was not there, the customers did not follow.
I had bought a lot of equipment, thinking that I was going to make money for the whole year; I bet everything on it and I lost everything. ” Not demotivated, he repositioned AllDenY on the Ivorian market by adapting it to local needs. Thinking about social applications on the Internet, he had the idea of organizing a BarCamp, a sort of community and participatory non-conference based on a concept born in California and developed by Tim O’Reilly, great open source guru. The idea? “Bring together all the players, from the expert to the amateur, in order to reduce the gap between them and contribute to a rapid growth of the Ivorian technosphere through an event that everyone can take ownership of.” The first Ivorian BarCamp takes place in July 2009 in Abidjan.
“ACTING FOR AFRICA, AS AN AFRICAN, IN AN AFRICAN WAY”
The NGO Akendewa will see the light of day, named after the hero of a popular Akan tale, sometimes a man, sometimes a spider, who uses “small means to achieve big goals, showing concern for his people … and always a carrier of new ideas ”. Created with a reservoir of ten projects, the “association” will stand out for its civic initiatives during the presidential election of 2010. Two of them are to be particularly welcomed. The first, posted on the eve of the first round, is a citizen alert platform for free and transparent elections, on which Ivorians could report the abuses or incidents observed. The second is the #CIVSOCIAL platform, an emergency call management center for victims of the post-electoral crisis, which will save 82 of the 150 people in care thanks to the solidarity chain created on the networks social. In the process, Jean-Patrick will be selected to present #CIVSOCIAL at Camp Crisis Europe, approached by various polling institutes, and even asked to promote Twitter in Africa – the thread # CIV2010, launched by Akendewa during the elections, a summer all day long # 1 worldwide, with more than 5 tweets per second. In 2013, his NGO received the Unesco-CEPS springboard prize for youth entrepreneurship and the culture of peace in Africa.