SENENEWS.COM A properly furnished two-room apartment serves as a start-up office in a new city on the outskirts of Dakar. Two large tables and three laptops complete the decor. We are in the universe of Mamadou Dramé is one of the young pioneers of new technologies in Senegalese education.
The 30-year-old entrepreneur is the founder of Digital School Technologies, the only company in the region specializing in the implementation of educational software and online training platforms in universities. He prefers to build his own version of “Silicon Valey” in Africa than to join the American firm.
“I was drawn to the American educational model which emphasized skills rather than theory. I wanted to create, and it seemed to me that the United States was the only land of opportunity that would allow me. In my entourage, I was taken for a madman but I was convinced that there, I could find other madmen like me, “he explains.
Mamadou Dramé is passionate about two things: computers and America. They boil down to the social struggles of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, but also that of technological innovation by Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.
The bureaucratic archaism dazzled him when he was a student. From this frustration was born a revelation. “Why, in a country with an advanced education system like Senegal, had the computer and technological shift been missed? he wonders. I thought there was a gap here that I could fill. ”
This flaw, he ended up closing it. In 2008, to facilitate the professional integration of graduates, he launched his school’s first social network. Named Asema, it allows students to come together in an online community and access job openings.
“Programming is the language of tomorrow, but almost no one teaches it in Africa,” said the computer pioneer. His dream is to create a new school concept where, after the BAC, young people will come to train in the short term on trades.
He intends to achieve it, because he is “tired of seeing courses that train for years computer engineers who are then unable to create something drinkable because we have privileged too much the technical part to the detriment of the managerial and creative part ”.
Mamadou Dramé plans to extend his project from Dakar to the rest of Africa. He has already succeeded in doing so in schools and for clients in Niger, Burkina Faso, Cameroon and has launched a subsidiary in his country, Côte d’Ivoire. “I don’t want to start a business for one country,” he says. In the education business in Africa, a country is not a market. Because there will only be fifteen to twenty schools and universities with the means to invest in technological innovation. ”
Leaving the continent, he doesn’t think about it
For Mamadou Dramé, his professional future is found nowhere else. His base is Africa. He learned everything there and will stay there. “Africa has given me good studies, a job that fascinates me and great opportunities. I envision a global future for my projects, but for nothing in the world, I don’t want to live in America or in Europe! I am and will remain a pure African product ”.