Africa, its potential, its opportunities and its glittering future are on everyone’s lips. But not everyone can succeed by snapping their fingers. The continent is a very complex market. The faculty of sciences and techniques (FST) of Mohammedia is in turn positioned on this theme.
The school, which is increasingly focusing on the personal development of its students and engineering students, hosted a meeting last Wednesday on innovative entrepreneurship, sustainable economic growth and R & D solutions in Africa. The event was prepared by the alumni association of the FST, created almost a year ago.
“To complete the academic training, we organize conferences, coaching programs and training courses around various topics, such as life skills, career management and entrepreneurship,” says his dean, Mustapha Lkhider.
The students, many of whom seem to carry the dream of becoming entrepreneurs, were numerous at the conference. “To be successful on the continent, you need to have the right mindset, be open-minded, interact with your environment, listen to and understand local realities, and offer solutions based on experience,” advises investor Chadwick Van Vacas. . The attitude and state of mind of the entrepreneur are indeed decisive.
“You must not be classical entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs of tomorrow are activists. It is important to be part of a collaborative approach, network and have a real social sensitivity, “said Hassan Charaf, expert in entrepreneurship and investment. “It is essential to learn to undertake, and above all to be surprised, to be passionate about your project. To innovate, one must first understand, “he adds.
Many startuppers began by observing the needs of the continent. They then demonstrated inventiveness and imagination, which allowed them to launch successful businesses, and above all, to solve many problems experienced by the populations (see article below).
“An entrepreneur must constantly question himself, be humble towards his environment and believe in his project,” thinks for his part, Younès Sekkouri, CEO of the African subsidiary of the Ecole des Ponts Business School. “Africa is opportunity, but it’s mostly a value system, a set of cultures and a lot of pride. She does not apprehend herself in an invader or colonist posture. This is what explains the success that Morocco meets there, “he continues. Morocco is part of it, in fact, in a process of co-development.
Give envy by showing concrete examples
To inspire young people, what better than to present them with success stories. The serial startupper, Mehdi Alaoui, CEO of Screendy, also based in Silicon Valley, shared his experience with the students. “Many young people have stars in their eyes. They dream of undertaking and innovating. The path is not, however, obvious. The difference between the one who wants to undertake and the one who succeeds is perseverance, “he said. “Their big problem is the mindset to go all the way. The culture of valorizing failure, for example, is nonexistent here. But we can not succeed without first having failed, “he insisted.
Mehdi Alaoui also organizes programs to promote and support innovative talents (Hack & Pithc, Smartup, LaFactory …).
These African startuppers who revolutionize the market
Ingenious entrepreneurs who turn constraints into opportunities, there are many in Africa. Mamoun Ghallab, a consultant in sustainable development on the continent, went to meet them, as part of the magazine “Made in Africa”, broadcast on 2M. “We have explored more than 50 projects in 10 countries, whose promoters were between 25 and 35 years old.
We have traveled more than 8,000 km of roads and 1,000 km of tracks, “says Ghallab.
In Cameroon, for example, where there are only 30 cardiologists for the whole country, engineers have created tablets (cardiopads, see photo) that nurses of rural clinics can use. They are equipped with sensors and collect information from patients, which are then sent by email to cardiologists for remote diagnosis.
In Kenya young people have set up a platform offering support and quizzes to students, through SMS, for nearly 10 DH per month. A simple technology, since only 10% of the population owns a smartphone. In the same country, Moroccan engineers have manufactured a solar cart, which they rent at 10 DH per day to farmers, so that they can bring their goods to the market. In Rwanda, young people have developed an application inspired by Uber, but for motorcyclists, since the motorcycle is the most used means of transport. They are equipped with helmets, tracked by GPS and rated by users.
In Gabon, startuppers, trained in Morocco, have launched a mobile solar energy station equipped with Wi-Fi. Placed in markets and rural areas, it allows people to charge their mobile phones and connect to the wifi.