“Africa will benefit from the digital transformation”

Alain Dolium, CEO of service provider ATAWAD Group, believes Africa will be the big winner of the ‘digital transformation’: the transition from traditional ways of working to an approach that integrates and capitalises on (big and smart) data. More specifically, Alain is seeking to empower African ‘champions’ in this field.

ATAWAD Group – an acronym for AnyTime, AnyWhere, Any Device – is the result of a journey that involved the creation of several companies and started in 2008. The headquarters of ATAWAD Group West Africa are based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and helps African private and public players benefit from the ‘digital transformation’. In doing so, the company focuses on four areas. It consults African companies in developing and implementing a strategy regarding the digital transformation; ATAWAD Group supports companies in the creation of new and innovative services in the digital sphere; by specialising in digital communication and marketing the group helps companies win and retain customers; and helps African companies exploit the possibilities of big and smart data.

Making African companies benefit

Alain is strongly confident of Africa’s capacities in the digital realm. Alain: “The resilience of the African continent is unlimited. There are lots of ‘life innovators’. They are the people who become disrupters in the digital world. Secondly, Africa has a young demography. The continent holds 25 per cent of the world’s youth, many of which are digital natives. Which is amplified by the fact that cell phone penetration is extremely high in Africa. Beyond Asia, global cell phone penetration is highest in Africa.”

Alain’s ambition is to make the African private and public sectors benefit from the digital transformation. Part of his passion is to identify ‘champions’ of the digital transformation. “African economies, with their GDP growth rates between 5 and 10 per cent, are prone to become the growth drivers of the global economy. We also see that to a growing extent, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is limited in other global regions, but not in Africa. Thus, for European, American and Asian companies, investing in Africa becomes increasingly interesting.”

Identifying digital talent

“This means African enterprises have the opportunity to develop a strong presence in their domestic markets. But even more so, they have the opportunity to become established in the entire global south. A majority of FDI is concentrated in the global south. If well positioned, African companies can benefit from these investments, pushing them to become the champions of their sectors.”

“In our search for champions, we target companies that have been in business for some time. However, in collaboration with Jokkolabs and French Tech Abidjan, we also created a competition that identifies young digital talent. Talent Day has the ambition to identify, grow and recruit talented young people in the digital space, who are about to graduate or have just started out on job market.”

Talent Day will be officially launched in Ivory Coast on 15 September 2016. The programme selects between 150 and 200 candidates, which will receive free training to become employed at larger digital companies, or to start their own company in the digital space.

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