Paris and Kigali, December 2, 2020 – Created to support the development of African digital entrepreneurs, the Digital Africa Initiative has just announced the recruitment of a very recognized entrepreneurial figure, Rwandan Aphrodice MUTANGANA, as Chief Operations Officer, deputizing the CEO. A Former General Manager of the kLab incubator, which has become a reference in Africa, with experience on several other projects contributing to digital capacity building such as Future Coders or the Refugee School of Coding, Aphrodice MUTANGANA will be specifically in charge of strengthening Digital Africa’s presence on the continent by establishing a network of digital entrepreneurship experts and supporting thematic hubs designed to source and scale up digital solutions for the real economy.
The network of experts thus aims to bring together around 20 personalities, to be called ‘connectors’ and all selected for their legitimacy within the African tech ecosystems and invited to promote Digital Africa’s actions and programmes on the ground. As for the thematic hubs, they will focus on major issues, such as EdTech or Agritech, and chosen based on their ability to connect tech solution creators with all the actors who can advance their project, notably public decision-makers and investors. The first of these hubs, dedicated to FinTech, will be installed in Digital Africa’s new office in Kigali, to be officially opened in the first quarter of 2021.
“Leveraging digital innovation to connect Africa from within and better connect our continent to the rest of the world: this is how I define my new mission at Digital Africa, which I am very happy and honoured to join,” said Aphrodice MUTANGANA. “At Digital Africa, we all speak the same practical and action-oriented language with the aim of meeting clear targets in terms of supporting entrepreneurs and scaling up projects. I am fully committed to this approach,” he added.
“Aphrodice MUTANGANA joins us with a clear will to contribute to the creation of solutions and jobs for the youth of the continent,” said Digital Africa’s Executive Director, Stéphan-Éloïse GRAS, during her visit to Kigali this week. “With his entrepreneurial background, the partnerships he has been able to forge with investors, and his good knowledge of the regulatory issues facing digital entrepreneurs on a daily basis, Aphrodice is the perfect person to implement the vision of Digital Africa, which is to encourage inclusive development through ‘made in Africa’ digital innovations that will gradually become global references,” she added.
The appointment of Aphrodice MUTANGANA and the upcoming implantation of Digital Africa on the continent are part of a process started a year ago to strengthen competences and aimed at establishing a structured, multidisciplinary and international team. The transversal functions – programme coordination, communication, training, operations and project management – have thus been developed, while more specific recruitments, notably on partnership management, investor relations, or technical programmes, are currently underway. These actions, as well as all programmes planned for the period 2021-2022, will be detailed on the occasion of the forthcoming presentation of Digital Africa’s White Paper, expected at the beginning of 2021.