citiesabc founder Dinis Guarda interviews Mamadou Toure, Founder Africa 2.0 And Ubuntu Group about the challenges Africa face, digital transformation and how it can help changing structure of communities with Ubuntu.
Mamadou Toure Introduction
Mamadou Toure was born and raised in Cameroon in a not wealthy family. His school had over 100 students per class. From that humble background he became one of the world leaders changing Africa and pushing a genuine focus on the very African concept of Ubuntu “I am because we are.” An idea that can be seen in all his projects of social, economic and financial empowerment and impact. He understood from the beginning the importance of leadership, structure change, technology as a tool to change and impact and build social balance. His leadership has been shaping Africa and the young leaders with Africa 2.0 and many other projects. Mamadou has been working with the World Bank and his experience reinforced the importance of co-creation balance with technology and leadership.
Interview questions focus
1. An introduction from you – background, overview, education…
2. Career and Vision
3. Your company and focus
4. About Africa 2.0 foundation
5. Vision behind Ubuntu: Goals and focus
6. Covid-19: how can you look at this as a way to redesign our society
7. Future vision
Mamadou Toure Quotes
How Mamadou became Mamadou
· A defining moment was in high school when the principal asked my parents and told them that I needed to change school. I changed to a top school and was surrounded by bright minds and that shaped my profile.
· It was very interesting to have this opportunity and was so impressive with the level of development and said to my mother that one day I would be going to Africa and work in development.
· I created my first non profit organisation when I was 19 and after I was admitted at the French Grande Ecole
· I believe that the real gap in Africa and the rest of the world lies in leadership. That is something I have been trying to fix and improve my whole life.
· I built the first platform for Diaspora to go to Africa and manage the challenges of business school and grew the network to 200 students. During that time we built libraries in Africa and did many social and community driven activities.
· After that I started pushing e-commerce in Africa as a way to support entrepreneurs and for Africa to embrace this new world.
· Started working with KPMG on banking structure work that became handy when I came to blockchain two decades later.
· When I joined multiple NGOs I started understanding the challenges Africa was facing and decided to focus on structural impact to help communities. My work since that moment has been shaped by that, even my education. I did a Major and a MA in finance to help me accomplish that vision and focus on having an impact through investment and the finance services.
· It was a time when Africa was not on the map and I spent time travelling and speaking with investors to invest in Africa and we reached the World Bank. We got them to invest in social projects while nurturing a collaboration between us.
· My mother told me that: Your child dream of changing Africa is happening and went to South Africa and at the time decided to focus on telecoms and technologies.
· This was on my focus on how to get people to get a better opportunity and technology telecom, media was that equaliser.
What are the problems of the continent and how to unlock them: Africa 2.0 and Ubuntu Group
· The most pressing issues: we need a vision for tackling our challenges and fully unlock the potential of the African Continent.
· Africa is awakening and companies all around the world are starting to realize the potential that lies in the continent. Only in 2050 we will have a planet with 2 billion plus Africans and if you need Data you will go to Africa.
· Digital transformation is happening in Africa and there are more and more initiatives to bring emerging technologies such AI, FinTech and blockchain. As I see blockchain right now, it can disrupt economies through decentralised networks that are immutable and give equal opportunities to compete.
· The question we faced then was: How do we get 55 countries and young leaders and entrepreneurs to go towards this direction?
· We are experiencing a new generation of open source software and technologies and we have a lot of people working in a lot of projects that are contributing to this new world of blockchain and open source era in a decentralized collective response and alliances of like minded people sharing some ideas.
· We have 2 ways to unite people: common enemy or common vision, but ideally we bet for a third way – common dream.
· The power of frequency – the power vibration of human emotions
· Entrepreneurs are the ones that will change the world. But we need to use the power of decentralised finance and digital crowd funding that are tools to power ideas. The only difference between businesses that succeed are the ones that empower people’s lives.
· All of these ideas converged in a new project. We understood that we need a think tank and that vision became Africa 2.0 Foundation.
· So we wrote a manifesto and presented it to the African Union. It was titled A Vision for Africa, Transform Hope into Action to uplift Africans and transform its infrastructure. It was a success and was approved by 43 ministers.
· African Union 2014 picked the proposal and ratified the project manifesto.
· One of the things we recommended was the Africa Trade Area ratified by 26 countries
· Importance of Ubuntu – the collective is key for the individual.
· The manifesto is based in a social contract between different stakeholders
· Every person can be identified by:
what we believe,
what we do – actions,
our network, family, colleagues friends, tribe
· From Africa 2.0 we prepared a report about Covid-19 and how to push things forward by different people from multiple backgrounds that provide solutions
· The Ubuntu Love Challenge Initiative – “Ubuntu global declaration of our interdependence.” It reminds people that if we give into the fear we will get into hopelessness. That shows the importance of interconnectedness and the need to be prepared, only then we have more chances to change and overcome the issues.
· The Ubuntu Tribe came from this idea of changing the mismatch of the African issues. Some of the ideas: what if we make the resources an asset, a trading element
· In history, crises always created new opportunities for changing and with inspiration of Ubuntu by people like Nelson Mandela. The world needs these values of what keeps us together.
· The Ubuntu concept. An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told them that whoever got there first won the sweet fruits. When he gave them the signal to run they all took each other’s hands and ran together, then sat in a circle enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they chose to run as a group when they could have had more fruit individually, one child spoke up and said: “UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?”. “Ubuntu” in the African Language means; “I am because we are”.
· The platform is build for the tech point of view with blockchain technology and we have partners and gold base with contracts and in 6 months will have 500 million gold supply that will allow to have a solution with distribution wealth though sustainable gold supply chain, and focus on solutions that create new solutions to create impact and difference.
· We are doing a STO project and talking with investors and have a product ready to go.
· Coordination of multiple projects – lateral thinking providing different pieces of the puzzle.
· Decentralised investments in five elements: air (telecoms and tech), water, fire, earth, love.
Mamadou Toure Biography
Mamadou Toure is the Founder of Africa 2.0 Foundation (present in 30+ countries), gathering a community of young leaders from Africa and the Diaspora. Africa 2.0 was a pioneer in designing and proactive influencer in driving a vision for Africa through Advocacy and concrete scalable Impact Initiatives.
Mamadou Toure founded Ubuntu Group in 2015, an investment/advisory and financial services platform committed to deliver bundled financial and social returns to stakeholders through disruptive technologies and innovative business models. Mamadou recently founded Ubuntu Coin (UCoin), a Digital Currency backed by natural resources, aimed at fostering inclusive wealth creation via fair trade and financial inclusion. Over his career, he built solid experience in High Finance, Strategy and Disrupted Technologies to solve problems pertaining to human development.
Mamadou currently works as Managing Director with GE Africa. In this role, Mamadou leads a regional Capital Markets (Sales and Project Finance) team across Sub-Saharan Africa supporting GE’s industrial business growth with sales’ funding solutions. He is also responsible for developing market and competitors’ analysis across the region.
Mamadou previously worked at IFC (International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group) in Johannesburg, he was in charge of private sector investments in the Telecommunications, Media and Technologies sector covering Sub-Saharan Africa.
Mamadou Toure has worked on advisory assignments consulting with various institutions such as European Investment Bank, African Development Bank, European Union Commission, etc. He has executed various investment transactions in more than 26 countries driving growth on the continent and leading
Founder Dinis Guarda
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