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Meet Alain Capo-Chichi, the entrepreneur building a locally-owned smartphone brand in Ivory Coast – Business Insider Africa

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Imagine a smartphone made by an African for Africans. That’s what Alain Capo-Chichi has accomplished in Ivory Coast with Open G — the first locally made android phone in the West African country.
Business Insider Africa gathered that the smartphones are configured to understand 16 out of the 60 local languages spoken in the country. People can use the phone by simply speaking into it.
The move is a strategic one, targeting uneducated Ivorians who may typically struggle with using regular smartphones.
He told Reuters that he was inspired to build the phone so that illiterates, like his parents, could effectively use smartphones.
“In Africa, the problem we have… is that reading and writing are not accessible to everyone. People can use their smartphones much more easily by simply speaking to them,” he said.
In the meantime, the smartphones are available for purchase in Ivory Coast. It joins a list of other smartphones made by Africans, which are competing against foreign brands for market share.
Who is Meet Alain Capo-Chichi?
He is an Ivorian entrepreneur, Founder and President of Groupe CERCO. According to information available on his LinkedIn page, he founded the company in 1998. At the time, he was just 20 years old.
Over the past 24 years, Groupe CERCO has grown and expanded its services across the continent, now available in Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Mali, France and China.
He is also the President of the International Network of Private Higher Education Institutions in the CAMES area (RIDEPES-CAMES).
Asides from entrepreneurship, Alain Capo-Chichi is also an academic. In 2012, he graduated with a PhD in Information and Communication Sciences from University of Paris 8 in France.
He is also an Assistant Professor in Computer Engineering at University of Paris 8 and an Associate Member of the UNESCO Chair in ICTs at University of Bordeaux.
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