On the phone with Prince Youlou

In this post, Emanuel talks to Prince Youlou about an exciting project in the Republic of Congo. Listen to the podcast by clicking on the link below.

Interview with Prince Youlou coordinator of Fongwama, an organization working in the field of big data and development based in the Republic of Congo. One of Fongwama’s objective is to fight against malaria, a disease that kills more than one million people per year. With the help of 21st-century technology and big data, Fongwama hopes to do their part in the fight against the disease. Earlier this year they released EduPalu, a mobile application created to educate and inform the public about Malaria.

In 2017, Fongwama together with the WFP and a range of other partners organized a 48-hour Hackathon with the aim to produce a mobile application able to assist and strengthen the agricultural sector in the country. Emanuel had the opportunity to talk to the different players involved in the event, as well as interviewing a number of farmers who explained that they dreamt about the day when their products could be exported abroad. “It was a pleasure to witness this Hackathon and to see the drive and hope in the eyes of some 40 young Congolese innovators. Innovation with the help of big data is an important sector, and Africa is filled with innovators. It might sound far-fetched, but with the right investments and leadership, I truly believe that Africa one day could be able to compete with some of the world’s leading innovation hubs.”

The team behind BigFatData recently spoke to Prince Youlou who joined us on the phone from the Republic of Congo. We asked him about his thoughts around big data and development, how Africa can protect itself against data colonialism, and what part academics can play to support the big data community in sub-Saharan Africa.

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