Short conversation with the Boss Rodrigue Fouafou , Wouessi Managing Director
Team work and comradery are some of the core values we uphold here at Wouessi. That is why, every month, we catch up with a team member to find out more about them as individual and as a professional in the work space. This Month, we were privileged to catch a few minutes with our very busy Bossman, the M.D, Mr. Rod Fouafou. Here is how the catch up went down.
Tell us about yourself and what is your position at Wouessi
I am an African Startup Ecosystem Builder and I like to identify myself as an African at large. I am originally from Cameroon and lived in Canada for the past 20 years. I returned to my continent this year of 2020 to gather, train, and develop African talents for us to create a real impact.
I am the Chief Visionary of Wouessi and happy to carry this vision that resounds beyond Africa. Wouessi vision is to become a catalyst for the transformation of Africa into a leading market in the global digital economy in the coming decades. We will work to drive workforce development to reduce the skills gap and create sustained GDP growth in countries.
My personal mission is to share optimism and vision daily to inspire many across the continent.
What pushed you to start Wouessi originally and how has Wouessi changed since?
After travelling across the continent for 9 years as an investor, speaker, tech ecosystem builder, and mentor, there are a few things I noticed that led me to starting Wouessi:
- There was not a firm on the continent with cutting-edge skills that provided training to meet African tech and digital needs or that was proficient to empower and develop the continent’s diverse talents.
- There was no structure capable of being a catalyst to bring the continent to be the global digital leader.
- The continent lacked a structure capable of meeting the demand for digital tech outsourcing overseas
- The continent is still far behind as fewer than 1% of SMEs have an online presence.
- Digital education in Africa is still behind to allow a strong infrastructure in order to compete at a global level.
To respond to these needs, I felt a deep call within me to launch Wouessi (means “thing of God” in Bafoussam).
Many things have evolved at Wouessi:
- Today, we are a dozen people who adopted the vision across several countries (Rwanda, Canada, Mozambique, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinee-Bissau).
- We currently have 17 Clients across the world (Rwanda, Cameroun, Canada, United Kingdom).
- We are closing this month our $100,000 seed round fund raising at a current valuation of Wouessi of $2.4 million USD . Most of our investors come from the diaspora with some who are on the African continent.
- We secured several partnerships for digital and technological training and transformation.
- More than 2 African governments have expressed interest in our services and solutions
- Today, we are happy to work in 3 official languages of Africa: English, French and Portuguese.
What’s your biggest motivation and what’s your ultimate goal?
What most motivates me is to give hope, inspire and empower the youth to create impact and get people to think big.
My ultimate desire is to have a better Africa, to see the continent take its place, make its voice count, and for it to have economic independence, through the growth of technology and digital use.
What is your vision for Wouessi in 10 years to come?
- Bring every small and medium businesses in Africa online
- Be the leader of digital and tech services outsourcing abroad
- Build the largest pan African talent pool
Fun fact: Who is your role model and why?
I would have to name three:
- Simon Sinek (Author and Motivator): I have followed him for more than 10 years now because of how he understands true leadership, the human psychic and what “vision” means. One of his books titled “Start with Why” has been a great inspiration for me.
- Shaka Zulu (King of the Zulu Kingdom in Southern Africa in 1787 – 1828): He established a strategy that was used to defeat the British army which had expanded its control over South Africa. His charisma, strong ambition and what he was able to achieve is a real inspiration to me.
- My mother: I strongly believe that I inherited from her most of my qualities. Her positivity, resilience, and humility continue to inspire me until this day.