Mipagyendou Tchably is founder and chairman of African Coworkers.


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In the “Business Space”, “Promotional Space” and “Learning Space” of the African Coworkers business association in Lomé, Togo, young entrepreneurs can receive clients, engage in marketing and join further training programmes. Company founder Mipagyendou Tchably has also set himself the goal of overcoming urban-rural disparities and thus reducing the exodus of young people to urban regions.

Mr Tchably, how did the idea of “African Coworkers” emerge?
The idea of setting up a coworking space came to me as a result of the failure of my first company in 2012. It is very difficult to advance alone, especially if there is no support. Collaborating was the solution to avoid the costs and thus reduce the expenses of our projects.

Coworking models are widespread in many African cities, but not so much in rural areas. Why have you opted for a rural programme?

It must be said that today, we cannot talk about coworking space without talking about Internet connectivity. The Internet is a fundamental element that gives life to the coworking spaces. However, it should be noted that rural areas do not have the necessary infrastructure to facilitate the proper functioning of a coworking space. At our level, we certainly have launched our coworking space in town, but with a vision turned towards the rural world. Today, besides our start-ups, we are working on various projects related to rural areas with the aim of finding solutions to bridge the disparity between the rural world and the cities.

What kind of projects are they?

For example, we have launched the VOAN project. Its aim is to enable the inhabitants of rural regions to receive all important information via telephone. This information may be easy to obtain via the Internet, but people in rural areas have no access to it. In concrete terms, what we want to do is to set up a call centre via which people can inform themselves about a wide range of everyday issues, such as about which formalities are required for certain documents (birth certificate, criminal record), or where they can state whether they have agricultural products on sale in their range so that we can help them sell them.

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