"I wanted to work in Africa and for Africa"

"I wanted to work in Africa and for Africa"

  • Cyrille Nkontchou ©Sciences PoCyrille Nkontchou ©Sciences Po

Cyrille Nkontchou is an African leader committed to the development of his continent. A graduate from Sciences Po and Harvard, he was nominated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2006.

He talked to us about the businesses he started in Africa to support the emergence of the African middle class through the development of education and agriculture.

Sciences Po: Could you tell us more about Enko Education, the business you started in 2009 in South Africa?

Cyrille NKontchou: In my view, economic development is closely linked to education. With Enko Education, we are working to create a network of private schools throughout Africa. Our objective is to provide middle class students with an education of a very high standard so that they can apply to the best universities.

At present we have 500 students in Cameroon and South Africa and we intend to keep growing. My wish is to give these talented students the sort of opportunity I had when I attended Sciences Po and then Harvard.

You see agriculture as another key sector to leverage for Africa’s development. How are you involved in this sector?

C.N.: The economies of most African countries depend on an outdated mode of agriculture. I believe that to make economic development possible, this sector must be a major focus.

My team and I are mainly active in West Africa through RMG Concept, a distributor of crop protection and seed products in West Africa. We provide small farmers with agricultural inputs and then buy their crops, with a view to improving agricultural yield.

Two thirds of the African population is still employed in the agricultural sector, so by helping transform African agriculture, I believe that this initiative will contribute to the continent’s economic development.

Related link

The Europe-Africa programme at Sciences Po

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