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Abidjan startup Etudesk, a Graduate of the Abidjan Founder Institute, is the developer of the world's first African online learning platform. This allows academic institutions and businesses to now create their training programs online; is a key step in educational development and the future of what is taking place in Africa today. When students and workers have access to high quality courses at a lower cost, this helps enhance their professional skills and opens more job opportunities. Using Etudesk, educators can set up their own learning platform in less than one minute, and create courses that incorporate video, quizzes, activities and certificate integration into their program. Having a better way to focus on programs and content, will allow these educators to quickly correct quizzes and have the administrative space they need to monitor the progress of students seamlessly.

Lamine Barro, Founder, CEO and Lead Developer, launched his vision of Etudesk through the Abidjan Founder Institute's structured training and expert leadership. Barro's achievements include creating many professional Websites and Apps for companies in his country, Côte d'Ivoire or Ivory Coast. With help from the Abidjan Founder Institute, he realized his own dream of taking his experiences to the next level and created Etudesk, an innovative and powerful product intended to "ease people's lives". This is what makes this such an unselfish endeavor; it will make a meaningful and lasting difference. In August 2016, Etudesk was the local winner and selected as the best startup in Côte d’Ivoire.

During this time, Barro stated that he and his creative team, really think that education has the power to improve people’s lives. So, "why not start with the institutions first?" We agree. As a part of the prize in this local contest, Etudesk will participate at the Seedstars Summit, which is the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startups. During this 2017 weeklong training program in Switzerland, Etudesk's representative will meet with other winners, as well as investors and mentors from around the world. On the final day of the Summit, winners will then pitch their startups in front of an audience, where they could win a $500,000 equity investment prize! Good luck, Etudesk. We're rooting for you.

The team behind this amazing Founder, is a group of creative, socially conscious minds that have set themselves apart from the rest. Franck Dakia is the startup's Back-end Developer and François-Xavier Kobon, Digital Marketer. This is why they are winners. They realized that creating online courses, or MOOC, was a very complex and technical project for many academic institutions. In Ivory Coast, they say, there are more than 560 academic and university institutions, but only 16 had an online course platform. This had an effect on the high cost of education, inadequate training and employment. They wanted to find a way to give back and reduce the feeling young people have that they should just abandon their academic education because of these mitigating factors. On their website, you get a real-time look at statistics proving that now, this is not the case. There are:

  • 5 Countries
  • 95 Courses
  • 36,824 Users

Abidjan startup Etudesk had a feature in Africa Business Digest as part of an initiative to support African winners of the Seedstars World Competition. In this interview, Barro remembered how hard it was for him to study back in 2012 at a University in Ivory Coast. The lack of an infrastructure and resources made him want to help this University build an e-Learning platform. He decided to start Etudesk in Ivory Coast but, it was difficult because the startup community wasn't yet developed. Finding mentors, technical skills and investors was a challenge but, he still kept on believing. Then, he eventually found a passionate web developer in Franck Dakia and the Abidjan Founder Institute which helped him launch his dreams. Together, they shared a vision and motivation that still rings true today. Lamine Barro tells us that:

When you truly believe education is the largest investment any person can make in life, you muster the strength to conquer all odds."

The world needs more Lamine Barros, don't you think?

Click here for more information on Etudesk.

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