Vivatech, the hub for technology is back. Since Wednesday, June 16 and for 4 days, the most promising international innovations were showcased at Porte de Versailles in Paris.
Africa also made the trip, represented by the DRC. This was the wish of VIVATECH co-founder and Moroccan- born Maurice Levy.
''There has always been a form of exploitation, even contempt, a somewhat haughty side when it comes to Africa, and we are only interested in the exploitation of its resources. And I said to myself that there are still innovations, intelligence, talent, quality people. It is absolutely necessary to promote them. Tech is something that is multicolored, which is the representation of the world and this energy that is spread everywhere and creates jobs, creates wealth, well, it exists in Africa as well as in Europe or elsewhere'', Levy told Africanews’ Editor Bridget Ugwe.
His opinion was shared by Eberand Kolongele, the D.R Congo's Minister for Digitalization. For him, the solutions to Congolese problems will come from the Congolese people.
''To change the paradigm, you have to use the means that allow you to capture the maximum. And that's where we have two platforms like Codinet, and several others, who have found, developed collection solutions adapted to our realities. They know the difficulties of our neighborhoods and they know the difficulties of our businesses. They know how to get in touch with businesses, with citizens to be able to collect and bring back. And rest assured that where we have started solutions, well, we have really advanced a lot'', Kolongele said.
This startup has also found an innovative way to address the problem of kidnapping, which is becoming increasingly frequent in cabs in the capital, Kinshasa.
''We managed to get a contract with the city hall of Kinshasa to identify the entire fleet of cabs in the city of Kinshasa, which is declared to be 60,000 cabs. And so on all these cabs we place small QR codes that will allow end users, by downloading the Hoja Taxi application on the PlayStore, to self-check the cab by scanning a QR code and obtain information such as the driver's photo, the vehicle's photo, the driver's name. At the end, they can validate their ride, they can confirm that they got out of the cab and they can also report a problem if there is a mismatch between what they see on their phone and what they have in front of them'', said Ursula Ndombele, Co-founder at ‘’Hoja’’.
Since its inception in 2019, Hoja has already certified 13,000 Kinshasa cabs, out of a fleet of 60,000.
All this with the support of President Felix Tshisekedi who welcomed the initiative.
Eventually, the start-up aims to adapt its model to other African megacities like Lagos in Nigeria or Dakar, the Senegalese capital.