Who am I ?

Bio

Once, I found myself searching for my name on Google and I found myself drowned in results of all kinds. Faced with that myriad of articles, I could only be fascinated. At that moment, I thought I was a well-known person … but it was just an illusion. That feeling of magic turned into disillusionment when, a few minutes later, I found that those articles have one thing in common : they say what I do, but they don’t say who I am.

 

Many people have heard about my projects without knowing that I was one  of those who set them up. Some people know the name Vérone Mankou but would be unable to put a face on it. And others know my face, no more !

 

So I quickly came face to face with reality, which is that : my achievements and my projects are recognized and I, not quite. There are many details about me that you do not know, and I thought it was necessary to share them with you.

Beginning

Coming from a relatively large family, I was born on 23 July 1986 in Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo. It’s also the place where I took my first steps in the computer science world.

 

My foray into that vast world was a success thanks to the impulse of my parents who soon noticed my computers inclinations. I was only 7 years old when my father – then engineer in the oil industry – let me take advantage of his Commodore personal computer running Windows 3.

 

While my passion for computer science was growing day by day, my mother – who was a teacher at the time – had to make sure that I was assimilating my classes well. She tirelessly focused her attention on me until 2003, the year she passed away.


In 2003, I was very young; I was barely 17 years old. In spite of the strong waves that were diverting teenagers at the time, I remained on the way to school, as my mother would have liked. At the end of the same year, I had succeeded in obtaining my high school diploma.

 

Two years later, I obtained, , in Pointe-Noire, my Certificate of Higher Technician in Maintenance and Networks before following, in 2007, a course on internet security in Hong Kong.

 

In 2008, I went to Nairobi to successfully pass a Linux admin certification, security option. But my school career did not go uninterrupted. Just after getting my BTS, in 2005, the professional world called me … I had to pick-up the “phone”…

Soaring

I landed in the professional world in 2005. Having no experience in the field, I was called to work as a freelancer for KeyForIn France, which had entrusted me with the task of developing a search engine, from scratch, on a cluster of thirty servers.

 

After I made a success of that bet, I was asked by Afripa Telecom, current Alink Telecom, to join their teams as a network administrator. I stayed there for some time before joining, in 2006, the Congolese Council of Shippers, where I held a similar position until March 2008.

 

During that period, I had taken advantage of my free time to set up a startup that I sold shortly after. Hence, my career took a different turn.


In October 2008, I moved to Brazzaville. Being the Congolese political capital, this is where major decisions are made : it was the place to be. As soon as I arrived, I was appointed to play the role of advisor in charge for Congo’s Ministry of Post, Telecommunications and ICT

 

At the same time, I was the focal point of Component 3 of the Central Africa Backbone (CAB) fiber optic project, whose objective was to provide basic telecommunication connections between the participating countries.

 

Despite my fervent will to serve my country and my deep desire to contribute to its development, I no longer liked the Congolese civil service : I had to hang up.

And, now …

Today, I serve my country and Africa in a more efficient and effective way thanks to the many strings that I have to my bow.

 

I am an entrepreneur

 

I’m behind the wheel of VMK, a Congolese startup, founded in 2009, known for putting on the market in 2011 the first tablet PC designed in Africa and repeated this feat by selling, in 2012, the first smartphone designed in Africa. Its ambition is to make technology accessible to the greatest number of people.

 

Similarly, I have been chairing, since 2013, a non-profit organization working for the promotion of ICT and youth entrepreneurship in the Republic of Congo. Named BantuHub, this foundation supports the promoters of innovative projects in the creation process of their companies by helping them to structure and materialize their ideas..

 

Since 2015, I am leading Vox Médias, a press and communication group based in Brazzaville, which has an economic magazine, a news webzine and a television channel called VoxTV. The group intends to make the press useful by providing its audience true and objective information ; an indispensable commodity for decision-makers and citizens.

 

I am a speaker

 

For nearly six years, I have been regularly invited to conferences and think-tank where I share my analyzes on various topics related to entrepreneurship, digital or education. Africa is very often at the heart of those exchanges, which involve the participation of experts from different fields and I learn a lot every single time I sit in front of them. But, above all, I consider those meetings as golden opportunities to share my unconditional optimism about the future of the continent.

 

I am an author

 

I wrote about three years ago a digital essay. This 66-page book contains recommendations aimed at helping Congo – and African countries – to turn private initiative into an engine of growth. It is also, and above all, an invitation to the Africans to dare entrepreneurship: a weapon against unemployment and poverty. This, in my view, is the main mechanism that will accelerate the economic development of Africa.

 

Now, now you know everything.

 

However, beyond my multitude of responsibilities, I am and I remain a dreamer ; a young man who dreams of a better Africa ; strong and prosperous. Together, we can make this dream a reality if we choose action rather than apathy. The Africa of tomorrow is being built today.

 

Let’s get to work !

Let’s make it possible !

Awards

2016

 

Amont the 100 African Economic Leaders for Tomorrow

• Choiseul

Young Leader of winnig Africa

• Managers Africains

 

2015

 

Award of Excellence

• Dîner des Icônes

Among the Top 100 of Best African Entrepreneurs (under 30)

• Forbes

Among the most influent Africans

• New African Magazine

Among the Top 10 Africa’s Future Builders

• Forbes

Parmi les 100 Africains les plus influents (-40 ans)

• Choiseul

 

2014

 

Among the 100 most influent Africans

• New African Magazine

Among the 100 most influent Africans (under 40)

• Choiseul

 

2013

 

Award in ICT Category

• Congo Awards

Among the 30 Africa’s Best Entrepreneurs (under 30)

• Forbes

Honorary citizenship

• City of Brazzaville

 

2012

 

Among the 12 Africans of the year

• Les Afriques

Award in ICT Management Category

• Sanza de Mfoa

VMK listed in the top 12 most innovative startups

• Jeune Afrique

 

2011

 

Award of best private initiative

• Africa Telecom People Awards