You also launched VisiterLAfrique, a platform dedicated to tourism in Africa. Why?
A lot of the non-Africans talking about Africa focus on negative things like Ebola, Boko Haram etc. We need everyone who lives on the continent to be able to tell the whole story of Africa and build more positive perceptions.
Most people think Africa is just one country. When they hear that something wrong’s going on in Egypt, they’re like, “oh my god, I won’t go to Africa!”. We’ve got to let them know, Africa is a continent made up of 54 countries! We also have to tell them that there’s more to Africa than going on safari.
That’s why I launched VisiterLAfrique – to dispel these misconceptions.
How do you think the narrative on Africa needs to change?
I think things have already changed since creating VisiterLAfrique four years ago. However, even today, Africa is mainly represented by non-Africans. They mostly offer a negative portrayal of Africa saying it’s home only to scourges like famine, war and poverty.
Africans are beginning to change this perception by leveraging the power of the Internet. We need to show Africa as it is. We need to build a new image divergent from the stereotypes, without denying the challenges, but instead amplifying Africa’s strengths and opportunities.
"We need to build a new image of Africa divergent from the stereotypes."
What are the most significant challenges that you’ve faced and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge has been financing. People don’t pay on time in Cameroon – that’s just normal! At the beginning I used to cry, asking why, why, why! But now I just let it go; if the money comes in then great. If not, then I can’t lose my mind over it.
Second is building the right culture in your business - making people believe they belong here, and helping them understand why we do what we do. It’s not always easy to find the right people in Cameroon.