Senegal, Cameroon, Benin and Ghana: Meet Africa’s latest stars of the start-up world

While the entrepreneurial dynamism of Kenya and South Africa currently dominates the connected insurance sector, Central and West Africa are not far behind. Coming from Senegal, Cameroon, Benin and Ghana, these “disruptors” have taken over one of the oldest professions in finance to offer connected and accessible services.

We have chosen to highlight these four entrepreneurs because of their backgrounds and the solutions they offer in their home countries and beyond.

Whether they are motivated by personal experience, a strong passion for technology or by both, all of them have set themselves the mission of responding to everyday health needs, namely facilitating access to care and covering its costs.

Souleymane Gning, founder of Assuraf (SewedoProd/Assuraf)
1. Souleymane Gning – Assuraf (Senegal)
Taking advantage of good telecom practices, such as the principle of performance indicators, was the basis of this 40-year-old Senegalese engineer’s idea for Assuraf.

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Trained in telecommunications in France, Souleymane Gning is one of those people who believes that an entrepreneurial spirit takes precedence over a clear-cut hierarchical progression. After starting out at SFR, this double MBA graduate of HEC and Darden Business School in the US decided to return to Senegal in 2003. He then spent the next three years working at Sonatel, where he designed and managed the launch of multiple value-added services (USSD, SMS, WAP platforms).

This was followed by more than ten years in positions of responsibility at several telecom and technology groups, including Cisco in the US, Swisscom in Switzerland and Upstream in the UK.

In 2018, he founded eConnect, his own consulting firm for telecoms and digital technologies. It was in this context – after an insurance project failed to take off – that he created Assuraf, a platform that digitises the entire value chain in the insurance sector, from underwriting to payment, customer service and claims reporting.

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