Communication specialist of international organizations and institutions, Johanna Niedzialkowski started her career in the French diplomatic network (Dakar & Paris). A graduate of CELSA, she was in charge of communication at the Ministry of National Education before joining 2iE in Burkina Faso. Today a consultant, she assists companies and institutions in developing their strategy and communication tools. Member of the expert committee of the 2018 edition, looks at the EDF Pulse Africa Awards and the Tech ecosystem on the continent.
They are specialists in open innovation, Block Chain, African Tech, collaborative economy ... For this new edition, experts will be gathered in a committee to facilitate the choice of our future winners. Johanna Niedzialkowski who is part of this committee, takes a look at the EDF Pulse Africa 2018 Awards and the Tech ecosystem in Africa.
You are among the experts selected to bring their eyes on the different projects of the 2018 edition, how do you perceive your mission?
This is a great opportunity that EDF offers me, because entrepreneurs need both visibility and funding; this type of awards allows them to better work on their projects and make them "bankable" and especially to be highlighted. What is significant with the EDF Pulse Africa Awards is that, first, they are focused on the energy sector, which allows us to go further than generic awards; and secondly, the "prize money" is associated with real field expertise through the support of the laureates.
What will be your role as an expert on this second edition of the EDF Pulse Africa Awards?
I think, through my experience working with different institutional environments and project leaders, I will be able to help identify those who do interesting things. This expertise will allow me to easily identify good projects and lead them to improvement, so that they are more readable and more understandable for the members of the jury.
What is your view of Afrobytes, the new agency that supports this second edition?
Afrobytes is an agency that has the particularity of bringing together people who share a tremendous energy and the will to move the lines on the African continent, whether in the fields of innovation or new technologies. They are mostly people who are already very committed because of the actions they are taking on their scales and who need to go further. They meet here to see other expertise and connect to other ecosystems and see how to work together and be more effective; I think it works pretty well, on Afrobytes!
The development of renewable energies through innovation: What does it means to you?
We must welcome the fact that there is a real highlighting of active projects in the field, with a real sharing of experiences from project leaders; with a concrete and pragmatic analysis of the problems encountered in the field and which remain today some of the blocking elements on which we must act together. It is obvious that there is no infrastructure the villages, the households do not have resources and all these problems cannot be addressed in isolation. There must be more people who think together and pool out resources to work together and thus, the EDF Pulse Africa Awards represent a concrete solution.