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Mohamed Nour Diarrassouba: an African dream 

Ivorian by birth and European by adoption, Mohamed Nour Diarrassouba is above all a pan-African. Engaged in Africa as well as in Europe, he shares his analysis and his hopes for the future of the continent in "My African Dream", the title of his essay.

Interview by Dounia Ben Mohamed

Tell us about yourself. What is your background and how did this pan-African quest come about? 

I am a finance graduate with dual degrees from Emlyon Business School in France and York University in Toronto. I am also certified by the prestigious Paris Business School and Harvard Business School. 

“I am passionate about Africa and my love for the continent was born when I left it for Europe at the age of 17”

I am passionate about Africa and my love for the continent was born when I left it for Europe at the age of 17. I have always wanted to give back to my community.

That’s why, in 2018, I decided to become an entrepreneur by founding MED GROUP AFRICA, which aims to help entrepreneurs set up in Africa. Thus, we have helped around 100 entrepreneurs with their business plans. I then created my online training academy, MED ACADEMY, in 2021, which is now free and aimed at young Africans who want to develop their knowledge of entrepreneurship and digital technology. Finally, in 2022, I founded AL Nour Agency to help companies with their digitalization. Today, I am also the Regional Manager of the “Groupe 3737” in Toronto.

A commitment on both continents, in Europe and in Africa?

Three years after arriving in Canada, at the age of 22, I joined the campaign of former Deputy Prime Minister Dominique Anglade as the Liberal campaign manager for the riding of Taillon. This made me one of the youngest campaign managers in Canada. 

Along the way, I met Thione Niang (Senegalese, former head of the Young Democrats in the United States during the Barack Obama era, and a social entrepreneur).  When I arrived in Canada, I followed his career and his videos closely. In one of them he said, we should ask ourselves what can we do for our community, not what it can do for us? From that moment on, I understood that I had to work for a better world.

It was important for me to know whether I wanted to be part of the solutions or part of the problems. So, I joined the Liberal Party, which stood for a much more inclusive society. Coming from an immigrant background, I found myself there and thought that by sitting at the table of decision-makers, I could also make a positive difference.

Thione Niang became my mentor. He decided to include me in his team. Since then, we have been working together to train young people on the continent in digital technology. By 2022, we will have trained more than 1,000 young people.

As far as young people are concerned, you are particularly vocal on the socio-economic scene, tell us more?

My message is addressed to my brothers and sisters. Who better than a young person to speak to young people? We share the same language, the same codes. If a decision is taken today by our political leaders, at best we will live it, at worst we will suffer it.

“I want to be the bridge between young people and political leaders”

I want to be the bridge between young people and political leaders. I go into the communities, identify the problems and see how we can solve them through entrepreneurship. Politicians welcomed these initiatives, but I call for more action and support for young people.

We have finished thinking, now it is time to act.

And you are a dreamer, a pan-African dreamer, to use the title of your book. What message do you want to send with this book?

It is the fruit of this journey that I deliver in “My African Dream”, where I tackle major issues such as food insecurity or education, propose solid analysis and solutions for African leaders, and deliver an ambitious message of hope to the young diaspora. It is in this spirit that I created AGENDA35 in 2020, a platform for strategic thinking for Africa.

” It’s not about going back home, but from where we are, we can add our stone to the building”

My message is first and foremost an invitation to think about how we can achieve an Africa able to feed, care for and educate its people. I also want to see a diaspora serving its continent. It’s not about going back home, but from where we are, we can add our stone to the building. Africa has many challenges to face, the first of which are the Africans. I want to bring my people together.  I dream of real solidarity. Trees do not grow by their leaves, but by their roots. If we consolidate the base, we will be able to achieve this dream.

But women also have an important role to play in this African dream. I am a firm believer in women’s leadership and I believe that women will be the engine of Africa’s revival. A new wave of leaders is coming and it will certainly be driven by women.

*Mohamed Nour Diarrassouba is a political advisor

Former campaign director of the Quebec Liberal Party in Taillon.

Founder of MED GROUP AFRICA // MED ACADEMY // AL NOUR AGENCY

Advisor to Thione Niang

Regional Manager of Groupe 3737

Author of “My Africain Dream »

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