Spotlight on EIT – Yannick-Noel Aka

Abu Okari | Thursday, December 7th, 2017

Meet Yannick-Noel Aka, also known as CODEcaiine, a name motivated by his love for tech, especially code. Yannick is also part of the first Ivorian cohort at MEST and hails from Yamoussoukro, the city with the largest basilica in the world which also happens to be the capital of Cote d’Ivoire.

What were you doing before joining MEST?

I worked as a consultant developer for an IT company. I spent a lot of my time working on some Mozilla (Firefox) projects. I am a Mozilla representative in my region, my country, and a Mozilla Tech Speaker (Technical Evangelist). I am also the local Google Developers Group Community Manager/Lead in Ivory Coast.

What motivated you to join MEST?

As someone who is passionate about technology, has an interest for entrepreneurship, and wants to have the necessary resources  to build a tech company able to conquer Africa and compete with others companies from all around the world, MEST is the best place where you can do that.

Why do you consider yourself an entrepreneur?

From my understanding , an entrepreneur is a person who has the courage to realize his dreams, to ignore risks and to use his full creative potential to innovate: I ignored risks , left my job, my country  and all opportunities I had to join MEST. Before MEST,  I liked using my full creative potential to innovate, and now I am realizing one of my dreams, becoming an entrepreneur.

Yannick with a fellow participant at a GDG summit in Lagos

Why entrepreneurship – what drove you down that path?

I like all things technology. For me, today talking about technology means talking about innovation and we can’t talk about innovation without talking about entrepreneurship. I think entrepreneurship will enable Africa to be on the top in the near future, and I want to play a part in this African revolution, not to be a simple spectator. That is why I want to be entrepreneur.

Have you ever set up and, or, run a business? If yes, how many and what was(were) it(they) about?

Not really, but my friends and I had started putting some plans around a few tech ideas then the opportunity to join MEST came through.

What do you think of MEST, and have your expectations been met so far?

Even though I had some doubts about my MEST journey at some point, I talked with one of my friends who is also a fellow  EIT about it. She gave me some advice which helped understand many things. I definitely believe MEST is one of the best chapters of my life. MEST is giving me more than I expected, beyond my hope for something happening in Africa. What MEST does and continues to do for us in every moment is amazing.