Africa in one word
To me, it's an astounding opportunity because Africa will hold the fastest growing economy and demography in the years to come. Africa is a land of innovation and entrepreneurship so for a large company such as Orange it's an incredible opportunity.
It's 50% of the trillion and a half internet users we will be expecting on the planet by the year 2020 so we can say that Africa is the future of internet.
A dream for Africa
First, it's for all the pains Africa was inflected throughout the year to disappear, especially sanitary crisis and political instability. Pushing through this, my dream for Africa is for the necessary conditions for its development to be gathered - through the investments from large companies such as Orange - so we'll offer a future and jobs to all this African youth. It will prevent it from going to Europe by millions. I think that's how we can build a win-win partnership between Europe and Africa.
A story? An anecdote?
The very first time I had the chance to see Steve Jobs, he talked to me about Africa and his question was: "What can Apple do to build phones, terminal accessible to all Africans?". I had this quite extraordinary conversation with Jobs, who was very concerned by this continent.
To use the digital and the networks we have today to allow the largest number of young Africans to have access to education and information. The digital is the best way through. It's an astonishing opportunity.
Africa by night
When I see this picture, I remember the very first time I went to Tananarive, Madagascar. I arrived in this very very large totally black city and I realized that one of the keys of this continent was energy, light, and electricity.
Energies for Africa
First, it's a vital issue: bringing light and electricity to Africa. And then the personality of Jean-Louis Borloo, his incredible capacity to put his talent and his energy at the service of such a great cause.
Orange's and my personal commitment are to continue to invest a lot in Africa. It's been over 20 years and we've reached 100 million clients in Africa. There still is a lot to do and for me Africa is one the greatest strategic priorities of the group.
Africa in one word to me is the diversity of colors, the wideness of its land, the beauty of the landscapes.
A population doubling: from 1.4 billion to 2.8 billion inhabitants in the upcoming 30 years. It never happened in the History of Humanity.
A dream for Africa?
For all African to reach a decent education level.
A story? An anecdote?
I have many but there's probably one coming to mind, especially since we are here at Condé Nast. One day, I was in the street in Senegal and I saw probably the most beautiful in the world. Her name was Christine, we called her Kiki, and I was stroke by the beauty of this traditionally dressed woman, with a curved body and a lot of class, elegance and extraordinary chic. It might have been the view of this woman that made me want to work in the fashion industry. And today I am surrounded by beautiful women but I always remember Kiki.
Like I said earlier, education is to me the key to a country's and a generation's future. Today, we have the possibility to provide access to education to the largest number of people via internet through online universities, online classes, to what we call MOOC or SPOC. It's an incredible idea to put in place an educational platform on the internet where all Africans could attend classes depending on their levels and feeding their own needs. To do so, we need internet, and in order to get internet, we need electricity.
Africa by night...
When I see the images of Africa by night, it's striking. Truth being told, it tormented me both because I had absolutely no idea what the situation was, and because it's a deeply unfair. Why would all continent be illuminated by night but one, Africa? So it means we have a personal and collective responsibility to make sure that in 50 years, when we take another picture, all continent will be equally illuminated, in number of lights and in intensity.
Energies for Africa
To me, Jean-Louis Borloo's initiative is the most noble expression of politics, meaning committing to an universal cause. Seeing him, we realize we need men like him with a vision we can't say no to. So I entirely agree with his vision, especially because it's extremely simple, it's a basic idea, it's a feasible idea, it's not utopian, and it's an idea where all commitments - personal and collective - can make a difference. So I think this initiative is remarkable and I totally support it.
Africa is the only continent - South Africa excluded - where none of our magazines are present. IF we did the same map with Condé Nast, the African continent would look like it does on Jean-Louis Borloo's map, meaning it wouldn't be lighted. The next Vogue will be Vogue Africa.
We support this generous initiative. We should have been able to carry and nurture this project. But since we weren't able to do so, Jean-Louis Borloo stood out. As State leaders we now should continue to promote this project to other State leaders, to the ECOWAS, and to the African Parliament.
It's impossible for me to sum up Africa in only one word. But if I could use two, I'd say hugeness and diversity. One number?
It's about 600 million people who didn't have access to electricity, it's enormous! A dream for Africa?
It's very simple, it would be for all Africans to live from their farming. A story? An anecdote?
I have a memory from when I was 6 years-old and we were watching the Michael Jackson clip. But the television were turned toward the street because there was one TV for about 50 children, it wasn't so bad back then. And I remember it as something very moving and exceptional. A proposal
Well, I don't know, I'm not in politics but I think the most important thing for today's and tomorrow's generations is education. It would be for education to be accessible to all, or even mandatory as it is in France because, in the end, it's what counts. Africa by night...
I can't help but to find kind of pretty the fact that there's a part of Africa with no electricity. What it means is that many people don't have access to electricity and to everything it allows to do. I find this striking. Energies for Africa
It's a very good initiative, it goes in the right direction and I hope it will grow smart with African State leaders, for instance. My commitment:
I'd say this project seems important to me and, as I said before, everything impacting education is what is truly important.