How winning GE’DA fellowship 2023 will boost AFROMAMA operations – Chloe Bertrand
Chloe Bertrand is a social impact practitioner. The Ghanaian-French afro-optimist is the co-founder of AFRORAMA, an accessible web-based general encyclopedia of the African continent. AFRORAMA amplifies digital knowledge of African countries by providing a 360º overview of the continent through Arts and literature, Business and politics, Entertainment, Geography and nature, History, Philosophy and beliefs, and Science and technology.
Born and raised in post-Apartheid South Africa, to a Ghanaian mother and a French father, Chloé recently emerged winner of the 2023 GE’DA fellowship pitch competition.
The GE’DA Digital Fellowship is designed to strengthen the capacity of founders and key executives of non-profits and social enterprises in Africa between the ages of 22 and 50 years working on any of the 17 social development goals.
In this interview, the International Relations and Economics graduate, and a Masters in International Public Management holder speaks on why she put in for the GE’DA fellowship, and what winning means to her and her team.
What was your inspiration for establishing Afrorama?
Afrorama came after years of frustrations regarding the negative narrative of the African continent.
Growing up in South Africa from Ghanaian and French heritage, I always found that it was difficult to learn about my African heritage online. Online resources were either scarce, poorly written or expensive to access. This is why I decided to create Afrorama in April 2021 on social media, the aim was to create a knowledge hub of the African continent.
Afrorama’s #AfricaJobsBoard emerged in October 2021. In October 2021. I was looking for a social impact role in Africa and found that roles and opportunities published online, related primarily to social impact roles in the Global North, and not in Africa. Moreover, 26 per cent of African youth is NEET (Not Employed, Not in Education or Training). In the context where the African continent has the youngest population in the world, this poses a risk to sustainable economic development and stability. This is why I started posting every week.
What problem does your tech solution solve?
My solution solves one of the biggest issues in sustainable development: an information gap. By providing a platform to find employment, funding, capacity building, volunteering African impact opportunities and opportunities to learn about the continent, we are supporting 20-35-year-olds to become key stakeholders in their community’s sustainable development.
What do you need now to take your work to the next level?
To go to the next level, we are seeking grant seed funding of $10,764 over a year to help us scale our platform! We are also seeking endorsements as well as advisory support from a mentor!
You recently emerged GE’DA Fellowship winner. Is this your first fellowship, and why did apply for this year’s cohort?
GE’DA is my first fellowship, but I have also participated in different programmes such as the Rev’Up Women Initiative by Afrilabs and Africa Matters’ Ambassador Programme.
I’m always looking to improve myself and my initiative, so when I saw that there was an opportunity to participate in this fellowship, I jumped at the opportunity!
Did the GE’DA Fellowship make a difference?
Yes, it did. The GE’DA programme has helped me refine my storytelling skills and my pitch as a whole.
What was your biggest challenge as a fellow?
The fellowship was quite intensive. I have a full-time job, and therefore I had to make sure I made time to attend the fellowship.
What does this win mean for you and your team?
First of all, a big thank you to the judges! This win represents a vote of confidence and a boost for us to continue the work that we do and scale our platform. We are very excited to build new partners and scale our platform in 2024.
How will you utilise this grant to its full potential?
As part of our pitch, we are seeking $10,764 grant seed funding over a year. This will enable us to launch our dedicated #AfricaJobsBoard platform, where individuals can not only find African impact-related opportunities but can also access free resources to up-skill, read and post reviews on different organisations and engage in our community through networking and peer-to-peer mentorship. The grant will be to cover website development, communication & marketing as well as fund team members. To ensure that we utilise the grant to its full potential, we have set out a clear work plan and M&E plan for the implementation!
A word of encouragement and advice to future applicants?
I encourage anyone who has a social enterprise or initiative to keep their eyes peeled for the next application cycle! Being part of this programme will challenge you and your initiative and build you for success!!