Manjeet Rege and Dan Yarmoluk Podcast

Podcast: All Things Data with Guest Souleymane Kone

In the ever-evolving technology landscape, data analytics and data strategy continue to play a larger role in economics and business models. Director of the Center for Applied Artificial Intelligence at the University of St. Thomas, Dr. Manjeet Rege, co-hosts the "All Things Data" podcast with adjunct professor and Innovation Fellow Dan Yarmoluk. The podcast provides insight into the significance of data science as it relates to business models, business economics and delivery systems. Through informative conversation with leading data scientists, business model experts, technologists and futurists, Rege and Yarmoluk discuss how to utilize, harness, and deploy data science, data-driven strategies, and enable digital transformations.

Rege and Yarmoluk spoke with Souleymane Kone. Souleymane, a native of the Ivory Coast of Africa, is an entrepreneur working in data science in both the private and public sector on AIDS tracking, clinic setup as well as some interesting legal automation and IoT initiatives. He joined Rege and Yarmoluk to speak about his work with data science within Africa.

Here are some highlights from their conversation.

Q. Can you describe the talent pool in Africa? My work in China has always been around hardware and the lineage of China has been around strong science and engineering backgrounds. Can we say the same of Africa?

A. Conversely to China, the Ivory Coast does not have the infrastructure to transform the mechanization. But the digital revolution has been huge for Africa. As you pointed out, we have been doing STEM for a long time now. So with that opportunity regarding analytics and data science, the only real raw material here is your brain. And a lot of Africans are strong in math, strong in physics, strong in mathematics and all those other fields. So I believe it is a huge opportunity today to tap into. We can grow data science in several fields of application, beginning with agriculture which is the bread and butter of those countries/ The Ivory Coast is the number one producer of cocoa, third world producer of coffee, and until about a year ago, became the first world producer of cashew nuts. So a very agricultural country, but how do you explain all of that money that is realized from agriculture that we see don't have the return that we would expect it to have with the local people? We believe that there is room for data analytics to help tell that story and elevate all of those social benefits. 

Listen to the full conversation below: