Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Talk of the Town Tuesday: Abdoulaye Doucoure and the Black or White in Bamako

Black or White.  My photo taken here
A few weeks back I started receiving text messages from my friend Babette resembling advertisements:
"Happy Hour Wednesday at the Black or White!
Buy one get one free drinks from 6-9!"
Unfortunately, my Wednesdays are already happy enough with English class in Titibougou which is about an hour from ACI 2000 and so I hadn't been able to find the time go.  But then last week my friend Ryan asked me to meet him at the Black or White so we could grab lunch in ACI 2000 and I finally got to check out the place and meet the manager, Abdoulaye Doucoure. 
Picture of ACI 2000 Boulevard found here
The Black or White offers a menu of traditional Malian dishes and other wares and of course any beverage you might be seeking but more importantly as Mr. Doucoure notes, it is a place for entrepreneurs of Bamako to meet and share ideas.

While the Black or White hosts Happy Hours each Wednesday, they also have Business Thursday from 6-9.  Abdoulaye says the Black or White is "an experimental lounge where entrepreneurs, especially those interested in agri-business, can convene to discuss business plans, feasibility studies and the practical aspects of doing business in Bamako."  Are you interested in doing business in Mali?  I think this might be one of the first places to look if so!

Abdoulaye is also the head of studies and in charge of procedures for Ammi Marketic (+001 223 07 77 16 87), the primary consultancy for the Black or White, which offers those services listed above to larger corporations looking to invest or work in Mali and looking to put a finger on the pulse of the Malian market.  Their firm helps businesses develop business plans, produce market studies and audits as well as helping with website development, geo-marketing and product distribution for firms outside of Mali looking to market their products in the country.

Born in Paris, France, Abdoulaye holds nationalities in three countries: Guinea (mom), Mali (dad), and France (where he was born).  He studied Marketing and Sustainability and has now returned to Mali to cook up some entrepreneurial ideas.  

Babette had us over for a delicious dinner last night and towards the end of the lovely evening I had the opportunity to talk with Abdoulaye and learn some more about what he's up to in Bamako.  Here's his interview so you can get to know him a little better:
Name: Abdoulaye Doucoure
Nationality: French/Malian/Guinéan
Langauges spoken: Bambara/Malinké, French, English, Spanish and can read and write Latin
Birthday: April 23, 1983
Occupation: Marketing firm consultant/Entrepreneur
Marital status: Single
What's your favorite place in Bamako?
Can I say all of the city?  I like Bamako because I know people everywhere!

Ok, you can say you like all of Bamako.  But what are three reasons why someone would want to come and visit the city?
First, definitely because of the people that live here - they're great!  Second, Malians like foreigners and they'll make you feel comfortable.  And third, people do things at their own pace here.  Not too slow, not too fast.

What's your favorite city in Mali?
Bamako!  (Abdoulaye, do you get out much??? :)

What's one place you'd like to travel to?
Boston!  It's a city of big thinkers and has the best schools, the best consulting firms but it's not as well known [as New York or Washington, D.C.] but I'm sure it's got a lot going on.

Favorite proverb?
Carpe diem!  Because living for the moment means more than just the moment - it means enjoying them, too.
Thank you Abdoulaye!

 Here's a rock and rolly video of ACI 2000 I found on YouTube to give you an idea of what the neighborhood is like:


Marija said...

Jennifer, I love reading these interviews because they show us the cosmopolitan and glamorous side of Bamako! Also I like to imagine you cutely interviewing someone :)

Jennifer said...

:) thank you so much chupes! That's exactly what I was hoping to do! (though Bamako is not all glamour - that will come out in other interviews!)

Jennifer said...

and, I'll send him your way if and when he makes it to Boston!

Marija said...

Please do!

Glam or not, it's lovely to see bits of Bamako through the eyes of all the interesting people in your life. Looking forward to more Tuesday interviews!!

Neohack22 said...

Jennifer, I enjoyed the interview and discovering your personality. Thanks for sharing these moments with us!

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