Koffi Djondo, A Pan-Africanist Like No Other

(Togo First) – Gervais Koffi Djondo, founder of Ecobank and Asky, has always spoken about Africa and his vision for entrepreneurship on the continent. It is even this love of Africa that brought him out of retirement.

Few weeks ago, Gervais Koffi Djondo, founder of Ecobank and Asky airlines came out of retirement by releasing a book titled L’Afrique d’abord (Africa first, in English). In his book which is a more than a memoir, the Togolese businessman shares his vision of entrepreneurship and how it can contribute to Africa’s growth. Many reacted to the publication, mostly praising it; quite expected considering the journey of Gervais Koffi Djondo.

A true African icon, the 80-year old has succeeded in all stages of his career, a feat he owes mainly to an almost-genetic rigor.

A true lover of Africa

“I love our continent and wish it awakens. I wish to see Africa truly grow,” declares the entrepreneur. He strongly believes that, despite the many challenges the continent faces, Africans have what it takes to turn the tide and shine. “It’s up to us to move forward. I primarily think of African integration. This is why Ecobank is a pan-African bank and Asky a pan-African airline. As long as Africans do not understand how important it is that they get united, they will only reproduce the colonial model of countries with weak economies which barely trade among themselves,” added Gervais Djondo.

The Togolese has, over the many decades he spent working in both the private and public sectors, learned all about the various obstacles hampering African growth, especially while heading Asky airlines.

“For me, pan-Africanism is about concrete actions. All around the world, big airlines are coming together. Meanwhile, in Africa, each country is creating its own small airline just out of pure national egoism.” Besides integration which the entrepreneur believes to be one of the major issues the continent has to deal with, there is also the lack of rigor.

A man of unequaled rigor

All those close to him agree that Koffi Djondo’s main personality trait is his rigor, towards himself, and others. In this regard, one of the most notable events in the life of the pan-Africanist dates back to 1964. At the time, Djondo was the managing director of the family allocation fund, current social security fund. “I had installed an attendance clock (indicating when wages were to […]

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