Interview with leaders of the Ivory Coast Frogans community

11 December 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Frogans people

Communauté Frogans de Côte d'Ivoire

In the past months, Frogans communities have started to emerge, notably in Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. On Friday, December 8th, 2017, we had the opportunity to hold an interview with two of the leaders of the Ivory Coast Frogans Community, Jean Marc Ehouman, Vice-President, and Jacques Amatcha, Head of Communication.

The interview took place via Google Hangout. Mr Ehouman and Mr Amatcha, in INPHB (Institut National polytechnique Félix Houphouët-Boigny), answered the questions of Jérôme Delacroix, chief editor of, in Paris.

Below is a transcript of the conversation.

How did you get in touch with the Frogans technology?

Jean-Marc Ehouman: I discovered the Frogans technology during the visit of Philippe Collin (ed.’s note: Head of Innovation Fostering at the OP3FT) and Laurent Ferrali at Ovillage in December, 2015. Ovillage is a space for social innovation and collective intelligence.

Jacques Amatcha: As for me, I met Philippe and Laurent at LABTIC, a Laboratory for Information Technology, in 2015.


What have you found appealing in the Frogans technology?

Jacques Amatcha: The first time Philippe and Laurent made a theoretical presentation about the Frogans technology, I could not really understand what it was all about. But when they opened a first Frogans site on Frogans Player, I could grasp the magnitude of what was going on. I was impressed by the innovation contained in the Frogans technology, a compact format for content publication. Straight away, I thought it was very relevant for our African communities that are often very sensitive to visual and spoken arts. I thought: “if it is possible to create sites just using images, they will be able to convey lots of messages.”

Jean-Marc Ehouman: As a developer, what I really liked was that Frogans sites allow for free shapes, not constrained by a strict, rectangular frame. They do not need to occupy the whole screen. What I also appreciate is that you can develop a Frogans site just by using a single language, FSDL, while on the Web you often need to use not only HTML but other languages such as Javascript. Contrary to the Web where you often need to create a specific Web site for every platform, with Frogans technology, you only need to create one Frogans site that will fit to all devices.


Can you describe the Frogans Ivory Coast Community and your activities?

Jean-Marc Ehouman: The Ivory Coast Frogans Community was created by students at Ovillage and LABTIC in 2015. It rapidly grew with new members. Our goals are to make people aware of the Frogans technology, share news about Frogans, and train users to the creation of Frogans sites, both internally within the Community and externally. This is done through training in schools, universities or coworking spaces. We also organized the first hackathon on the Frogans technology, that we called “Devgans”. Last but not least, we provide support to developers when they struggle with issues in their FSDL code.

Jacques Amatcha: The Ivory Coast Frogans Community relies on a core team of a dozen of people. As a result of our participation to the Africa Web Festival in 2017, 50 new members joined the Community.

Presentation of the Frogans technology during Africa Web Festival 2017

Presentation of the Frogans technology during Africa Web Festival 2017

You took part in the Africa Web Festival 2017. What did you do during this event?

Jean-Marc Ehouman: We made a 90 minutes presentation on the Frogans technology and on the activities the Ivory Coast Frogans community carries out. It was an opportunity for us to introduce dozens of young people to the Frogans technology. I could also show them a Frogans site that will make possible for millions of people in Africa to use Twitter, even if they only have a small bandwidth at their disposal.


What are your projects for the near future?

Jacques Amatcha: In the near future, we will send SMS and e-mails to all people who joined the Ivory Coast Frogans Community during the Africa Web Festival to invite them to play an active role in our activities. We plan to create a starting kit that we will give them. In 2018, we will continue our awareness effort. We want to encourage our new members to create their own communities in their schools or universities, to create their own events. If possible, we would also like to organize a new “Devgans” hackathon.


What advice would you give to people wanting to create a Frogans community in their country?

Jacques Amatcha: The first piece of advice I would like to give to these people is to come in contact with the OP3FT to get some official instructions on do’s and don’ts for the creation of Frogans communities. As for us, as pioneers in the field of Frogans communities, we will be more than happy to help by sharing with them our experience and tips. The most critical thing is to work on communication in order to provide transparent information to all Community members. It is also important to share the Frogans Community’s news on social media or during events. This is the way the Frogans Community will be able to grow and provide always more innovative services. To start with, we recommend organizing events on a semi-annual or quarterly basis, during which the new Communities will help people develop Frogans sites, bring them on their local market in order to stir up enthusiasm.

Thank you, Jacques and Jean-Marc !

For more information, you can visit and like the Facebook page of the Ivory Coast Frogans Community.