Living space, technology and innovation hub: the Kaloum Bluezone in Guinea is a world first. Other projects are set to follow in and around Conakry, the capital of Guinea, in the months to come.
Stimulating the spirit of innovation and promoting entrepreneurship are the objectives of the Kaloum Bluezone, a green space spanning 3.7 hectares, in which young people can work, innovate, study and engage in sporting and cultural activities.
Thanks to a unique technology produced by the Bolloré Group that allows solar energy to be stored and then used to produce clean, continuous electricity, hectares of wasteland that currently have no access to the electrical grid are becoming illuminated, connected spaces, supplied with drinking water, facilitating economic, cultural and sports activities.
These spaces allow residents to access numerous services at a nominal cost: Wi-Fi Internet, drinking water outlet produced on-site, a listening and prevention centre, library, media centre, e-learning facilities, a production workshop for craftspersons, sports facilities, a cultural space, and many more.
Thus, they offer all imaginable resources to help accelerate the socio-economic and educational development to which the Republic’s President, Alpha Condé, aspires. Guinea is the first country in the world to be home to such an initiative.
A green space for innovation
The Kaloum Bluezone is a controlled access urban zone designed around a simple promise: electricity, water, Internet. With its 360m2 of solar panels, combined with green storage batteries, which are produced using an innovative technology developed by “Blue Solutions”, the Bluezone can be supplied with electricity (to power lighting for sports pitches, the auditorium, the classrooms and support rooms and to provide electricity to 250 electrical outlets used to recharge laptops or power computers), drinking water (filtration of waste water, water fountains for visitors) and Internet via free access to Wi-Fi for a very competitive monthly fee.
A town within a town
True towns within towns, Bluezones are secure spaces which make it possible for visitors to connect to the Internet, learn, have fun and work on business projects.
Thus, each Bluezone is a hub dedicated entirely to education, offering a library, a media centre and a Wi-Fi Internet connection as well as an illuminated space for reading and study. But that’s not all. A dedicated e-learning room allows all visitors to the Bluezone to educate themselves thanks to freely accessible computers. Better still, it is possible to follow online courses in the form of MOOCs or complete training in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education.
Thanks to these digital facilities, young people will be well-equipped as they enter the working world. However, visitors to the Bluezone can also complete more traditional literacy courses, offered free of charge thanks to a number of partnerships with well-known institutions, prestigious associations and Guinean and international universities.
Bluezones are also remarkably well-equipped with facilities to allow young people to pursue their passions. They act as venues for regular concerts. Multi-sport platforms with dedicated grounds for basketball, beach volleyball and beach soccer, petanque, etc. welcome old and young alike.
A living space and a venue for socialising
Thanks to the solar energy stored in the batteries produced by the Bolloré Group, the Bluezone is self-sufficient in terms of energy, water and Internet connectivity, making it the perfect site for all cultural, sporting and educational activities in Conakry.
With its medical and social reception centre, its parents’ home, its future crafts hall, its incubator and its venues for exchange and discussion, exchange between generations and transmission of knowledge are at the heart of the Bluezone.
The Kaloum Bluezone, a technological showcase for Guinea, acts as an incubator for the founding of micro-businesses and SMEs in innovative sectors in order to structure the emergence of a young class of entrepreneurs in Guinea.
In the long term, this technological city will allow for the personal development of business sponsors in terms of motivation, support and coaching. Young entrepreneurs will be able to avail of support in drafting documents/business plans for seeking funding and assistance for the implementation of their ideas.
Guinea is a young, dynamic country. A green pilot project managed at an international level, Guinea’s first Bluezone seeks primarily to mobilise local actors by means of an innovative training and coaching platform in order to inspire a spirit of development that is both innovative and original. Thanks to the opportunities presented by the new technologies and the connection they offer for all to the global online network, anyone who has a dream will now be able to take control of his or her destiny.
All of these activities are facilitated by the presence of a number of “ambassadors” who are tasked with supporting participants.
There can be no doubt, therefore, that the Bluezones created and financed by the Bolloré Group with the support of elected representatives and local associations represent a living space and a place of hope for the youth and for all Guinean families.