Sahara Connect, a concept that combines tourism and AI


Designed by three Franco-Algerian entrepreneurs, Morad Attik, Abdelkrim Bennour and Sofiane Lesage, Sahara Connect, a concept which combines tourism and artificial intelligence (AI), came to fruition with the holding of the first connected seminar in two phases. The first phase took place in Algiers, the second in the Tassili n’Ajjer national park, in the dazzling Djanet, the beating heart of the Algerian Sahara.

According to the organizers, the objective of this event is to explore the opportunities that artificial intelligence offers to the tourism sector while highlighting the Algerian market among entrepreneurs, including those from, like them, the Algerian diaspora in France. Morad Attik, specialist in artificial intelligence, founder of the Evolukid platform and organizer of the Kesk’IA and DZ digital tour programs in Algeria, has significant experience in this field. He has initiated numerous projects to train young people in new technologies and artificial intelligence. According to him, artificial intelligence, associated with projects in different fields, will revolutionize our world.

A story of connection and connectivity

Mr. Attik affirms that the seminar participants, welcomed in the heart of the desert in Tuareg tents, were able to create synergy around the entrepreneurial ecosystem of members of the Algerian diaspora in France. The latter are eager to invest in their country of origin and to raise awareness of the various opportunities in the Algerian market, by combining new technologies and artificial intelligence. For him, this adventure, which brought together many experts, Algerian and foreign, made it possible to create “a unique connection with an ecosystem of enthusiasts who are curious to discover Algeria differently, with its various facets”.

In an interview with Arab News in French, Sofiane Lesage, founder of the start-up Riwaya Travel, the first digital tourism platform in Algeria, explains that the aim of the seminar, which was held in December 2023, was to reconnect “Algerians who have lost the link with their “Algerianness” abroad”. On this occasion, they had the opportunity to meet other Algerians with varied life stories, in some of the most beautiful places in the country.

“The first stage, in Algiers, organized in a professional setting with high-level conferences on entrepreneurship, artificial intelligence and the mindset of leaders, also offered participants the opportunity to delve into the “History and memory of our country,” says Mr. Lesage. The second phase, in Djanet, focused on “disconnecting from social networks and data and reconnecting with oneself.” It was “about experiencing friendly and warm moments of exchange with the Tuaregs, while enjoying the most beautiful landscapes that a desert can offer, like the Tassili mountain range,” he explains.

“The initial intention is to give back to Algeria what it gave me dearest: my parents, my identity, my personality and my culture,” reveals, for his part, Abdelkrim Bennour, a senior executive in the business and management. “Being yourself is not negotiable” is the quote he prefers and which perfectly reflects, according to him, “the state of mind in which we find ourselves in the desert in Djanet; being in front of yourself and being able to observe all the facets of your personality, both personally and professionally,” he concludes.

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