Komlan Folly

Field of Study: Public Management

Cohort: 2017

Country: Togo

Leadership Institute: Arizona State University

Richard Komlan Folly is a Data Scientist and Human-centric tech entrepreneur from Togo. He is the founder and CEO of the African Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (AGIA), an aerospace organization focused on Big Data Analytics, and Satellite Image Processing to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and deliver a better life to vulnerable people. AGIA which goal is to pioneer the space and geospatial industry in Togo is dealing with critical challenges and vulnerability across sectors: from agriculture, disaster response to defense, from natural resources management to public health and more - and is committed to saving lives, improving livelihoods and climate resilience across Africa. Richard is a Mandela Washington Fellow for Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), and has completed his Professional Development Experience (PDE) at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, in Alabama, where worked on remote sensing and GIS for disaster risk management, environmental monitoring, and data products integration and visualizations relevant to the agricultural stakeholders. He has successfully completed his Public Management (Administration) Institute at the Arizona State University ranked the most innovative school in the U.S. for the fourth straight time.

Richard is Awardee of the Reciprocal Exchange of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, thanks to a jointly designed and implemented project between the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center’s SERVIR Global and Richard’s African Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (AGIA). He used this Earth Observation capacity building opportunity to gather government stakeholders from his country, including the military and the National Defense and Security, the National Civil Protection Agency (ANPC), the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Environment, and more. The goal for Richard is to encourage public/private partnerships to tackle the pressing challenges of his country, but also to form lasting partnerships, expand markets and networks, and increase mutual understanding between the United States and Togo. Prior to the fellowship, Richard was a GIS and Communications consultant at the Ministry of Posts, Digital Economy and Technological Innovations (MPENIT). He has also collaborated on designing ‘FUNES’, a digital tool that combines Machine Learning and Forecast-based Financing for flood risk management downstream of hydropower dams. This led him to work with international partners such as the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). Piloted in Togo, FUNES won a global innovation award at the 2017 World Government Summit and is scaling up through collaborations with the International Hydropower Association, World Bank, governments, and stakeholder partners.

Richard Komlan Folly is nominated eFounder Fellow and Champion of the New Digital Economy by the Alibaba Group and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), through the eFounders Fellowship Program. Last but not least, Richard is a Pop/Folk/Jazz Singer-songwriter. He is working on his first music album which focused on space exploration, science, environmental protection, and the Humanities.