Situated at 30 rue Thiong, close to the Sandage market in the heart of Dakar, the Metissacana Cafe is a multidisciplinary space comprising an Internet cafe, a restaurant, and a huge terrace which can accomodate concerts and a multitude of events. This convivial place is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Inaugurated in July 1996, the Metissacana is the first Internet cafe in West Africa. Its founders are quite unique. Michel Mavros, a French film producer met Oumou Sy, a Dakar fashion and costume designer, on a film set in Guinea Bissau. In Dakar, they both founded an events production company called Dandé Maio ("on the river's edge" in the Pullar language), and called on the Swiss computer technician, Alexis Sikorsky, in order to jump start the Internet cafe.

The Dandé Maio concept went beyond a simple Internet cafe and opened up several local cultural development projects. Oumou Sy and Michel Mavros established, for instance, the Ateliers Leydi, a training and production centre for the various design professions, in the working class Medina neighbourhood in which they live. They have also created 2 large-scale events aiming to develop local heritage and creative production: the Semaine internationale de la mode de Dakar (Dakar International Week of Fashion), and the Journée
du Carnival (the Carnival Day), a popular and fantastical parade.

Among other project related to the local development of the Internet, Dandé Maio illustrates the need to establish community "telecentres", especially in rurale regions. Metissacana is looking for partners: join virtual Africa!

Michel Mavros

Press conference