Ghanaian businessman Herman Kojo Chinery-Hesse often called the Bill Gates of Ghana, is the first person to be profiled in the BBC series African Dream, looking at enterprise on the continent.

The company Mr Chinery-Hesse co-founded two decades ago, SOFTtribe Limited, may not have the global reach of Microsoft but it has become one of the best-known software houses in West Africa.

“I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I thought that was a way to develop Africa and to get wealthy,” he told the BBC. Mr Chinery-Hesse gave up the opportunity to make a life for himself in the United States, where he studied, or in the United Kingdom, where he worked for a couple of years, choosing instead to start a business in Ghana.

He started writing software in a bedroom in his parents’ home, at a time when not many people were aware of the potential impact of the computer revolution in Africa. “It was very difficult. I didn’t want to go back abroad because second-class citizenship did not quite appeal to me,” he said…

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