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Allan Oulate was born and raised in Ivory Coast in West Africa, where he was exposed to a blend of different cultures.  His mother originally lived in Grand Forks, North Dakota, as a member of the Peace Corps. After she graduated college she immediately moved to Ivory Coast, where she met Allan’s father, and the couple had two children. Allan’s father passed away in 2012 and his mother still lives in Ivory Coast.

Allan and his older sister were raised to be bilingual in French and English, and as a young child Allan attended American school in the morning and French school in the afternoon. He attended primary school and then his high school, Lycee Blaise Pascal. The French educational system required an academic focus, so in a move that would predict his later career in finance, Allan chose science and maths.

Although Allan mainly focused on these subjects, he was an active student with many other hobbies as well. He played a number of sports including basketball, soccer, tennis, and swimming, and was a Boy Scout for many years. He also played the piano and after a busy high school career he earned his baccalaureate and decided to leave the Ivory Coast to pursue higher education in the United States.

After Allan earned a B.A. in Economics at Pomona College in Claremont, California, he decided to stay in the United States instead of returning home. Ivory Coast was in the grips of a ten-year civil war that pitted a rebelling north against a government-held south, and Allan didn’t want to return to such a tumultuous environment. However, he continued to take great interest in political affairs because he cared deeply about the safety of his family and his country.

That interest in the political landscape of Ivory Coast carries on to this day, particularly as the country is doing more than just recovering from the civil turmoil– it’s flourishing into a cultural and economical highlight of West Africa. Allan also follows daily news of the country’s upcoming presidential election in October 2015, particularly due to the history of violence that typically takes place around election season. He hopes to spark interest, education, and understanding of Ivory Coast in people around the world.