Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Partnering for Development in Africa

Ubuntu in Action

Below are some videos produced by the Peace Corps, which cover the Ubuntu session at the President's Forum with Young African Leaders. There are three vides: first the opening remarks, followed by the planetary session, and ending with a call to action and closing comments. Btw, if you are a United States citizens and you wish to become involved with the Peace Corps, fill out an application by clicking HERE! Enjoy!

Opening Remarks
Aaron S. Williams (Peace Corps Director)

Planetary Session
Sandra E. Taylor (President and CEO of Sustainable Business International)
Frederick Swaniker (Founder and CEO of the African Leadership Academy)
Virginia Emmons McNaught (Founder of Educate Tomorrow)

Call to Action and Closing Remarks
C. D. Glin (Peace Corps Director of Intergovernmental Affairs)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Andrew Mwenda Takes a New Look at Africa

Another voice of Africa underscoring the reality of Africa versus the image that the media portrays. Mr. Mwenda briefly elaborates on several facts that are overlooked, due to the wrong way in which the world's view of Africa has been framed. 

Echoing Dambisa Moyo's economic masterpiece, he stresses the fact that aid is not necessarily always as successful as we think; rather, isolated incidents of success in aid, are being magnified and posted as a general representation of the story of aid. When listing the different kinds of humanitarian aid that has been given to Africa, he goes on to say that "in the process, Africa has been stripped of self-initiative." 

I would like to thank Ayesha Ibrahim for sharing this video. Enjoy.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Making Filthy Water Drinkable, Michael Pritchard

Many parts of the world experience a water problem. Drought, flood, or contaminated water are usually the culprits. Africa is not spared from this reality. As a response to this issue, Michael Pritchard's invention proves that entrepreneurship and creativity are more effective than aid. In the video below, he elaborates on his invention, a bottle that filters filthy water and makes it potable. While watching it, I invite one and all to contemplate on the effect that this bottle could have in Africa, and to take this as an inspiration to take an innovative approach to the world's challenges.

President Obama and Young Africa Pt.2

As promised in the first post on this topic, when I first received an invitation to the President's forum, here is a subsequent post containing a video of Obama's address to young Africans. Commenting on this excellent oration would do it no justice. The speech was held on August 3rd, 2010, at 2:00pm, US Eastern time. Enjoy the video below, and the images.

To read the initial post, click on the following link:
President Obama and Young Africa Pt.1

Obama speaks to young Africans...
Waving farewell after a powerful message...
Subsequent posts are to follow in this series as Obama deepens his engagement with young Africans and the African diaspora, in an attempt to find a point of convergence for US and African interests.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Water Pumps in Africa: the Super Money Maker

I would like to thank Jason Haber and his wonderful tweet. I would also like to thank Derrill Watson for posting this wonderful video; to follow his blog "Economics, my dear Watson," click here. The details of the story are contained in the video and post below:

"Poor people are not victims waiting for rescue." -Kick Start

We've all heard the story: "agriculture is the way to save Africa..." and on with the slogans from sun-up to sun-down. People have a conviction of this truth, yet, the progress made in African agricultural development in comparison to the pronounced potential is like a needle in a haystack. Fortunately, KickStart has found innovative ways to address this issue: social entrepreneurship! Cognizant of the fact that Africans (and all human beings), appreciate what they pay for more than what they are given for free, KickStart has developed a variety of products that are relatively affordable, and help increase productivity on farms in rural areas. 

Chiefly, the portable water pumps that it carries in its product line, would allow African farmers to irrigate bigger plots of land, thereby providing employment for more family members and friends, and raising total output as well as the variety of fruits and crops. For the time being the product ships to few African countries. It would be interesting to see how this product expands through the continent.

To download a complete brochure of the products that Kick Start offers, click here. I encourage all young diasporeans to forge relationships with such organizations/companies, and find feasible applications in their respective countries. Such solutions stand to benefit the content much more than any mining exploration or relief aid.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Social Entrepreneur in South Africa, Taffy Adler

The following video depicts the story of a social entrepreneur in South Africa, Taffy Adler, who saw an opportunity where all others saw despair and destitution. He decided to invest in run-down real estate properties in Johannesburg, with the mission of making the inner city livable again. His work has raised awareness on the issue and inspired other management companies to take better care of their properties. How can we learn from such example to improve Africa through entrepreneurship?

This video is provided through YouTube curtesy of Deutsche Welle English and DW-TV.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Secretary Clinton and Young Africa Pt.1

On this mildly hot day, Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010, the President's Forum with Young African Leaders kicked off in Washington, D.C. Prior to Mr. Obama's town hall session, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the young leaders early during the day with words of encouragement. "Thank you all so much. I am thrilled to see you. I had to come back to work to recover from my daughter’s wedding" she jested humorously, then went on to thank the young leaders for setting out on their long journeys from different parts of the world to the capital of the United States.

In contrast to the media's portrayal of African destitution during the past decades, Hillary's statement signaled the beginning of what could be a new era in Africa-U.S. relations: "I see Africa as a continent brimming with potential, a place that has so much just waiting to be grasped. Sixty percent of the population of Africa is under the age of 25. And that means that there’s a lot of work to be done to make sure that those young people are educated, are healthy, are motivated, are given the tools of opportunity. But it also means that Africa has not just the potential, but the promise of becoming a leader in innovation, in design, in creativity of all that you, your families, communities, and countries can become."

She readily admitted that the American public and media have espoused a perception of Africa that is focused on the conflicts, famines, and the diseases that affect Africa. She went on to say that although there has been much progress with the shaping of Africa's image in the United States, there is still a long way to go, “because you know so well that when people think too often of Africa, they think of all the tragedies, the conflicts. We want people to see a more comprehensive picture.”

Much praise was given to social entrepreneurs who tackle the continent's many challenges with innovative solutions; to no surprise, Sec. Clinton did not forget to mention the successes of the USHAHIDI crowd sourcing system, and the successful implementation of this system in election monitoring efforts throughout Africa. Some of the country specific efforts referenced in the speech were Burundi, India, Sudan, Namibia, and the Alliance Guinea’s “Guinée Vote 10 Témoin” which is currently in progress in Guinea.

The overall theme of the adress was one of leadership and empowerment for the African people through the youth. Sec. Clinton promised to follow up with the young leaders by keeping a database of the invited leaders. As an African, I look forward to participating in the follow up of this wonderful initiative that the White House and U.S. Department of State have put together. 

To follow the complete transcript of the speech, click here.
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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sizing Up the Real Risks of Investing in Africa

I would like to thank Shea Yeleen Inc. and Rahama Wright for sharing this thought provoking article with me. For the past few days, we have been holding twitter bouts on the subject of how Africa is perceived and the fact/myth behind the less than positive bias directed towards Africa.

In this Barron's article "Sizing Up the Real Risks of Investing in Africa," Vito J. Racanelli takes a look at the real risks of investing on the continent. I invite African diasporeans/students, and all non-Africans to read this article and begin pondering on the promise that Africa holds. I am certain that those who miss the upcoming 'rendez-vous' with Africa, will be biting their nails afterwards; to read this article, click here.

Harambe Cameroon: Elevator Pitch Contest

This video explains the Harambe Cameroon Elevator Pitch Contest that was held in Cameroon to promote environmental entrepreneurs and to push students in Cameroon to start businesses by finding solutions to pertinent issues in their country.

This video is in French, so if you are an english speaker, read the full details on the blog by clicking here.

Follow @Sankara1111 and @HarambeCameroon
Join the conversation by tweeting with hashtag #HCam