Kelvin Doe found that batteries were too expensive for a project he was working on in 2009. He used acid, soda, and metal parts that he found in trash bins in his neighborhood to build his own battery. Doe, then a 13-year-old from Sierra Leone, constructed a generator to light his home and operate an FM radio station that he built. He now employs his friends at the radio station.
Meet Jean Bosco Hakizimana, a farmer in Burundi who survived a decade-long civil war.
Have you missed an appointment to doctor, school or work due to lack of transportation?
It can take up to two hours to find a taxi in some South African cities. A team of young entrepreneurs launched a new mobile app to help commuters locate taxis and improve the average commute.
Watch how Aftarobot, a mobile app is revolutionizing transportation in South Africa:
Students in a technical education program supported by the World Bank in Antioquia, Colombia.
I spoke about how the World Bank engages with youth, the largest demographic in the world right now. In an auditorium at the headquarters of the World Bank in Washington, D.C., young professionals, recent graduates, and college students were eager to find out how the Bank is helping and working with them. As a young person from a developing country, I could relate to their challenges and frustrations.
A documentary shows the importance of sports in uniting conflict-affected communities
Ismael Bikomati in Scoring for Peace.
“When I joined the rebels, I was 12 years old. I went there because we didn’t have enough food at home,” says Ismael Bikomati in Scoring for Peace, a documentary seeking to spread the message of peace globally.
Bikomati, an athlete with a contagious smile, is a high school student in Bubanza, a city in northwestern Burundi. He is a midfielder for his team and the captain as well. He is one of a group of 500 players from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda who competed in the Great Lakes Peace Cup. It was organized by the World Bank during the spring and summer of 2012 to help former combatants rebuild relationships with their communities.
Youth Forum Breakfast, Abuja, Nigeria. Photo: Bamidele Emmanuel Oladokun / World Bank
In 2011 African heads of state met in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, for the African Union Summit. It was held under the theme: "Accelerating Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development." The main aim of the gathering was to deliberate on Africa's youth which is growing faster than any other continent. More than 200 million people in Africa are between ages 15 through 24.
“Africa is the youngest continent. The current youth of Africa are not only important for Africa but also for the world,” said Shantayanan Devarajan, Chief Economist for the World Bank’s Africa region. Young people are usually the ones who lead innovation and are a source of labor force of any economy, Devarajan added.
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What can be done to help African youth improve their prospects for a brighter future?
The first step might be to understand the challenges they face.
Recently, Microsoft Chairman and philanthropist Bill Gates wrote a terrific piece in the Wall Street Journal on why we need to measure the world’s problems to solve them. “You can achieve incredible progress if you set a clear goal and find a measure that will drive progress toward that goal…,” said Gates.
An IFOP Survey (fr) published in 2010 reveals that in France, 30% of young people aged 15 to 24 do volunteer work. This is a good average when compared to the rest of Europe. But why be satisfied with 30% when all young French people have the wherewithal to contribute to the cause of their choice? What good is it for youth to be full of energy and bursting with ideas if others cannot benefit from it?
Heloise, Radia, Lea, and Julliette are students at Sciences Po Paris who looked for ways to encourage young people to get involved. How could they help others understand that everyone has an important part to play? That even if they are young, even if they do not yet have the right to vote, they still can make a difference?
And that’s how they came up with the idea to go on a trip.
Photo: This photo taken December 14, 2010 shows a map on a page from Facebook. The map displays friendships as lights on a deep blue background. The eastern half of the U.S. and Europe shine the brightest, while China, Russia and central Africa, where Facebook has little presence, are mainly dark. Source: The Wall Street Journal