Introducing #Blog4Dev’s 2019 youth winners and their solutions to closing Africa’s digital divide

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Last October, I participated in End Poverty Day (EPD)  from the Zambia Country Office, where I had the opportunity to exchange with a host of young brilliant minds from Zambia and around the continent. It left me full of energy and a renewed sense of hope for Africa. Since then, I have made it a point to speak to youth on every country visit, most recently meeting with young techpreneurs in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal. I can’t help but think to myself after every meeting, what phenomenal potential these young people represent for Africa! 
 
Ensuring that Africa’s youth are healthy, highly skilled, and ready to take on the challenges of the 21st century is central to our mission at the World Bank. As digital technologies continue to drive our economies, it is imperative that Africa’s young people are tooled with the right skills and mindset to enable their success in the digital age.
 
There is no doubt in my mind that today’s young and energetic generation of Africans is capable of innovating technologies and solutions to address many of the continent’s challenges that will help spur the continent’s economic growth.
 
In this spirit, we launched a continent-wide #Blog4Dev competition in November last year, asking youth in Africa to help us answer the question: What will it take to enhance the skills needed to prepare Africa’s youth for the digital economy and the future of work?  Scaled up to cover 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, the competition was open to all Africans between the ages of 18 and 28 and resulted in 32 winning blogs that will be published on a newly dedicated blog platform entitled “Youth Transforming Africa”.
 
On behalf of the entire Africa Region of the World Bank, I want to convey my heartiest congratulations to these articulate, creative, and innovative young thinkers for the stellar ideas they have shared with us.  Their ideas range from creating research centers dedicated to robotics and artificial intelligence to overhauling education systems to reflect the growing need for digital technologies. In the words of one of the winners: “We have to start redefining cool.  The new cool is disruptive entrepreneurship and creating a sustainable ecosystem for it.” 
 
I look forward to meeting this vibrant group at the upcoming World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund’s Spring Meetings. Their all-expenses-paid trip to Washington DC to attend the Spring Meetings is part of the winning package, giving them the chance to interact with World Bank teams directly and engage them on issues covered in their blogs – in this case, closing the digital divide.
 
Please join me in congratulating #Blog4Dev’s 2019 winners: 
 

Country

Top Blogger

Angola

Henriques Francisco Ngolome

Benin

Kelvin Nonvignon Adantchede

Botswana

Ephraim Modise

Burkina Faso

Abdoul Fataph Priva Belem

Burundi

Guy Tresor Ntwari

Cameroon

Christabel Alpholung Ngwashi

Chad

Isabelle Memadji

Congo Republic

Amour Freddy Bilombo Bazedimba

Côte d’Ivoire

Nafiisa Adjoua N'Guessan

DR Congo

Hervé Mukulu Vulotwa

Ethiopia

Olansis Mulugeta Wolde

Ghana

Dinah Recheal Blankson

Guinea

Mohamed Alimou Diallo

Kenya

Jackton Oduor Badia

Lesotho

Khothatso Everestus Kolobe

Madagascar

Livio Totozafy

Malawi

Wrixon Mpanang'ombe

Mali

Ousmane Traoré

Niger

Rabiatou Harouna Moussa

Nigeria

Damilola Adeniran

Rwanda

Sandrine Bwiza

Senegal

Ndèye Anta Diouck

Sierra Leone

Tholoma Sumah

Somalia

Yasmin Ali Gedi

South Africa

Tlogang Otsile Ketumile Makgwanya Mosupye

South Sudan

Daniel Athior Atem Manyuon

Sudan

Moneera Yassien

Tanzania

Alice Ahadi Magaka

Togo

Ayi Renaud Dossavi-Alipoeh

Uganda

Pearl Denise Agasha

Zambia

Musopa Kalenga

Zimbabwe

Tatenda Magetsi

 

Authors

Hafez Ghanem

Vice President, Africa

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