News

Young Entrepreneurs Asked to Help Shape Liberia's Future

Young Entrepreneurs Asked to Help Shape Liberia's Future
Young Entrepreneurs Asked to Help Shape Liberia's Future

Multimedia

Audio

William Kamkwamba of Malawi was just 14 years old when he built a windmill to provide his parents' house with enough electricity to read and listen to radio. 

Now, and with young people bearing the brunt of Africa's underdevelopment, the idea of youth innovation and entrepreneurship may be gaining traction.

<!-- IMAGE -->

Jefferson King, a young Liberian who recently learned a civil engineering degree from Cornell University in the U.S. state of New York State, co-founded Youth Overcoming Underdevelopment Nationally and Globally in Africa. 

King leaves for Liberia next month to start a project that encourages young Liberians to start dreaming about solutions to their national problems.

King said his project is motivated by the example of young Kamkwamba of Malawi.

"A 14 year-old kid in Malawi was able to build a windmill just by reading a general book about windmill. He was able to use that to build a windmill to power the radio and light bulbs in his home. I think, we, Liberians we have the mind to do that too. We just need the motivation to get there," he said.

<!-- IMAGE -->

King said his group will encourage young Liberians to come up ideas that improve their communities. 

He said the project will be promoted in three steps – motivation, resources and competition.

"The first is motivation; we'll get an extraordinary young Liberian in Liberia who is going to basically serve as role model to the Liberians to show them we can solve our problems here too. We can think of brilliant ideas," King said.

He said his group will organize a competition and give monetary prizes of $2,000 to a young person with the best idea and $1,500 for a second place winner.

"Basically we are challenging people, come up with any idea that you think will benefit your community to solve whatever problem you see there and submit it," King said.

King said the project will be launched in the north central Liberian city of Sanniquellie in Nimba County.

"As you might know, Sanniquellie was where the Organization of African Unity was started. So where the Organization of African Unity started, we're starting Young Africa. We are going to spread throughout Liberia and throughout West Africa," King said.

He said the project might cost about $10,000 and that the group has so far raised about $5,000 from individuals who have each donated $100.

"The pilot is only $10,000 for Nimba County. All the money we've gotten so far has been from individuals, then after that we will start canvassing trying to advertize to the corporate world," he said.

King said the Friends of Liberia, an organization of mostly former Peace Corps volunteers who once served in Liberia might also contribute to funding the project. <!-- IMAGE -->

 

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs