Tag: Young African Leaders Initiative

TECH: Rachel Sibande Founds M-Hub, Malawi’s 1st Technology Incubator

Rachel Sibande (photo via africa.com)

article via africa.com

Rachel Sibande is the founder of M-Hub, Malawi’s first technology hub. It is an incubator for technology startups with a special focus on building young tech entrepreneurs  by offering them training, skills development and mentorship. “M-Hub champions the development of technology solutions as its main lifeline. The hub invests its profits in social good programs that build capacities of children, girls and youth in developing technology applications. Ultimately, M-Hub wants to be the prime software solution provider in the nation and beyond, employing skills of young Malawians.”

Rachel’s interest in technology started in her school days when she found herself playing with different gadgets, radios and anything tech she could find. Later on, she studied computer science at Malawi’s Chancellors College and then sparked off her career as a programmer before diverting into lecturing and teaching. “Growing up I had a passion for gadgets. I was just curious on anything techy. I actually thought I would be a lab scientist. But I guess with time, my passion moved to computers.”

Still filled with a passion to use technology to change lives, Sibande then found herself working with development agencies like USAID, FICA and GIZ. It was around this time when Rachel got involved in rolling out Malawi’s first web-to-SMS service for the Malawi’s smallholder farmer industry. After seeing the impact technology was making in Malawi’s agricultural industry, Rachel then developed a conviction to grow this impact to other sectors.

M-Hub (photo via africa.com)

In 2012, While on a fellowship under Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Programme in the United States, Rachel was introduced to the concept of technology hubs. It was then that the conviction birthed a new vision, an incubator and cutting edge space that would be customized to suit the Malawian context.

“I wanted to see that there was a space where young technology enthusiasts were nurtured with technical and business skills through mentoring and facilitation of the hub and its members,” she recalls in one interview. “Youth are the future change makers and this is why special focus is put on training and mentoring youth entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts. ICT skills can equip young entrepreneurs to become job creators to decrease unemployment. More ICT projects should be coordinated and implemented to improve infrastructure development and I believe once youth are equipped with these skills, they’ll see the vision and they’ll be the driving force behind change and development. It is very important that youth know their potential and are empowered to ensure that the future prosperity of their nation and continent is secured.”

To read more, go to: Meet Rachel Sibande, Malawi’s Innovation Champion – Africa.com

UC Davis in CA to Host 1st Energy Institute for Obama’s Young African Leaders Program

2014 Mandela Washington Fellows during the Summit with President Obama (photo via youngafricanleaders.state.gov)
2014 Mandela Washington Fellows during the Summit with President Obama (photo via youngafricanleaders.state.gov)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

Twenty-five young African leaders will leverage the world leadership of the University of California, Davis, in zero-net energy and its global experience to tackle energy challenges in their countries.

They will come to UC Davis for the first and only energy-themed institute offered through the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative.

The U.S. State Department and IREX, the international nonprofit that administers the fellowship program, today (Feb. 9) announced the 36 universities that will host six-week summer programs — also in business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership and public management — for about 1,000 fellows.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said one of the 21st century’s biggest challenges is transitioning to a sustainable energy future, and UC Davis is leading with research, education and outreach in energy sciences, technology, management and policy to develop solutions.

“The fellows are future leaders in Africa,” she added, “and UC Davis is partnering with them to make a difference in our communities, our countries and our world.”

Selected from countries in sub-Saharan Africa through a competition, the fellows are 25- to 35-year-olds who already have a record of leadership and accomplishments.

U.S. Rep. John Garamendi was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia and has led two peace mission teams to Africa. “I congratulate these young leaders from Africa for their participation in the Mandela Washington Fellowship Program, as well as their dedication to improving the energy future of their countries and the world,” he said. “I am also very proud of the University of California, Davis, for the global leadership it is showing by hosting this unique and important institute for the Mandela program.”

Expertise from campus and beyond

Institute seminars and lectures will draw on the expertise of faculty from a broad range of disciplines and some dozen UC Davis institutes and research centers — including the Energy Efficiency Center, which accelerates the development and commercialization of energy efficiency technologies, and the Institute of Transportation Studies, the world’s leading university center on sustainable transportation.

Field trips and guest lectures will expose the fellows to key energy organizations and leaders in the generation and use of renewable energy.

In hands-on service and learning, the fellows will help install solar energy systems for lower-income families, clean up a local watershed, perform campus energy audits, and work on a community garden.

‘Brilliant, energetic and fearless’

The fellows are 25- to 35-year-olds who have promoted innovation and accomplished positive change in their organizations, institutions, communities and countries. They have made a commitment to return to Africa and apply their leadership skills and training to benefit their community or country.

The fellows will be selected this spring, and the institute will be held in June and July.  To learn more about the program and how to apply, go to: Mandela Washington Fellowship

President Obama To Rename Africa Program For Nelson Mandela

obama-africa

WASHINGTON (AP) — A program designed to foster a new generation of young African leaders will be renamed after former South African President Nelson Mandela.

President Barack Obama, who has said he was one of the untold millions of people around the world who were inspired by Mandela’s life, is set to announce the name change at a town hall-style event Monday in Washington with several hundred young leaders from across sub-Saharan Africa.

The youngsters are participating in the inaugural Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, part of the broader Young African Leaders Initiative that Obama launched in 2010 to support a new generation of leadership there. The fellowship is being renamed as a tribute to Mandela, who died last December at age 95.

Obama announced the fellowship during a stop in South Africa last summer. It connects young African leaders to leadership training opportunities at top U.S. universities.

In remarks at Monday’s event, Obama also was announcing new public-private partnerships to create more programs for young African leaders, including four regional leadership centers across Africa, online classes and other resources, the White House said.

Mandela spent 27 years in jail under apartheid, South Africa’s former system of white minority rule, before eventually leading his country through a difficult transition to democracy. In 1994, he became the first democratically elected leader of a post-apartheid South Africa.

This week’s events with the next generation of young African leaders are a lead-in to the inaugural U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, being held Aug. 4-6 in Washington. About 50 African leaders are expected to attend what the White House says will be the largest gathering any U.S. president has held with African heads of state and government.

article by Associated Press via newsone.com