For Africa to develop, we need to invest in its youth. The talent is there and the question is how do we nurture them. Below are some profiles of talented and capable Africa’s youth.
Kelvin Doe from Sierra Leone
Kelvin was born in the capital city, Freetown, in October 1996. Known in his home country as a.k.a DJ Focus, he played music on radio which he built himself. In 2012, David Sengeh, a Sierra Leonian PhD Student at MIT brought the story of Kelvin Doe in a Youtube video. At a very young age, Kelvin taught himself electronics to solve some of the challenges he and the community faced including irregular electricity supply. Sophie Sabin wrote his profile for Immigration Matters and says that “By the age of 13 and completely self-taught, Kelvin had made a battery capable of powering the surrounding homes and his own continuing work. He also built a radio transmitter, sound amplifier, three-channel mixer and microphone receiver from which he broadcast his own community radio station.” More opportunities have come his way since Sengeh brought attention to his story. On September 30, 2019, he told France 24 Television from Canada where he is studying that “The more I’m able to empower myself, the more I can do things that sustain the world as a whole”
Gracious Ephraim from Tanzania
Ephraim is one of Africa’s talented youth. He is a high school student from Ilboru High School in Arusha. His high school classes are a combination of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. In April 2017 he made a robot powered by solar energy. Like a human, the robot can walk, turn its head, speak and perform some tasks according to the Tanzania Daily News report. Remotely controlled, the robot can bend down, pick up two packages, move them and lay them down on the ground perfectly. He used basic material to build the multitasking robot in 12 months for a price tag of 200,000 Tanzania shillings, an equivalent of about $86. Ephraim’s vision is the industrialization of Tanzania with 24 hours production with the help of robots.
South Sudanese Teens
South Sudanese teens who took part in the 2019 FIRST Global Challenge of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) showed once again that Africans can participate in solving current challenges. With billions of pounds of plastic waste polluting oceans each year, the team built a robot to clean pollutants such as plastic from the ocean and lakes. Their ocean cleaning robot won in the individual match. More than 1,500 students from 191 countries competed in the challenge which was held in Dubai.