|A Mission to Seek Out Young Liberian Innovators|
30 September 2009
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 some traction.
|Map of Liberia|
Jefferson King, a young Liberian who has just earned a civil engineering degree from Cornell University in New York State, is co-founder of Youth Overcoming Underdevelopment Nationally and Globally in Africa.
King leaves for Liberia next month to start a project that would encourage young Liberians to start dreaming about solutions to their national problems.
He 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.
King said his group would be encouraging all young Liberians to come up with any idea with the potential to better their communities.
|Some Liberians in Monrovia
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.