Washington, DC — Malawian William Kamkwamba, who was forced to drop out of school in 2002 at the age of 14 because his parents couldn't pay the school fees, is now the author of an inspiring book on how he built a homemade windmill out of bicycle parts and other scraps to power his parent's home in the small village of Masitala.

His invention attracted international attention, and he is now on a U.S. book tour after completing his secondary education at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg.

AfricaFocus readers have often asked for more stories showing positive African initiatives, and I think this clearly fits the description. I haven't read the book yet, but there is ample material on-line for you to make up your own mind. See, for example,http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8257153.stm, and the review in The Guardian (http://tinyurl.com/yc58d5k), which reminds readers that Kamkwamba's creativity is typical of hundreds of others in Africa and around the world who rely on their wits to survive. Kamkwamba's blog, with reviews and a schedule of appearances, is athttp://williamkamkwamba.typepad.com, and his coauthor Bryan Mealer's blog is at http://bryanmealer.com

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