The goal of the Africa Lab is to develop and produce projects on “Storytelling for Social Impact”, by focusing on creating content that has an impact on the lives of real people through carefully crafted messages.
CHI – Naomi Solanke (Liberia)
Naomi Tulay-Solanke founded the Community Healthcare Initiative (CHI) during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Liberia. During this challenging time CHI responded with a feminist perspective, which saw the value and needs of all people in the communities they worked with.
After the outbreak subsided, Naomi and other women who had led humanitarian efforts realized the hundreds of women who had responded to Ebola had no collective voice to assert themselves in the humanitarian space in Liberia. They formed the Liberian Women Humanitarian Network, which now comprises 40 community service organizations that ensure all women who respond to humanitarian needs in their communities have a space to engage in collective advocacy and response in Liberia.
FarmGod – Mene Blessing (Nigeria)
Mene is revolutionizing the livestock and poultry industry by providing alternative feeds for farmers, positioning them to produce for less, and provide more protein for the African population.
He is working to reduce the cost of protein by creating a market for alternative livestock feed made from agricultural waste products such as mango seeds, maggots, and seaweed. These alternatives cost 60% less than regular options, enabling farmers to increase their output and income by 80%. For the alternative feeds to thrive and compete favorably in the market, he ensures that everyone on the value chain benefits from the program.
Soronko Solutions –Regina Honu (Ghana)
Soronko Solutions is bringing women and girls in Ghana into the ICT space by providing them with the role models and tools to change them from consumers to creators of technology. Soronko solutions started by developing innovative technology solutions across different platforms for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises. Profits from the software development were used to set up, and now run Soronko Foundation.
They then founded Tech Needs Girls where they mentor women and girls to lead and innovate by learning to code. Tech Needs Girls has over 200 volunteers and mentors who are either computer scientists or engineers and over 4,500 mentees in 8 regions in Ghana. The program has expanded to Burkina Faso with their curriculum translated to French, taking coding to girls in French-speaking Africa.
Desiree Yameogo (Burkina Faso)
Desire has transformed traditional beekeeping into a comprehensive and profitable industry for Burkina Faso and other countries in the Sahel region. He has trained rural farmers to become professionals and transform their small businesses into real industries and integrated women in production, breaking down traditional barriers that have prevented their participation in the business
Seeing the potential for this new industry the government soon began funding the development of the sector Desire has started replicating his approach in the cassava and rice sectors with the goal of maximizing natural resources for sustainable community development.
HLGC – Charlene Lea (South Africa)
During a time of crude home repossessions after loan default and resulting in widespread payment boycotts, Charlene developed a vital intermediary between hostile lenders and borrowers. Home Loan Guarantee Company (HLGC) created innovative insurance and risk management products protecting against HIV/AIDS risks, and a portion of the borrower’s financial risk while requiring all parties to bear some risk.
These products attracted lenders back into a market that badly needed servicing as the desire for homeownership was ballooning with the impending decline of Apartheid. She is now spreading many of her core ideas to other parts of Africa.