Many young men and women across Africa (and the world) are punching above their weights, creating doorways with very little support or resources. They are contributing significantly, but quietly, to the quest for a more environmentally friendly sustainable world that also empowers communities while improving their livelihoods. Through our in focus series, Inspire Africa for Global Impacts Initiatives (or Inspire Africa) will be previewing some of these young people and their work each month.
This February we focus on Emily Mogano. Emily is a South African entrepreneur and delegate for the Global Peace Summit in Dubai slated for the 23rd to the 26th of this month. She is also a 2021 alumni of the LIFT Capstone Project by Inspire Africa- a comprehensive and blended learning experience designed for undergraduates and recent graduates to acquire experiential learning in high growth industries.
In many ways, Emily embodies what the Global Peace Summit is about: Leaders from different ends of the age and cultural spectrum coming together to progressively lay frameworks for a more just, equitable and sustainable world.
Motivating young women to break their boundaries regardless of their unfair advantage is what her work largely concentrates on. “I focus on many disciplines, because I believe I should not limit myself to one profession,” says Emily, who is keen to take part in conversations on inclusive economies and digital transformation at this year’s summit.
During the LIFT Capstone Project, Emily was the project manager. She led a virtual team of young men and women from different parts of Africa that were researching and working on digital solutions to everyday problems within two Lagos-based businesses Shago Payments and N.E.A.T Microcredit. A major selling point for the project was the hands-on experience that participants would gain from working in a virtual environment with people from different backgrounds over a period of eight weeks.
It may sound unusual to acquire multiple professions, but the rapid evolution in the digital world means this is all the more possible and plausible. Once upon a time, the first computers were only used to solve simple mathematical problems like addition and multiplication. Today, computers can play games or even compose music.
If this is not indicative enough of just how rapidly the digital world is evolving, consider this: According to Reader’s Digest, between 1961 and the mid 1970s, the number of computers worldwide rose from 4 000 to 100 000. Today, there are well over 2 billion computers globally. This excludes gadgets like tablets and smartphones.
As Reader’s Digest put it, “The possibilities seem endless, and the only limits may be those imposed by our own imagination.”
“When the organisation (the Global Peace Summit) chose me, I was very happy but I think they also chose me because of my work with Inspire Africa” says a visibly elated Emily. “I can use the digital and entrepreneurial skills and certifications they (Inspire Africa) gave me in many industries,” she explains.
With the Global Peace Summit in sight, Emily represents many of today’s youth whose future employment prospects rest on their ability to tap into the digital economy. This generation can only be limited by a lack of digital skills and tools, and the summit presents an opportunity for Emily to lobby for an inclusive global digital transformation drawing from her experience with LIFT.