Land is a precious commodity, and land ownership holds significant value in all parts of the world. In Ghana, land is not only viewed as a monetary asset. Land holds more personal value and Ghanaians view it as part of their heritage and culture. They feel that their land is a piece of them, something they will pass down from generation to generation. With this strong attachment to land, land rights are a very sensitive and pertinent issue. But in Ghana, owning land and having proof of land ownership do not necessarily go hand in hand. This is where Thomas and his company Landmapp offer a unique service: mapping land and providing official land tenure documentation to smallholder farmers.
From halfway across the globe, Bagoré Bathily, founder of La Laiterie du Berger, told me about an interesting paradox: In Senegal, a country that lies along the coast of West Africa, the rural half of the population survives largely on the produce of their cattle. Despite the abundance of locally produced milk, the urban half of the country is consuming yogurt—a staple in the Senegalese diet—made almost exclusively from imported, powdered milk. From Bagoré’s perspective, this was a nagging contradiction. It led him to build a company that is now providing locally produced, nutritious yogurt for the population while simultaneously increasing quality of life for cattle breeders who depend upon agriculture to survive.
What happens when two American college students start a club focused on entrepreneurship in the Middle East? They end up setting out to transform the entire region by unlocking the entrepreneurial potential of an entire generation of young Arabs.
In today’s technology-driven world, it is increasingly common for people to find and access job opportunities through digital platforms like LinkedIn. In many ways, this is beneficial and helps both employers and potential hires to find one another efficiently. But where does that leave people who have little access to digital platforms, or who don’t have the training to use them? For many, especially those living in low-income neighborhoods, access and information isn’t the only challenge. Through their work in Argentina, Agustina Jait and Santiago (Santi) Figueroa found that many people are often discriminated against on paper because of details on their resume (their home address, for example). In creating Tu Video CV Online, Agustina and Santi are working to remove these barriers and improve access to jobs.
David Shields is the co-founder of GEM Project, an organization based in South Africa that uses a mobile payments platform to reward volunteer service in local communities. Through an easy-to-use mobile interface or USSD technology, users can browse local opportunities, and sign-up to volunteer, all with just a few clicks on their mobile phone. In return for their service, volunteers earn “GEMs,” a currency of rewards points equivalent to one South African rand, which can be used to buy goods and services ranging from movie tickets to electricity bills.