Ideas for Action Africa: a youth-led initiative to elevate Africa out of poverty and achieve a more sustainable future
My name is Delphine M. Anglo and I am 28 years old. I am from Benin, Africa and I moved to France a few years ago to pursue my education. I have a Master’s Degrees in Finance, Accounting, Audit & Control and three Bachelor’s degrees: one in Accounting, one in Economics and one in Western African Business Law.
I am currently working at KPMG Paris as an Experienced Senior Consultant and I previously worked with SIEMENS France as an Internal Controller.
My plan one day is to go back to Africa with the hope and the ambition to help make things happen, working to get to the Africa we want. Indeed, I believe that the continent has so many challenges that cannot be faced without the help of young generations.
If I were an organization, I would say that my mission is to contribute to build a world where extreme poverty is unknown or remains in distant memory. Driven by impact, obsessed with sustainable and inclusive development, I am enjoying a parallel life where development-oriented thinking and initiative lay at its core. I also am an Economic Expert at the Think-Thank “L’Afrique des Idées” and President of “Ideas for Action Africa”.
My story begins with a note: “In this new century, millions of people in the world’s poorest countries remain imprisoned, enslaved, and in chains. They are trapped in the prison of poverty. It is the time to set them free […]. And overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life. While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.” Nelson Mandela spoke these words years ago.
What is breaking my heart is that in 2018, these sentences are still valid.
I believe in the power of humans to end poverty, injustice and inequality altogether. I am confident in the ability of young people around the world to make our world a peaceful place to live in, under every aspect. By joining forces and doing our “small” part, we can make it. All we need, is to be sustainable impact-focused.
So, how I am trying to do my part here?
In general, an impactful action results from an elaborated idea based on a clear vision and strong will. To me, ideas and actions are as equally important.
I think the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are to be considered a top priority on the way to eradicate extreme poverty. They can seem ambitious, but they are definitely achievable. All the goals matter and we need to find those to which we personally feel closer, in order to work on their achievement.
To get more familiar with the SDGs and the challenges they raise, I have successfully taken The World Bank courses on financing for development, managing risk for development and public private partnerships. As part of my projects related to these courses, I have shared the following media content: Sustainable Development Goals: 2016-2030 Agenda: The road from BILLIONS to TRILLIONS to ACTION; 'We The People' need you to meet the SDGs!
In 2016, I was fortunate enough to participate as a guest in the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF, in Washington D.C. It was an amazing experience that strongly increased my interest in the SDGs. I could not wait to share this wonderful adventure, so I published this related article: “It’s all about dignity and prosperity for all”
As an Economic Expert at the Think-Tank L’Afrique des idées (Africa-focused think-tank formulating innovative policies on economic, political and cultural issues), I am contributing through analyses and event organization. I have been publishing several articles relating to African topics and I have also co-organized the 2016 annual conference about “Financing African development”. I am the co-author of the related white paper “Financer les économies africaines”.
In one of my last articles I show how Information technology can enable the SDGs achievement in an African context: “Comment les TIC peuvent – elles permettre à l’Afrique d’atteindre ses objectifs de développement ?”.
(You can find more of my publications here: http://www.lafriquedesidees.org/?s=delphine+anglo).
In 2017, I had the experience of a lifetime with the Youth Assembly at the United Nations, as a Delegate. It was a very powerful moment shared with so many impressive young people coming from all over the world, who are making incredible efforts to spread awareness about the SDGs in their communities and regions. I came back from the Assembly with the feeling that I am definitely not alone in this journey and that together we can really make a positive impact.
A few months ago, we officially launched “Ideas for Action Africa (I4A Africa)” that I am currently leading. I4A Africa is a regional African youth organization focused on promoting Ideas for Action across Africa (I4A). As a joint program of the World Bank Group and the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the Wharton School, Ideas for Action is a knowledge platform that connects young leaders all around the world, who are passionate about the future development of our world.
Thanks to the passion, motivation, energy, enthusiasm, dedication and hard work of each of our team members, we are running towards a great outcome in Africa. With this initiative, we don’t just talk about youth engagement. We see engagement in action and trust me, it’s a very encouraging feeling.
Early this year, we held our first events in Nigeria (Abuja and Lagos), hosted by the World Bank Group, The African University of Science and Technology (AUST) and the University of Lagos (UNILAG). With experts from the World Bank, IFC, and the private sector, as well as winners of the last I4A Competition edition, the participants aged between 18 and 35, discussed in depth about the SDGs, the importance of youth action and the best practices of the I4A Competition.
About these events:
- I4A Website
- Abuja event;
- Lagos event: World Bank Communication
- Abuja event;
The I4A Competition figures are exceptional this year: submissions have tripled, with 2100+ SDGs related projects from young people around the world, including 900+ projects from Africa.
However, in order to be able to support the best regional projects on way to implementation and development, we need much more partnerships.
So, dear young reader, our world’s destiny is in our hands! We cannot afford to fail! We, the young people, can make it with confidence and determination, by raising our voice and taking impactful actions.
I’d like to finish by reminding that:
- “There’s no mountain too great when you have a reason to climb” –Viktor Frankl.
- “You can touch millions of people’s lives and the world will never be the same again because you came this way” –Les Brown.
And in case I won the prize, it would all go to the ideas for Action Africa Initiative.
Cover cartoon credit: Sergio Algeri/GYV
Photos Credit: Delphine M. Anglo