Ideas for Action (I4A) is an annual competition centered around financing sustainable development. It was launched in 2015 by the World Bank and the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
Students and young professionals from around the world enter their ideas and designs for implementing the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which include targets like health and wellbeing, affordable clean energy, and good quality education.
African teams have always performed well at the I4A initiative.
For the 2017 Competition, Team Gifted Hands Uganda, led by Andrew Musoke, came second with a proposal to reduce breast cancer death rates among women and, at the same time, increase the employability of visually impaired women.
Mukose’s drive and passion came from his mother’s experience. A university lecturer and single mother, she lost her job after being blinded in an accident. The consequences for her family were dire. “99.5%” of disabled Ugandans,” said Mukose, “are unemployed. They are stigmatized, marginalized, and looked at as not productive.”
“It’s not only my mother, but over 1.6 million blind people in Uganda [who] go through the same challenges.” Mukose’s health program involves training blinded women to help screen Ugandan women for signs of breast cancer.
The I4A program is a great opportunity for young Africans to contribute to the debate on international development. Winners are given a major role in the Youth Transforming Africa program as role-models within the #AfricaCan framework.