Social entrepreneur Rachel Sibande from Malawi participated in the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) in Chicago in summer 2012. Led by the White House and the U.S. Department of State in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Peace Corps, YALI is a long-term effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders and strengthen partnerships between the United States and Africa.
“We told our stories and the audience was mesmerized.”
Rachel, Country Director for the USAID-funded Market Linkages Initiative project, is passionate about development of technologies for rural development. While in Chicago, she was one of the featured speakers at a WorldChicago Coffee Conversation, “From Africa to Chicago.”
“We told our stories and the audience was mesmerized,” Rachel said. “Through this [event], one volunteer approached me and said he was very impressed with the way we were using technology to transform smallholder farmers’ lives. He then arranged meetings for me with Senator Kirk and Senator Durbin’s staffers.”
Since her YALI exchange program, Rachel has been very much on the lead in the implementation of SMS technologies to improve agricultural development for Malawian smallholder farmers. Watch below to see her deliver a talk at the TEDxLilongwe conference in May 2013, where she shared her experiences and the challenges of implementing SMS technologies in Malawi.