Why We Exist
Despite decades of development, there are millions of Africans living in extreme poverty. They’re highly vulnerable and have dramatically diminished choices. These same people have incredible potential—we’ve seen it first-hand.
Traditional development isn’t unlocking that potential, and has failed to accelerate Africa’s development. Proven innovations aren’t scaling, and there remains an unproductive relationship between donors, citizens, businesses and governments in developed countries and in Africa.
There is a problem of talent.
Not enough of Africa’s or the world’s smartest and most well-trained people spend time on development. Those who do are rarely given the time, the space and the resources to imagine, develop and refine new ideas.
There is a problem of context.
Initiatives, businesses and policies to accelerate Africa’s development are typically conceived and approved far from the ground. Very few are developed or informed from the bottom-up, with stakeholders who live and understand the issues at hand.
There is a problem of feedback.
The people funding development are not the same people as those receiving services, namely poor people and their governments. This kills competition in ideas and stifles innovation.
EWB is working to remedy these problems.
We know change has to come from within—we enable it. We’re happy to say that we know some of the world’s smartest, most dedicated, disruptive systems changers—we call them EWBers. We know that it sometimes takes a failure or two before you can succeed, and that real change requires an investment of time and effort—we’re ok with that. Most of all, we’re dedicated to making sure our boss is happy with our work—positive, systemic, lasting change.