In sub-Saharan Africa, 600 million people lack access to electricity. As the world is increasingly becoming data and energy reliant, I see the urgency to build capacity to anticipate the radical changes induced by globalization, digitalization, and demographic shifts. Ray Power Africa uses off-grid solar solutions to create distributed networks of electricity to meet the fast-paced energy demand while fostering inclusive economic growth and providing affordable and secure electricity. Ray Power Africa distributes stand-alone solar systems with battery and solar water pumps to provide energy as a service allowing both enterprises and individuals to be self-reliant. Sustainability also has a place in luxury, and that is why I started Maakola, an ethical luxury fashion brand that reflects the values of a new generation of women. One that is unafraid of portraying their charisma and personality both visually and through their actions. The concept behind the retailer, I founded in 2016, is firmly rooted in the name Maakola, derived from the Makola market in Ghana where female traders identify their fabric through distinct names and associated cultural attributes. By controlling the supply chain, Maakola is committed to creating sustainable economic growth while connecting local artisans to a borderless market. I consider Maakola a small experiment, with the hopes of turning it into a vehicle that can change old narratives and stereotypes through creativity. And, by creating the possibility of sharing the ever-growing stories of African beauty, freedom, empowerment, and talents.
I have long been drawn to sub-Saharan Africa, an area of the world with the fastest growing population and with the highest poverty level. As I see it, to evolve as a society, it is necessary to learn from past mistakes and to utilize these lessons to create inclusive solutions. For example, by 2030 there will be 375 million young people in the country’s job market. Within a few decades, this demographic boom will push Africa’s workforce to more than a billion people, the largest in the world. Tapping into this potential can lead to greater advancement worldwide.
I subscribe to the idea that Ghana is going to be an international hub for breakthrough innovation, human capital, and cultural preservation. The potential of this region is accompanied by the pressing challenges that come with providing for so many people at the same time. My drive and positive thinking are founded on the fact that for the first time in history we are equipped with technology that can create exponential change, and give people the tools to determine their own future, without necessarily depending on governments, aid, or other higher structures.
The speed and cross-sector of current technological breakthroughs is unprecedented. This fourth industrial revolution is characterized by velocity, scope, and systematic change that have the potential to meet the needs of individuals and organizations that can adapt and evolve to changing situations or requirements over time.