Mother Africa is Pregnant with Greatness

With China being predicted as the next Super Power, I cannot help but divert attention to Mama Africa’s vast land mass, high growth potential, large workforce, natural resources and increasing consumer bases.

Here are statistically proven reasons to prove that Mama Africa is pregnant with greatness:

  • While the growth of the world economy slowed to 3.2 %, the African aggregate GDP growth rose to 4.7% in 2010, 5.3% in 2011 and this is estimated to grow to 5.7 % by 2013.
  • Foreign direct investment to the continent have risen nearly 9 fold from a mere $ 10 billion in 2000 to $ 88 billion in 2008.
  • 7 out of the top ten growers for the year, 2011 to the year 2015, as predicted by  Economist, are African countries.
  • Africa is a key trader and source of resources for upcoming countries such as China and India. In 2010, China traded $ 114.81 billion with Africa.
  • Compared to the current powerhouse, Asia, Africa is among the low wage region with an enormous coastline with closer proximity to both European and Northern America Markets.
  • Mama Africa has close to a third of the world’s economically viable mineral reserves.
  • The enormous manufacturing potential created by low cost labor and a great pool of bright and talented people, whose native language are mostly French or English.
  • Increased donor support promotes increased regional integration and cross border projects in the infrastructure, agriculture, energy and transport sectors. In East Africa, the proposed railway construction between Kenya and Uganda will ease transportation between Ethiopia, Rwanda and Burundi.
  • Doing business has also become easier. In 2010, among the 10 economies in the world that highly improved the ease of doing business were Cape Verde, Rwanda and Zambia.
  • Multinational corporations are increasing market presence in Africa. In 2011, Walmart invested 44.8 billion in the acquisition of 51 % of Massmart (a South African company). The Cosmetics giant L’Oreal has operations in South Africa, Ghana and Morocco and has opened new subsidiaries in Nigeria and Kenya. The growth in the ICT sector has attracted investors, for example, IBM now operates more than 20 new African offices.
  • The expanding middle class and a consumer base is projected to reach 1.4 billion by mid 2025 and 2.2 billion by 2050.
  • Communications technology has caught up in Africa as well. Africans are among the world’s top users of the internet on their mobile phones.
  • Advanced technologies are helping to drive a wave of innovation across African financial services sector. For example, banks create new and accessible banking channels and take banking services such as MPESA to previously un-banked parts of society.

 

Coca Cola has seen that Mama Africa is on its way to becoming an economic powerhouse shown by its “A billion reasons to believe” in Africa advert.  Africa’s population was estimated at 1 billion in 2010 and estimated to reach 1.4 billion by mid 2025. The Coca Cola “A billion Reasons to Believe” advert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpvsLk00zIw

 

Mama Africa is clearly on its way to becoming an economic powerhouse.

Naomi Njeri Mwaura

 

Naomi Njeri Mwaura is a young 26 year old Kenyan that currently resides in her home country of Kenya, near the capital of Nairobi. She is the founder of FloNe Initiatives and is passionate about social entrepreneurship. Naomi is proud to live on a continent that has so much diversity and potential.

 

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Africa

Africa is a Continent that is so mysterious and beautiful and yet also dangerous and ugly at the same time.

I say this not to scare, but to tell you that you need an adventure. I have been fortunate to have grown and lived on the mother continent. If I went into too much detail, I would be writing a novel and boring whoever is reading this so I will talk about the continent in general terms so as to share my different experiences.

 Its many experiences and many lessons have taught me to become the person I am today. See, a lot of what people see on television portraying Africa is mostly negative. It is a place with droughts, famines, war torn areas, and poor people living in slums. The truth is a lot of those problems are real. Most of the governments are corrupt, which makes the poverty levels extremely high.

 Africa is also beautiful, and the people love tourists. Hospitality is a big part of African culture and we love having people from all over the world coming to the continent to share in amazing experiences, learning about nature and diverse wildlife. A place where wild animals roam free, lions camouflaged in the Savannah, elephants and giraffes patrol majestically in the shadow of the warm beautiful African sun.

Africa also faces a huge problem with growing populations encroaching on protected territories reserved for wildlife. In some areas, poachers still roam around looking for an opportunity to kill elephants for their tusks or rhinos for their horns. Thankfully, governments have seen the tremendous value of wildlife and are doing a lot more to protect some of these species.

Africa is also entrenched with history; History that details the slave trade, and the impact it had on both the east and west coast of the continent. History of the great Giza pyramids in the north, the rock hewn underground churches of Lalibela, and the beautiful coasts of South Africa.

The main religions practiced are Christianity and Islam and unfortunately many times this has led to conflict.

Africa is like a different planet, life moves a little slower, loud music fills the streets, and kids play soccer on the side of the road. Everybody knows everybody, and even though poverty is immense, the people find a way to laugh and joke with one another. Africa teaches you to be grateful of one another, even the pain brings people closer and also strengthens their resolve. A  resilient spirit seems to find you when you visit Africa. This continent shows you both the good and ugly in everything.

So if you’re still wondering about Africa, you need to go find out for yourself. Live, Love and Learn.

Alvin Kaswarra

Alvin Kaswarra is a 24 year old born in Uganda, raised in Ethiopia, and studied at a University in Kenya. It’s his experince living all over East Africa, and the US,  that gives him a unique perspective to what Africa as a whole is all about.  He currently resides in Gilbert, Arizona where he is a student and works as a logistics analyst. Image


Voices of East Africa

Two Feet Project is excited to bring you the new TFP blog!

What was once a place to get updates on previous trips to Kenya has no become a place where youth from all over East Africa have a place to engage, discuss, and share what’s on their mind. We’re calling it “Voice of East Africa.”

Every update you’ll be able to read about something unique; topics ranging from a young woman talking about her faith, a young man discussing his love for sports, or a young man describing his desire to end corruption in government.

There are no rules or requirements for this blog, everything you read and see will have only one thing in common- every topic will be East African influenced! Some things might be hard to grasp while others will give you a sense of joy; the emotions are up to you, the content is up to the youth of East Africa, and the goal is to give a voice to those that call East Africa home!

Keep checking the blog to read the very first article coming soon. And if you or anyone you know has lived in East Africa or has been to the continent and wants to contribute to this blog, feel free to get in touch with us at Twofeetproject@gmail.com.


Website

The long anticipated Two Feet Project website is only weeks away. Sign up for our newsletter at twofeetproject.org or “like” us on Facebook. Either way puts you in the position to be the first to know when the site becomes live!


Encouraged

What to write about? How do you take a trip of 3 weeks and sum it up into a nice concise blog? How do you take an experience, a year in the making, and sum it up in a way that provokes a feeling of passion in the reader when they finish?  Better yet, how do you create something that erases apathy and stirs up empathy?

To me personally, this trip meant a lot. It was the culmination of several years of ideas and desires and it became the catalyst for plans and dreams for years to come. I’ve dedicated a large portion of my life to Africa, and generously she has dedicated a large part of herself to me. Africa has become one of the most confusing, challenging, beautiful, encouraging, and redemptive relationships of my life. I have found myself strangely dependent on her, much more so than the continent will ever depend on me.

As I think back to how the trip to Kenya impacted me, I’m left with more feelings than words can express. But if I had to sum it up with one main idea I would say the trip really encouraged me and forced me to focus on the future. It reignited my desire to see the youth of Kenya acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to be a vehicle for change within their own country.

The goals of Two Feet Project come with so many challenges but I have peace that God is at work within the youth of Kenya. Throughout the trip we heard the stories of young men and women overcoming insurmountable challenges, met with organizations that are just as hungry as we are to see sustainable change, and had a chance to reflect on my own desire to see things come to fruition. I’m confident about the future not only of Two Feet Project but more importantly the future of the youth of Kenya.  I’m just thrilled to be able to be a part of it all.

This trip has served as a reminder that this is only the beginning and that the future looks bright. I’m so excited to see where God takes Two Feet Project. I’m humbled to be a part of His plan for Kenya and I’m honored to be trusted by close friends and acquaintances in leading this trip.

“The ambitions we have will become the stories we live!”  ~~Donald Miller

God Bless!

Stephen Ishmael

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A lot given = A lot required

For the past few weeks I’ve completely failed to put pen to paper. I’d gone to Kenya intending to catalog the daily events, adding my insightful musings as the trip unfolded. But until now, those intentions have been a total bust. Aside from us being very busy, I think that for the most part I can blame that failure on the fact that this has been a lot to take in. No doubt my brain will be processing this three week period for a long time to come. Apart from merely copying down daily events, the monumental task of constructing an appropriate response to all that I’ve seen, heard, and felt these past twenty days as I’ve spoken with pastors, played futbol with kids, walked the slums, and spent time in orphanages, seems overwhelming.
 
One of the biggest challenges in returning home from a journey like this is maintaining perspective. You can’t walk away from an experience like this without having a significant shift in your worldview. For those who’ve been through a similar experience, you may know what I’m talking about. It’s as though, however briefly, the clouds part and you begin to see things much more clearly. The trivial problems with which most of us are so preoccupied are suddenly seen for what they are, those ‘pressing’ matters are quickly relegated to a much lower level of importance. When viewed through the frame of a much larger worldview, you see very quickly that many of those issues which we allow to consume our days are merely distractions. Distractions which keep us from seeing and doing what truly matters.
 
Moments of clarity like this are a gift we don’t often encounter, they’re an opportunity to step back from our needlessly harried lives to take stock of where we are, what we’re doing, and who we’re following. At this moment I’m in the afterglow of such an experience. Clinging to that renewed perspective, I’m attempting to look with new eyes at my life, my decisions, and ultimately, my impact on the world around me.
A couple of years ago I was sitting in church, zoning out, when a verse randomly cropped up in my mind. It’s a common verse – much recited among the religious – but in my own experience, not often exercised. For whatever reason it came back to me with a greater urgency than before.
 
“…when someone has been given much, much will be required in return;
and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be
required.”
 
I’ve never been great at scripture memorization. For someone who has grown up in and around the church I’m pretty pathetic really. I’ve always been that guy who has a minor panic attack whenever someone asks me to share a favorite verse. But in that moment it didn’t matter that I couldn’t remember where in the Bible that verse was found, I simply knew that it was directed at me. I’m not trying to romanticize that day and say that the verse came to me like some Godly lightning bolt or anything like that, it was just more of an ‘Aha’ moment. I think in that moment I saw a clear picture of the level of responsibility that comes with being afforded all the opportunities that I’ve been handed.
 
My life has been unbelievably blessed, a fact of which I’m well aware, but one that is truly hammered home each time I venture outside my comfortable life in the US. As I journeyed through Kenya, that verse kept jumping into my head.  Going forward, my hope is that I can maintain that shift in perspective gained through my time with the folks in Kenya. My hope is that, when I look back, I will continually be encouraged and inspired to be an agent of change, regardless of what setting I’m in. I also hope that those of you following along benefited in some way through partnering with us on this leg of TFP’s journey, and I look forward to sharing in the next one with you.
  
With Thanks,

Aaron Sawyer


Youth Outreach

The Two Feet Project team was lucky enough to partner with local rapper/speaker Martin Guya, Pastor Rymes, and several others as we continued our outreach to local youth in Kenya. Giving them the word of God and encouraging them, not only in their studies, but in everyday life as well.

At a school where a lot of the youth have been rejected and told they weren’t good enough to attend “better” schools. We wanted to make sure that they knew that they could achieve great things and that they were created by God to do great things!  The overall theme for the day was “Stay Alive”