YALI Fellow: Hastings Mkandawire Making Electricity


This week several young and promising leaders were assembled in Washington DC for President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Hastings Mkandawire is one of the nine Young African Leaders’ Initiative (YALI) fellows from Malawi now in Washington, DC, participating in the YALI Summit with President Obama.  In his speech, President Obama highlighted Hastings’ work by saying:  In rural Malawi, he saw towns in darkness, without electricity. So now he gathers scrap metal, builds generators on his porch, takes them down to the stream for power, delivers electricity so farmers can irrigate their crops and children can study at night.

Hastings has taken his passion for designing practical, sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions and his certification in Electrical Engineering to set up several hydro-electric turbines in the rural areas of Malawi. Using recycled materials, Hastings has efficiently built small hydro-electric turbines that generate enough electricity to power water pumps for villages, consequently allowing easy water access for irrigation, and relieving women and young girls from having to fetch water daily on their heads. “Upon my return, I will encourage massive replication of low-cost electric power generation systems to support youth economic activities in the isolated rural areas of Malawi,” says Hastings.  In this video, Hastings demonstrates how he has built and installed a generator to power a rural village in Malawi.


Homemade | Villant Jana from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

Mkandawire is reminiscent of another young Malawian, William Kamkwamba who went on to study at Dartmouth College in the United States. Each time one hears about these young African men changing their communities we are even more sure that AFRICA IS RISING!

Courtesy of US Embassy Malawi