Yesterday in Iowa, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and philanthropist Howard Buffett announced that they would join forces to tackle hunger in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Rwanda or Malawi. The announcement was made yesterday during the World Food Prize event in Des Moines.
Africa’s hunger combat
Four entrepreneurs will be offered $150,000 fellowships to combat hunger in Africa. $80,000 will be given for the implementation of the ideas presented to the Howard G. Buffett Foundation while the rest of the money will go towards travel and living expenses for the year that the winners spend in Africa.
“Each of these people will be given the chance to go to one of the four countries in the program — Sierra Leone, Liberia, Rwanda or Malawi — and implement their idea, their best idea for how they can improve food security and agricultural production,” Blair said.
The winners are expected to address the issues of electricity, investment and agricultural output that Blair believes are the three areas that keep Africa from adequately feeding its citizens.
Howard Buffett on helping Africa
“This is really an effort to try to get some of the best minds, young minds to think about what are some of the solutions and then give them the financial opportunity and the access to an organization that can provide it to go try to do something,” Buffett said Thursday. “If this works, believe me, this is something that we’ll do more of.”
Howard Buffett, the son of Warren Buffett, is a farmer and The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) board member, and uses his foundation to improve food and water security as well as migrating conflicts in the region.
“What I have learned is the younger generation, which is a lot younger today than I like to admit, you know, they think differently. They have different tools in their hands. It’s really pretty amazing what can happen with technology,” Buffett said yesterday during a news conference in Des Moines. “I don’t believe technology can solve every problem by any means, but where it can solve problems it ought to be used.”
The four winners are expected to be announced in Des Moines, Iowa sometime next year.