"YOUNG-Africa aims to inspire, equip and engage Africa’s youth in creating
innovative and marketable solutions to problems in their communities and beyond."
YOUNG-Africa was established by Jefferson King and Torli Krua as a project of
the Universal Human Rights International (UHRI), based on the vision that Africa’s
best resource is not the natural resources underground such as gold, diamond and
crude oil; rather, Africa’s greatest resource is the mind of its peoples. A successful
pilot project was launched in Nimba County, Liberia, the birthplace of the African
Union, formerly the Organization of African Unity (OAU), and the origin of the Liberian
Civil War. The project targeted youth who have graduated, dropped out, or were in
high schools and colleges in six cities and towns in Nimba County, including Bahn,
Sanniquielle, Ganta, Tappita, Yekepa and Saclepea. Over 1,500 participants attended
workshops across the county through partnerships with county and local government
leaders, the County Educational Officer, places of worship, and community radio stations.
A business idea competition drew entries from over 40 teams and produced 9 finalists.
The winners were presented their awards in Sanniquellie, Liberia by the first elected
female head of state in Africa, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, at the Independence
Day Celebration on July 26, 2010.
Martha O'Mara, PhD, CRE
O'Mara is the Co-founder and Managing Director of Corporate Portfolio
Analytics and widely considered as a leading authority on the integration of corporate
real estate planning with business strategic planning. An author and member of the faculty
of the Advanced Management Development Program in Real Estate at Harvard University, Dr.
O’Mara frequently lectures at CoreNetGlobal events and other leading industry conferences
such as the Industrial Asset Management Council and the International Real Estate Group.
In addition, she has served as a judge for the CoreNetGlobal Innovators Award for the past
Representative Benjamin Swan
Rep. Swan is a state representative in the commonwealth of Massachusetts with more
than 25 years of management experience in the private and public sectors. He currently
serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Joint Committee on Post Audit and Oversights. He has
served three rotating terms as chairman of the Massachusetts Legislative Black Caucus,
and currently is an executive committee member of the National Black Caucus of State
Legislators. The representative has travelled to Liberia in a fact-finding mission and
supports several projects on ground. He was the Western Massachusetts coordinator for Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” Rep Swan holds
an honorary doctor’s degree from Westfield State College. Among awards he has received
include, the 1988 “WGBH-TV Eyes on the Prize Award,” the 1993 “NAACP’s James F. Hennessey
Medal,” and the 2005 “Boston Red Sox’s Community Service Award.”
Rafael Abiem is the current Human Rights Officer for the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).