William Kamkwamba is a Malawian boy, who at the age of 14 built a windmill to power his family’s home. This is not only an inspirational story of a young boy who was proactive in helping his family to try to escape poverty and hunger, but also a great example of appropriate technology being used for economic development. When we are studying economic development we look at how the “use of new technologies that are appropriate to the conditions” can be a source of economic growth and development; but we should not forget that appropriate use of older technologies can also have a large impact. At the age of 22 he gave a TED talk, which you can watch below, that really brings home how what we already have available can be used to improve economic development when it is used appropriately.
There is also now a short-film about what he has done a website to promote the ideas and help with further development. The short-film is below, and click here for the website.