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Teddy Warria addresses sustainable development in Africa at UNC talk
As HIV/AIDS and other fatal diseases continue to plague Africa, Teddy Warria is looking for solutions.
Warria, a social entrepreneur from Kenya, visited UNC on Thursday evening to present his vision for pursuing sustainable growth in Africa. In his speech, he addressed two key areas: public health and free markets.
His efforts have included the creation of two nonprofit organizations devoted to bringing people together and providing Kenyan youth a chance at receiving a college education.
“I am Kenyan. I am an East African. I am an African. But I am more a child of the universe than I am all of those,” Warria said.
His work has focused on producing long-term change instead of short-term growth. It spans numerous fields, including education and health care.
“Kenyans have the intellectual capital to achieve on a global scale, if given the support, to not only move Kenya forward but Africa forward,” Warria said. “Very basic solutions can actually drive a country forward.”
Warria was born in Kenya but is studying public policy and international affairs at Princeton University. Through his nonprofit organizations, Warria has been able to send Kenyan students to colleges in the United States such as Harvard, California Institute of Technology and MIT.
“Teddy has a true gift for inspiring people,” said Eleanor Cooper, a senior and co-chairwoman of the Millennium Village Project, who co-sponsored the event with the Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Warria warned the attendants not to miss out on important opportunities when they arise.
“If you have a talent and there is a need, that is when it becomes your calling,” Warria said. “You don’t have to wait until you have a lot of degrees to be able to achieve anything.”
Freshman Seth Crabtree said he found the lecture especially interesting and relatable because of his personal background.
“I spent five weeks in Kenya. It was really neat for me to see someone who has come out of that background and done some pretty impressive things,” he said.
Senior Kate Neely said she was also impressed by the lecture and believed students could learn a lot from Warria.
“I think it is really important that we recognize that we are all working for the same things,” she said.