Community Spotlight Series — Ali Osman
Earth Hacks: Tell us a bit about yourself (i.e., where you’re from, your background, what you’re in school for, etc.)!
Ali Osman: My name is Ali Osman from the Republic of Sudan. I live in Khartoum and I am currently working as a project manager. I graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the University of the Holy Quran and Islamic Sciences in Omdurman in 2017. I am interested in economic development and sustainable development. In fact, I and a group of young people worked to establish the Istedama Wattan Organization; an organization concerned with sustainable development and climate change.
EH: How did you get involved with Earth Hacks?
AO: I became involved with Earth Hacks through the Amerikahaus Hackathon, which was not only fun and interesting, but it was also a platform to exchange ideas and meet new friends from different countries.
EH: What was your experience like at the Amerikahaus Hackathon? Can you tell us about the project that you were involved with?
AO: It was my first time participating in a hackathon. I learned a lot and I am not only proud of the work we did but it was also a great experience getting to know my team members, Yousuf and Angela; who are from Germany and India respectively. Our project happened to win First prize and it focused on repurposing old rechargeable batteries from consumer gadgets and giving them a second life.
EH: What drew you to be interested in sustainable development and climate change?
AO: I have been interested in climate change since 2018 after participating in the Sudanese Youth Negotiations on Climate Change before COP25. After that, I learned about the catastrophe of climate change on the planet and the role that youth have in reducing the climate change crisis, which made me interested in this issue to work towards educating young people about climate change and working together to take actions for a better future.
EH: Speaking of COP25, COP27 is happening in a few months and the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) along with friends of the GCA will be conveying the Africa Adaptation Summit on September 5th, as a way to lay the foundation for an adaptation breakthrough for Africa at COP27. What are some things you hope will be highlighted during these sessions?
AO: Emphasis should be placed on investing in African youth projects that contribute to climate change adaptation and supporting change makers by financing their projects and ideas. The lack of youth participation in such conferences has made African youth not have sufficient capabilities to confront climate change in Africa. Africa is a continent characterized by a large number of young people, so the role of youth in adapting to climate change in Africa should be discussed at the Africa Adaptation Summit.
EH: The Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) recently released a report entitled “Climate Finance Innovation for Africa” revealing that Africa is receiving just 12% of the finance it needs to reduce emissions and adapt to global warming. I think one of the most hard-hitting quotes from that report was “Africa is the region that is both least responsible for the climate crisis and among the most vulnerable to its consequences”. Given your economic and sustainable development background, what financial solutions do you think should be taken?
AO: Africa needs $100 billion to help the continent adapt to climate changes, but the lack of African expertise has led to the suspension of vital projects in this field. African climate experts must be supported with more capacity-building programs and technical support in implementing these policies in the countries of the African continent.
EH: What’s a fun fact about you that not many people know about you?
AO: I am a curious person who searches for everything that is new and different. I enjoy meeting new friends and learning about different cultures. I also love to travel and go on adventures.
EH: What would you say to someone who has never participated in a hackathon before?
AO: It is a wonderful experience! If you have an idea or a project or even if you do not have an idea but you have the desire to find creative ideas, I advise you to participate because it is a platform that brings together creative youth from different countries of the world. You will get to know community leaders, change makers and entrepreneurs. In addition, you will get to explore unique projects, some of which could be the key to solving the many challenges we face in our everyday lives.