Paul-Miki Akpablie ’16 has been named a recipient of the prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders Award in recognition of his exceptional leadership in his community. The award, part of the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme, celebrates the achievements of young people who are taking the lead to transform the lives of others and make a lasting difference in their communities. Queen Elizabeth II will present the Queen’s Young Leaders Awards at Buckingham Palace in June.
Akpablie, a Colorado College biochemistry and math major from Ho, Ghana, began Kadi Energy, a company that powers lives in Sub-Saharan Africa through the creation of a long-lasting, versatile, and affordable phone charger. He took first place in CC’s Big Idea competition last spring and used his award money to manufacture and distribute the chargers in Ghana.
“I developed Kadi Energy, a long-lasting battery that uses solar power to charge phones, after discovering many people spend a large proportion of their income on charging mobile devices. It contains enough power to keep a mobile phone in standby mode for seven days,” Akpablie says.
His company also has trained 40 young people as agents to distribute the product, and the technology is currently being used by 2,000 people living in rural areas. The 22-year-old Akpablie, who hopes to eventually impact the lives of 7 million people through his innovation, was profiled by the Huffington Post last year as one of four “young African innovators you should know.” He also is included as one of CC’s Faces of Innovation.
The Queen’s Young Leader Award recognizes and celebrates exceptional people aged 18-29 from across the Commonwealth. The 60 recipients are working to support others, raise awareness, and inspire change on a variety of issues including education, climate change, gender equality, mental health, and disability equality. The program was founded in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s 60 years of service to the Commonwealth at the time of her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
In addition to receiving the award from the queen, recipients will attend a week-long residential mentoring program in June.