The World Bank Institute is funding the development of a computer game called Urgent Evoke (subtitle: A Crash Course in Changing the World).
Urgent Evoke is designed to help people in the developing world, and in Africa specifically, develop new skills. It does this by presenting players with a series of real-world challenges that they choose, or refuse, to tackle. Players earn points for finding creative solutions to the problems they face, for example, a water shortage or escalating violence. Winners will be given start-up funds to create a new business, scholarships for school, or mentorships.
The game's creator, Jane McGonigal, hopes that players will feel empowered by the experience of solving these kinds of problems, problems many face on a daily basis. Empowerment in turn may lead to more innovation, more entrepreneurship--maybe especially social entrepreneurship--in Africa. If you prefer, you can sign up to be a mentor for players.
Cool experiment. Whether enough people in Africa have internet access for the game to have a significant impact remains to be seen. And, it may be that Urgent Evoke diverts attention from the "real" real world to the virtual real world. Maybe.