Famed MIT wiz kid Kelvin Doe signs $100000 contract with a company in SierraLeone

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In this photo Kelvin Doe is pictured with the managers of Sierra WIFI
In this photo Kelvin Doe is with the managers of Sierra WIFI (Credit: Awoko)

A solar company in Sierra Leone has awarded Kelvin Doe of MIT fame a $100,000 contract to design solar panels at 400 locations across the country. The money is to cover the cost of the panels, research, and construction.

At the signing of the contract between Doe and Anthony Malhem, MD of Sierra Wifi, the young man who is still in high school said he is more interested in working on innovation than he is on the money. In the presence of his family, friends, and government officials Doe said this work will not affect his grades.

Kelvin Doe became an internet sensation last year after Innovate Salone, a non-profit intent on promoting creation and innovation launched the “Ah de mak am” competition for high school students in Sierra Leone. Kelvin and his team won first place and Kelvin was flown to M.I.T to make to present his battery-powered radio transmitter to MIT Media Lab. The Media Lab had provided some of the initial funds needed to set up the Innovation Competition.

When we contacted Innovate Salone for a comment, the organization’s founder David Sengeh was shocked. He said he was unaware of the contract between Sierra WIFI and Kelvin Doe.

Photo Credit: Awoko

  • While it makes sense for the private sector to want to align itself with a celebrated young person like Kelvin we wonder if this was the right way to do so. Kevin is a teenager, he has no actual experience in designing or implementing solar panels.
    Innovate Salone the organization that took Doe to the US and made the video that made him an internationally celebrated teen was neither consulted nor informed about this contract. Just seems that if you want to develop and support innovation in Sierra Leone the right thing to do is to make it possible for the model to be replicated. Support the organization that made Kevin possible so that more Kelvins will be possible.
    On the flip side, Kelvin has a family and these funds will help them for sure and that’s good, but is this really the best way to help young people in Sierra Leone? Just give them money? How is this going to nurture him?

    • IB TIMBO

      Innovate salone should have been consulted. This is ridiculous. These people are just using the young man for selfish motives. I say nullify that contract Kelvin. Money is not everything. Set your self up for principles. Cheers mate