Name: Maxwell Beganim
- Climate Advisor to Pan African Youth Union Secretary General
- Managing Director at Open Knowledge Ghana
Research Fellow: Center for Security Policy and Research
Achievements and Awards:
– Outstanding Volunteer, Internet Society Ghana Chapter 2022
– Volunteering for Climate Change 2023, Mentorship and Volunteering Awards
– We are Together International Prize, Regional Expert 2021 and 2022
“There is much false bravado in victory and much to learn in defeat. In a lot of matters we learn much from our moments of earth shuttering moments of failure than in victory.”
I have always believed that education and self improvement are big pillars to personal and community development, thus it is a field in which I have always endeavored to reach the highest level while also working to enable more liberal access for the youths and underprivileged on the continent.
With that it mind, I have pursued every available opportunity with energy and vigor to this day. Thus, I remember vividly the day, on which I came across the publication for applications of the prestigious Faith for our Planet fellowship program with Duke University. I prepared my submissions meticulously and thankfully, I got the honor of being among the selected few out of the 6000+ applications for that term.
However, with all seemingly set in, the sucker punch came; securing an appointment to submit my visa application at the US Embassy in Ghana proved to be an arduous task. Even when I requested an emergency visa, it was unfortunately turned down. This experience took a toll on me emotionally and had a significant impact on my career and advocacy work. Missing out on such a valuable opportunity, especially after all the sleeplessness, was truly disheartening.
But, as every so often in any story worth writing, this setback experience became a platform for a come back. After the initial self pitting period, I got to reflect on the disparities caused by what I would diplomatically term, geographical disposition. For various reasons, it is harder for people in certain parts of the world to receive consular services than in other parts of the world.
It was such a disheartening eye opening moment, especially seeing fellow participants from different regions attending the fellowship program without facing the same obstacles. Even mores, as someone previously trained at the University of Georgia and the Department of State; I pondered, how much more dire was the situation was for many talented youths in underprivileged parts of our communities.
In the process of picking up the pieces, I realized the importance of understanding and working to bridge the barriers that come with opportunities and how some talented and deserving youths are disadvantaged and unable to overcome them. I am committed to raising awareness about these issues whenever I have the opportunity, and I refuse to give up in the face of adversity.
My message to young people is to never give up and to strive for a better Africa. This experience further motivated me to pursue a Denis Goldberg Scholarship with Heriot-Watt University, Edinburg.
Maxwell Beganim is a highly accomplished educator, technology enthusiast, social entrepreneur, and passionate advocate for climate change action. With over a decade of experience in training and education, entrepreneurship, and community development, Maxwell has established himself as a dedicated youth worker and leader.
As a skilled youth leader in the non-profit organization management sector, Maxwell has successfully demonstrated expertise in event management, start-ups, marketing strategy, information architecture, change and energy, education, and entrepreneurship. His strong focus on STEM, open education, technology, computational thinking, and higher education pedagogy has driven his professional development and made a significant impact.
Maxwell holds a Master of Education Degree and is currently pursuing an MSc in Renewable Energy Development at Heriot-Watt University, where he is a Denis Goldberg Scholar. In recognition of his commitment to civic engagement, he has been certified as an African Civic Engagement Leader by the University of Georgia and the US Department of State.
Furthermore, Maxwell serves as a valued member of various esteemed organizations. He actively contributes to the steering committee for Climate Change and Energy at Ghana Youth Voice, World Bank Youth to Youth Community.
Additionally, he plays a crucial role as a member of the Capacity Building Steering Committee for the SDG 7 Youth Constituency.
Maxwell is also recognized as the Chairperson for Global Peace Africa and the Chairperson for Climate and Emerging Technology with the Internet Society Ghana Chapter.
He serves as a researcher at the Center for Security Policy and Research, a prominent think tank.
Moreover, he is a dedicated Climate Reality Leader and a valued member of the Climate Working Group of the Pan African Youth Union.
In his capacity as a project lead, Maxwell spearheads the Young Green Entrepreneurs initiative of SYND and the Pan African Green Leaders Academy.
He is also the co-founder of The Ghana Green Initiative, an organization dedicated to promoting sustainable practices and environmental awareness.