Thione NIANG is a mentor, political activist, community leader, international motivational speaker and consultant. Named by Complex Magazine as one of the 10 Young Activists Who Are Changing the World in March 2013. In 2014, Thione teamed up with super star Akon to co-found “Akon Lighting Africa”, an initiative that helps solve Africa’s energy problems in remote villages, suburban and urban areas. This project aims at bringing electricity to millions of households in Africa by leveraging solar power. Thione’s personal journey is a testament to the power of dreaming big. Raised in a humble family of 28 in Senegal, West Africa, Thione arrived in the United States in 2000 with $20 in his pocket, no family, and very limited English. He worked as a busboy and sent money to family back home, while saving to eventually earn a college degree.
Eager to give back to the country that provided unlimited opportunity, Thione became engaged in politics while in college in Ohio. After campaigning for various local and state political candidates, he campaigned for President Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential election. Inspired by the legions of young voters that helped make history in the election of 2008, Thione decided to go global with his advocacy. In 2009, he launched the GIVE1 PROJECT, a global non-profit organization, dedicated to the engagement and empowerment of young leaders for the pursuit of social, economic and political advancement in their communities. His organization is currently operating in France, USA, Senegal, Benin, Canada, Togo, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Turkey, Belgium, Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone, Morocco, Italy, Mali and Japan. Give1Project develops business incubators in many countries in Africa strengthened to train and support young entrepreneurs.
Since 2011, Thione has served as the National Co-Chair of GEN44, the DNC and Obama for America’s newest program to cultivate and empower a rising generation of Democratic leaders. Thione Niang also serves on the board of Directors of The Millennial Action Project (MAP), the first national organization dedicated to overcoming America’s partisan gridlock through next generation leadership.