TEDGlobal 2007 was studded with announcements of new initiatives and major gifts to the cause of Africa’s next chapter. Here’s a sampling, as reported by the blogs:
As Ethan Zuckerman reports from the final session:
Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete took the stage with Dr. Larry Brilliant of Google.org and Bruce McNeighbor of Technoserve. Dr. Brilliant announces his support for Believe, Begin, Become, a national business plan competition, modeled on the successful experiment Google and Technoserve operated this past year in Ghana. He emphasizes the importance of job creation and business development as critical parts of economic development. Brilliant describes the program as “tried and tested” in Africa and Latin America, where it accompanies investment with intensive entrepreneurship training …
Afromusing has more on the press conference that followed:
President Jakaya Kikwete’s comments during the press conference and also during the TED global address showed that he is a leader with an open mind, engaging and committed to market liberalization. He struck me as a new breed of African leader, who engenders progressive ideals.
Reuters reported June 7 that Ethiopia’s first commodities exchange — modeled on the Chicago Board of Trade — has set a target date to be in beta by the end of this year, quoting TED speaker Eleni Gabre-Madhin:
“What we hope to do first is to have a first launch of some kind of a pilot by the end of 2007. We hope to have a starting bell by December 2007,” Eleni Gabre-Madhin, programme director with Washington DC- based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), told Reuters.
Some 100 of the conference’s attendees were TEDFellows, sponsored to attend because of their contributions to Africa’s next chapter. TED’s Director of Partnerships, Tom Rielly, helped arrange to send the TEDFellows home with some lovely parting gifts, courtesy of GE, Google and AMD, and Noah Samara from Worldspace, as Ethan reports — and TEDFellow Soyapi Mumba Twitters:
Mac vs PC live in Africa! TEDGlobal2007 fellows to choose either Mac or PC as their gift laptop sponsored by Google and AMD. I’m a Mac!
As Erik Hersman at White African reported earlier in the week: Google also annouced its first sub-Saharan Africa hire:
Joseph Mucheru has been named the new site lead for Google Kenya. This was whispered to be happening, but at today’s Google lunch at TEDGlobal the position was made official by Francoise Brougher, Director of Google Business Opportunities.
And a grassroots effort is being formed to support one extraordinary young speaker; Ethan shares the details:
This isn’t the only generous effort coming out of the TED Global conference. William Kamkwamba, the amazing young Malawian engineer who built his first windmill at age 14, has captured the imagination of many of the people in the crowd. A number of TED attendees have banded together to support him fiscally to complete his high school education and go onto university. A TED staffer is travelling to Malawi next week to start working on finding tutors for William to help prepare him to attend a top high school in Malawi.