TEDizens: Tonight in New York, we officially unveiled plans for our first TEDGlobal conference in Africa, to be held in Arusha, Tanzania from June 4 to 7, 2007. Africa, The Next Chapter will feature 50 extraordinary speakers who are shaping Africa’s future though innovation and world-changing ideas.
Underlying this new initiative is our recognition that Africa is at an important tipping point. It’s problems and challenges are well known. But across the continent, tremendous change is afoot. Ingenious solutions are being applied to tackle some of the toughest health and infrastructure problems; businesses are being launched that are capable of transforming the lives of millions.
A new generation of Africans is emerging who refuse to be daunted by Africa’s familiar litany of challenges, and instead believe an exciting future beckons. They include leading entrepreneurs, inventors, cultural ambassadors, scientists, designers, artists, writers, activists, musicians and mavericks making real change across the continent.
Leading our efforts is TEDGlobal Program Director Emeka Okafor: entrepreneur, analyst and creator of the influential blogs Africa Unchained and Timbuktu Chronicles. Together, we’re thrilled to announce our speaker line-up, which throws a spotlight on these emerging African leaders, along with a few non-African counterparts:
TEDGlobal 2007 speakers include:
Binyavanga Wainaina: Award winning author of “Discovering Home” and “How To Write About Africa.”
Bola Olabisi: The inspiring founder of Global Women Inventors & Innovators Network, an organization that seeks to identify and support talented women in Africa and elsewhere.
Ken Ofori-Atta: CEO & Co-Founder of Databank, a leading stock brokerage firm in Ghana.
Simon Mwacharo: CEO of Craftskills, an innovative manufacturer of renewable modular energy systems based on solar and wind power.
Carol Pineau: Journalist and producer of the documentary “Africa Open for Business.”
Chris Abani: Award winning author of the novels “Graceland” and “Kalakuta Republic.”
Chris Johns: Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic and acclaimed photographer of “Valley of Life: Africa’s Great Rift.”
Danniel Annerose: CEO and Founder of Manobi, developer of prize-winning cell phone-based services that, for example, give farmers market intelligence and allow them to achieve better prices for their crops.
Dele Olojede: A journalist who won the Pulitzer Prize for a series of articles on Rwanda.
Ernest Chijioke Madu: Surgeon, medical outsourcing pioneer and Founder (in the Caribbean) of the Heart Institute, a world-class cardiovascular center.
Eleni Gabre-Madhin: Economist and leading researcher on African agricultural markets.
Andrew Mwenda: Leading journalist, activist and Stanford Fellow.
George Ayittey: Economist and outspoken author of books that have helped redefine the agenda for African development, such as “Indigenous African Institutions” and “Africa Unchained.”
Noah Samara: Founder and CEO of Worldspace, leading provider of satellite radio to Africa and the Middle East.
H Chinery-Hesse: Founder and CEO of Softtribe, a developer of what has been described as ‘tropically tolerant software.’
Jacqueline Novogratz: After 20 years’ involvement in Africa, she founded the Acumen Fund, a leader of the “new philanthropy” movement which, instead of offering charity, supports entrepreneurs who are building businesses in areas such as healthcare, low-cost housing and water distribution.
James Shikwati: A Kenyan writer and commentator on public policy. He is known for promoting trade and economic freedom as a way to tackle poverty.
Seyi Oyesola: Physician and Co-Inventor of ‘Hospital in a Box’, a portable operating theatre that runs on solar power. Also an expert in medical simulator training.
Florence Seriki: Founder and CEO of Omatek Computers, who have proved it’s possible to be a successful computer manufacturer in West Africa.
Kwabena Boahen: A leading Stanford-based researcher in “neuromorphic processors” – he is creating silicon chips capable of emulating parts of the brain.
Jane Goodall: Famous for her pioneering work with chimpanzees in Tanzania, she has become a globally recognized conservationist and a United Nations “Messenger of Peace.”
Leon Kintaudi: Physician leading efforts to rebuild the rural health infrastructure in the Congo.
Ndidi Nwuneli: Founder of Leap Africa, which is committed to inspiring and equipping a new generation of African entrepreneurs.
Alieu Conteh: As CEO and Founder of Vodafone Congo, he has proved the power of cell phones in one of the toughest markets in the world.
Onesmo Ole MoiYoi: A Tanzanian molecular biologist, regarded as a leader in the global research effort to develop environmentally sound ways to combat disease in humans and animals.
Ory Okolloh: Lawyer, Activist, Blogger and Founder of “Mzalendo: Eye On Kenyan Parliament.”
Patrick Awuah: Co-Founder of Ashesi University, Ghana, a leading West African Liberal Arts College.
Russell Southwood: Founder and publisher of Balancing Act, a publication covering ICT developments on the continent.
Moses Makayoto: A globally recognized Kenyan scientist with a string of successful inventions, such as a pesticide for use in refugee camps, new technologies for processing honey and cotton, and a low-cost detergent made from local materials.
Ted Kidane: Co-Founder and COO of Feedelix, the developer of a non-Latin script for Ethiopic, Hindi and Mandarin-speaking cell phone users.
Ron Eglash: Professor and publisher of “African Fractals,” an investigative overview of fractals in African aesthetics and visual imagery.
Raoul Peck: Acclaimed filmmaker, “Lumumba”, “Sometimes in April.”
Spencer Wells: Leading geneticist and anthropologist, author of the acclaimed book “The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey,” an account of how genetic data has been used to trace human migration over the past 60,000 years.
Patty Stonesifer: CEO of the Gates Foundation, the world’s largest philanthropic organization. The Foundation funds multiple projects in Africa with a major focus on tackling AIDS, malaria and other public health issues.
We invite all of you to look at Africa through a new lens: the Africa of progress, change and inspirational success, the Africa where powerful new ideas can change the face of the continent. More information and registration details on TED.com.
A note of gratitude to our sponsors: TEDGlobal 2007 is presented with the generous support of AMD, GE, Google, and Sun Microsystems.