Day 3 in the afternoon: reports from the bloggers

The after-lunch and evening sessions, “Connecting the Continent” and “The Campfire,” were about communication and forming bonds.

Mweshi rounds up the early afternoon session, starting with Héctor Ruiz, the chair of AMD, speaking on AMD’s 50×15 initiative:

AMD’s 50×15 initiative is a business venture and not a charity, it’s focused on simple, accessible, and human-centric solutions; it’s based on a “geo-sensitive” approach and is about fostering local, integrated, end-to-end ecosystems. …

And Soyapi Mumba reports on Ruiz’ personal message, via Twitter:

At TEDGlobal2007 AMD CEO: ‘my father told me each generation shld be better than the previous’

More on Day 3 after the jump >> Next up were software entrepreneur Herman Chinery-Hesse, sometimes called the Bill Gates of Africa, and Nik Nesbitt, who returned to Kenya from the States to found an international call center. Mweshi reports:

Herman Chinery-Hesse of theSOFTtribe gave a good talk about being proud to be an African and working in Africa once you have acquired the necessary skill set. One should not wait for government to provide a job, but come up with innovative solutions and business ideas, as this is what will change Africa and not aid because we’re resourceful people. …
… One champion for all of us that decided to come back home after spending years away to startup businesses has to be Nik Nesbitt of Kenya’s KenCall …

Soyapi Mumba White African soaked up the drama of the evening:

the last session of the day … “The Campfire” showcased story tellers. Franco Saachi gave a great overview of “Nollywood”, Nigeria’s movie empire, the third largest in the world with over 2000 films released each year. Look for the documentary soon.
Writers Chris Abani and Binyavanga Wainaina were the final speakers. Wow! These guys are storytellers for good reason …

Ethan Zuckerman gives more detail on this evening session full of narrative, song and poetry, capturing this telling quote from filmmaker Franco Sacchi:

“Imagine a world with food and shelter, but no stories,” Sacchi asks. “It would be meaningless.”

Ethan’s long post about the evening’s final three speakers is worth reading (as are all his posts) top to bottom. The writers Chris Abani and Binyavanga Wainaina both delve into the absurdity, as well as the beauty, of life on the continent:

Wainaina tells us of stories people tell in the villages of Kenya about robot dogs, possibly sent by the Nyerere government from Tanzania. People in villages would say, “We used to go out at night, but no we don’t go out much at night.” Why are these rumors spread? Possibly so the police can do what they like, acting at will in the night?

Closing out the evening session was legendary South African singer Vusi Mahlasela, about whom Soyapi Twitters twice:

Vusi Mahlasela from RSA performing on stage. Done 3 songs including my favorite: “We’ll beat u the drums when u come back”
Vusi Mahlasela forced back on stage to do one more song