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TEDx Skype station: Connecting TEDWomen with Africa

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Tuesday afternoon at the TEDx Africa Skype station, host Kelo Kubu chatted with TEDx events in South Africa, Ghana and Ethiopia. It was on the verge of midnight in Johannesburg when Bongi Mkhabela of TEDxSoweto talked with TEDWomen attendees about the importance of listening to different perspectives — a strong theme in Session 1. Halla Tomasdottir spoke about balancing the global financial system by injecting it with women’s voices and values. Similarly, as Bongi works to build the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in South Africa, she tries to keep in mind another point of view: children’s. Great wisdom can come from children, she said, and they already contribute to the discourse, but adults have to listen more closely.

And then over to Ghana, where TEDxUofG‘s Myra Michelle Brown talked about her work across eight African countries getting girls access to information resources. She helps girls register for email accounts and learn social media so they can become plugged-in, independent thinkers in post-conflict countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone. Giving people the time and ability to access information resources can have extraordinary effects, not only women, but on entire generations, as Hans Rosling showed in his talk.

The last destination was Yene Assegid of Ethiopia who said the disconnect between the young and elders mentioned by Elizabeth Lindsey parallels her experience working in development in Africa. Oftentimes organizations rely on “numb practitioners” who are out of sync with what’s happening on the ground level, so they don’t make linkages with those who have been there. Particularly in Ethiopia, she said, people must take time to talk with elders to prevent the loss of knowledge, the loss of history.

Credit: Michael Brands / TED