May 4, 2007

TEDGlobal 2007: Africa on the Move

I have a colleague who created a list of 100 things that she wanted to do before she died. She had things like "paddle down the Amazon river" and "walk along the Great Wall in China" on her list. I never created such a list. However, if I did ... then today I would be adding "Attend a TEDGlobal Conference" to my list. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Earlier this month, TEDGlobal 2007 was held in Arusha, Tanzania.

Having a conference in Alkebulan ... our motherland ... is invigorating in and of itself. Africa is a country at a crossroads. Its problems and challenges are well known. Less well known is that across the continent, change is afoot. Instead of relying only on development aid, Africans across the continent are beginning to take matters into their own hands. Ingenious solutions are being applied to tackle some of the toughest health and infrastructure problems. Brother Benin Mwangi regularly informs us that businesses are being launched that are capable of transforming the lives of millions. BDPA devotes an entire online community to Alkebulan. New communication technologies are allowing ideas and information to spread, enabling markets — and governments — to be more efficient. And the numbers suggest that incomes are starting to nudge up in some countries and real growth is on the way. A new Africa beckons.

I have posted recently about the genocide in Darfur. It is easy to find negative images of Africa dominating the news: famine and disease, conflict and corruption.

But Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the former Finance Minister of Nigeria, says there's a less-told story unfolding in many African nations: one of reform, economic growth and business opportunity. Cracking down on corruption -- and the perception of corruption -- will be the key to its success She tells how high-ranking Nigerian officials taking money illicitly have been jailed, and how citizens and prospective business partners are getting at least a partial picture now of where money flows.

I highly encourage 'villagers' to take some time to watch her comments as shared earlier this month with the TEDGlobal attendees.

I would be very interested in your take on Okonjo-Iweala's comments or the TEDGlobal conference. What say u?


Refinedone said...

it was brilliant! i has seen it earlier... what I took away was whta she said about Africas money in western banks... how the west know our African leaders are stealing money and doing nothing about it.. we dont want AID..just give us back the moneies in your banks!!!stolen by our leaders!!!

Omodudu said...

Great post, I'd comment on any post with Ngozi in it. I am a fan. LOL... Ngozi's fan club...Move over Bono, here come Ngozi..

Villager said...

Refined One - Thank you for your comment! I agree that it is impossible for crime at the level that occurred in these situations to take place without complicity by the European banks. I used to remember thinking that cocaine, drugs and guns couldn't decimate the Black communities in America without complicity by major corporations that were laundering the drug money or creating the guns. We must do better...

Omodudu - I feel like such a fool because I've never heard of Ngozi prior to this week. She is a very powerful sister!

peace, Villager

Martin Lindsey. said...

Haven't had a chance to listen yet but I do love the self help and econo-political housecleaning themes. Both are a necessity for the motherland to rebound.

Hey Villager, one of my favorite Black bookstores in Louisville was a place called Alkebulan Images. I never asked the owner where she got the name. Is it a translation of Africa? What language is it?

Villager said...

Martin - I hope you have chance to listen to her. I was enthralled with both her delivery and the content of her presentation. It changed my personal paradigm about Africa.

Alkebulan is the ancient name of Africa.

peace, Villager

Rosemarie said...

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a former World Bank vice president who graduated from Harvard and earned a Ph.D. in regional economics and development at MIT.

Ngozi’s speech made me sit up straight and take notice. She shared such pertinent information. I am excited that Africa is rising and moving forward towards financial independence.

Rosemarie said...

Others in the blogging community need to hear about Africa on the move.

You've been linked! This post will be featured on my sidebar.

Villager said...

Rosemarie - Thank you for the link-love. There are some tremendous bloggers in Africa that share the story. I'm hopeful to continue to learn more and share it here in the Electronic Village.

peace, Villager

Cristi said...

Empowerment! Thanks for the link about the conference. I love hearing about progress in Africa.

Villager said...

Christi - I am glad that you enjoyed the link. This was my first introduction to Ngozi. Had you heard of her before?

peace, Villager

Benin Mwangi said...


Thanks for this post former Finance Minister of Nigeria-Ngozi could probably rouse a room full of wooden planks to action-she's just that good, really.

I think that its good that you posted this for your readers and TED Global-the TED blog actually was my introduction to this very wise woman.

Most importantly, though I am glad that this speech changed your view about the Nigerian nation and the African continent.

And I hadn't forgotten-hope you havent either about copping that plane ticket to continent on the rise :)