Announcing the next TED Africa 2008 in Cape Town!

Ramon Thomas & Emeka OkaforIt seemed that all discussions around the next TED Africa had gone quiet. Now I get this email in my Inbox and the excitement from Tanzania returns with thunder! Wow I knew Cape Town is a good choice, but I’m biased because I spend so much time there.

Anyway read my own blogging from TEDGlobal 2007: Africa the Next Chapter. And here’s the full announcement of the next conference.

Dear TEDizens,

We’re delighted to tell you that there will be another TED conference in Africa next year and that we hope to make it an annual event on the continent!

TED Logo Ideas Worth SpreadingTEDAfrica will be held in Cape Town, South Africa on September 29-October 1, 2008 (save the date!), and will follow the format of this year’s event in Arusha, Tanzania.

The conference will be organized by a wonderful local team with whom we have just signed a license agreement. The four-person team includes TED Fellow Kelo Kubu and the conference will be operated out of a new South Africa-based non-profit organization devoted to promoting a better future for the continent, the “TED Africa Foundation”.

We will be supporting the foundation both financially and logistically to help ensure that the event maintains and builds on the quality and success of the Arusha event.

Initially we had intended that conference to be a one-off, but we received such enthusiastic feedback that we had to find a way to bring it back and in the summer we invited groups to apply for a license to host the conference. Kelo’s team were one of several who submitted bid and we were stunned by the quality of the proposals. The winning bid included several brilliant ideas to make TED Africa even better, and also featured a strong plan to ensure the event’s financial success and long-term sustainability. We therefore have enormous confidence that the next TED will every bit as exciting as Arusha was.

The organizers have already begun feverish preparations and when registration for the event formally opens, we will put out another note. Meanwhile, if you want to suggest a speaker, discuss sponsorship, or offer other help, you can write to A new website promoting the conference will eventually be launched at

Kelo wanted us to forward the following note:

“It has been an honor and a privilege to be part of the TED Africa process . The team is naturally excited to be hosting TEDAfrica 2008, and we look forward to the challenge of generating the usual TED cocktail of inspiration and magic. The task is undoubtedly a daunting one but Africa provides the perfect platform, and Cape Town the ideal location for yet another memorable event.

We look forward to welcoming the world to the southern most tip of Africa to share, spread and nurture groundbreaking ideas that could open new possibilities to growth and prosperity on the continent.”

Our congratulations to her and her team. We hope to see you in Cape Town!

Very best,

Chris Anderson
Emeka Okafor


Bloggers represent South Africa at TEDGlobal Conference

Two of South Africa’s leading bloggers will be attending the first ever TEDGlobal conference in Arusha, Tanzania from 4-7 June 2007.

30 May 2007 (Johannesburg): South Africa will be represented by two of it’s most distinguished bloggers at the TEDGlobal Conference held in Africa for the first time.

TED (Technology Entertainment Design) is an annual conference held in Monterey, California and recently, semi-annually in other cities around the world as TEDGlobal. The presentations, normally limited to 20 minutes, cover a broad set of topics including science, arts, politics, global issues, architecture, music and more. The speakers themselves are from a wide variety of communities and disciplines.

Nine South Africans have been awarded Fellowships to attend. These Fellowships are sponsored by multinationals like AMD, GE and Google and covers the costs of attending the TEDGlobal conference for those who would not otherwise be able to attend.

“We are very excited to represent South Africa at such an important global conference,” says Ramon Thomas, Managing Director of NETucation, an online research and training organisation. “The conference will expose us to our counterparts in the rest of Africa, and we look forward to collaborating with them to build a new future for Africa.” Thomas will be bloggingu the conference at his, which was a finalist in the Best Business Blog catergory at the SA Blog Awards recently.

The website has won accolades and awards for it’s video podcasts of the lectures. There are currently a 109 videos available for download from the website and every month new ones are released to the public from the most recent in 2007 going back to 2002 at the moment. The speakers include lumanaries such as Jane Goodal, Richard Dawkins, Ashraf Ghani, former Iraq Finance minister, and many more. Several of the videos focus on solutions for Africa and the thirds world in the areas of poverty alleviation, architecture and town planning.

The conference co-producer is, Emeka Okafor, who spoke with Thomas, at the first Blogging Indaba held at Rhodes University’s New Media Lab in September 2006. Okafor, is a Nigerian living in New York, and blogs about business in Africa at TED invited him to act as program director because of his intimate knowledge of unusual entreprenerial business in Africa.

“I’m thrilled to be attending a TED conference after watching and learning from all the amazing video clips from past events available on their website.”, says Rafiq Phillips, one of the top 10 bloggers in South Africa and co-founder of – a driving school search egnine, has also been selected with Thomas to attend TEDGlobal as a Fellow. Phillips will be blogging his experiences at

There are over 25 South Africans who will attend TEDGlobal as Fellows, attendees, speakers, performers and technicians.

For more on TEDGlobal please visit:


Ramon Thomas
Managing Director, NETucation
Mobile 082 940-7137

Rafiq Phillips
Founder, Your Group of Web AddiCT(s)
Tel 021 591-3321
Cell 072 399-9888


Day2 Speed Speaking & Blogging Workshops

Today I didn’t participate in the speed speaking sessions. And I sat through Mike Stopforth’s quick demo of the software he uses to make his blogging experience more integrated and easier to manage and publicise. Myself and Emeke Okafor conducted the monetizing blog workshop. I gave and overview of the specifics of Google Adsene, how it works, how to register and showed them my latest account balance.

Emeka spoke mostly at a higher level and tried to manage the expectations of the people there. As he says it takes a long time to get results from investment in a blog or website. The income also does not always come directly from affiliate programs and could come from business referrals some time afterwards. There was an excellent workshop on photo blogging by Andrew Heavens, a photo journalist living in Ethiopia.


Day2 Blogging Conference Business and Marketing panel

Alec Hogg & Ramon ThomasThe business and marketing panel was where I was got my chance to do a presentation on blog marketing. Well before we get into the details I want tell you about Alec Hogg. The Moneyweb founder had some very potent things to say to the audience. And it was about time. The activism and the political diatribe as well as the media and journalism speak is important but its not doing to much to change the situation in the right direction. Alec Hogg claimed Moneyweb is making about R65,000 per month from Google Adsense alone! My last cheque was for US$500 😉 With a compliment of 15 full time journalist he will be supplying them with laptop’s and 3G cards from October so they can work from wherever they are. And this is a very good example of how an information business can succeed in a country with less then 4 million Internet users. People need to stop complaining and follow the examples already set by people like Alec Hogg who started Moneyweb from the top of his garage in 1997! Now I was up next and you can download my presentation on using blogs as part of your online marketing here.

Emeka OkaforEmeka Okafor, blogging at the Timbuktu Chronicles gave a general overview of his blog and the reasons behind it. Identifying unusual entrepreneurial businesses in Africa and highlighting them because they are not covered in the mainstream business media like Fortune, Forbes, Motley Fool, etc. All in all I wish this panel had more time to get into the specifics. Alec Hogg took most of the questions and answered them with the same gusto as his talk.