TEDAfrica in Cape Town opens for registration

I learned from Erik Hersman over at WhiteAfrican.com that TEDAfrica is open for registration. This is technically the 2nd TED conference in Africa, although its the 1st to named TEDAfrica, a new annual conference focussed on bringing together the Cheetah generation with global visionaries in one mega conference. I also echo his sentiments that if this is even close to TEDGlobal in Tanzania, in 2007, it’ll be a huge success. And in the words of George Ayittey, these conference will rank as the most important events at the beginning of the 21st century for Africa.

To all the TEDGlobal Fellows I look forward to meet you again in my country, and one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town.

TED Africa Cape Town 2008


African Bloggers monthly SkypeCAST for August 2007

This month we discussed the importance of Social networking profiles and how to link it with your blog. For the last few months since TEDGlobal myself and Henry Addo, a blogger from Ghana, has been having regular discussion via Skype on Blogging. Currently Skype allows maximum of 9 people on a Conference Call and in the future we will move to the SkypeCAST platform to reach more people. This month Andriankoto Ratoza also joined us for the monthly session.

This month we discussed the following:

  1. We started off discussing LinkedIn as the premier business to business social networking tool. When you follow all the instructions in this ebook on LinkedIn you start to derive real tangible benefits. For your blog you can also add a link from your LinkedIn profile to your website and your blog. This starts to drive traffic from a premium source back to your blog.
  2. How to import your Blog’s RSS feed into your Facebook profile. The benefit and importance of this is that you can reach a new audience who may not otherwise be exposed to reading your blog. Certainly in South Africa with the explosive growth of Facebook this is crucial to marketing your blog. For your Facebook profile this keeps new content coming through which reduces the burden to keep updating it.
  3. We also touched briefly on setting up a MySpace profile, creating a customised URL and re-posting some blog content onto your MySpace blog to again reach a wider and new audience.

These session are open to African Bloggers so please join the Google Group to be notified of future conference calls. This is one of the examples of how the Cheetahs from are working together to create a better future for Africa.


TEDGlobal 2007: Session 3: Jacqueline Novogratz

Jacqueline NovogratzJacqueline is not new to the TED stage. She lives with Chris Anderson, the curator of TED and also delivered a talk at the previous TEDGlobal in Oxford. Jacqueline is a pioneer in what she calls “market-based philanthropy.”

She went straight into sharing a story of 20 prostitutes in Kigali, Rwanda, who were running a bakery. They were already earning 3 to 4 times the national average but she felt they could do even better with some motivational sales training. A strange thing she observed is that when you have been living in poverty your whole life you are not used to being asked your opinion. And this was certainly the case with these women. And she also realised early on in her work in Africa that dignity is more important than wealth. After she did the training with the women there was not immediate reaction. They didn’t suddenly go out and  start selling to the masses. Instead she had to lead by example. So she showed them how she did it and after that they started to improvise on their own. And the sales increased substantially.

The Acumen Fund, of which Jacqueline is the CEO, has raised over $20 million and created about 20,000 jobs since inception. “As people get healthier, they get wealthier” was another great quote from this conference. She made a plea with a very strong conviction that we must refuse tried assumptions, and get out of ideological boxes. We must demand accountability and start listening to ordinary people.


Visiting Tanzania for the first time to attend TEDGlobal

Arusha Tanzania TEDGlobalThis week I’m in Arusha, Tanzania attending the TEDGlobal conference. Travelling is one of those experiences which truly enriches your life. When you travel outside of your country you are stretching your own comfort zone.

Back in 2000 I spent 6 months working and living in United Arab Emirates. That was a big culture shock for me coming from South Africa, a very westernised country in many respects. The Arab world is conservative to say the least. The great thing about the UAE is the large population of expats from other countries who live there. And each and every time I met someone it expanded my view of the world.

In most cases we live such isolated lives. And travel is one of those activities which brings about a sense of personal growth like few other activities. And just by observation you can learn more that you can from any book.

Travelling into Africa is a real experience for me because again I think in South Africa we have been spoiled to some extent. If you live in Johannesburg, Cape Town or Durban, you are living in a first world experience. When you go into rural South Africa it’s a completely experience. But even that is a challenge which is worth undertaking.

If you are below 35 you may wanna consider the Contiki tours, which are dirt cheap travel worldwide. This is something which is on my t0-do list in the next two years. And if you are interested in following my experiences at the TEDGlobal confernece I will be blogging the presentations/speakers and conducting some video podcasts.


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 www.netucation.co.za, which was a finalist in the Best Business Blog catergory at the SA Blog Awards recently.

The TED.com 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 http://timbuktuchronicles.blogspot.com. 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 iDRIVE.co.za – a driving school search egnine, has also been selected with Thomas to attend TEDGlobal as a Fellow. Phillips will be blogging his experiences at www.webaddict.co.za.

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