TEDGlobal 2007: Africa the next chapter kicked off on Monday at 1h30pm in Arusha, Tanzania. The first session was called: The Africa You Don’t Know. And the first speaker was Euvin Naidoo, President of the South African chamber of Commerce, America. He started our talking about in Africa you have maybe 1000 languages and maybe as many as 2000 dialects. So you can say “invest” in over 1000 languages and it’ll be meaningless. He listed some examples of the private equity buyout of South African retail giant Edcon by Bain Capital. Nigeria exports more oil to American than Saudi Arabia. And if it’s current growth continues it’ll be one of the top 10 economies in the world by 2020. Egypt is setting up a new industrial zone. CNBC is launching in the first ever 24 hour business channel in Africa focussed on African business. Moody’s, one of the big rating agencies is setting up offices in Africa for the first time because they are expecting investment growth to continue
There is not many speakers from South Africa but it made me really proud that it opened with a South African. I really think Arthur Goldstuck should have been speaking here and maybe Herman Heunis, the founder of MXit and especially Mark Shuttleworth.