Where Africa and Technology Collide!

At TEDGlobal 2007 – Tanzania

Just got into Arusha, Tanzania on the bus from Nairobi for TEDGlobal 2007. There’s nothing like taking a 6-hour crammed, slow bus to remind you you’re home. I was immediately reinvigorated when I started seeing everyone at the hotel though. I’ve already ran into a number of people that I only knew through blogs and email, what a great way to begin.

Emeka Okafor and Chris Anderson

Emeka Okafor, TEDGlobal Director and Chris Anderson, TED Curator

Emeka Okafor is the director of TEDGlobal, since I’ve always been a fan of Timbuktu Chronicles, it was great to finally meet face-to-face. That goes the same for Nii Simmonds of eNubia, Eric Osiakwan and David McQueen.

David McQueen and Kelly Stoetzel

David McQueen and Kelly Stoetzel

Eric Osiakwan

Eric Osiakwan

The registration and setup here is outstanding. In a short conversation with Emeka, he told me about how helpful the Tanzanian government has been, but also compared directing this conference to directing a NASA space shuttle launch. A South African team came up just to do A/V and lighting, they’ve completely redesigned the whole hall.

This is just the beginning, more on the conference as we start tomorrow.

[NOTE: New AfriGadget post on home made welding machines made in Kenya.]


  1. I hope you guys get the time to check out the amazing School of St Jude in Arusha. Started in 2002 by Gemma Sisia, a passionate Australian married to a Tanzanian, the school now educates 870 kids and a second campus is being built.

    Gemma has the vision, determination, and talent to built a network of excellent schools in East Africa. I think this may well be the best development project in Africa.

    If you can’t make it to the school, check out my blog…. http://www.schoolstjude.blogspot.com


  2. Brilliant… I’m so glad you guys are out there (Dave McQueen is a friend of mine), and I’m really looking forward to hearing about the rest of the conference. I so wish I was there too – maybe another year! All best and I’ll keep checking back for the updates…

  3. Hi Gillian. I noticed the signs for the School of St. Jude. In fact, they’re building a large one right next door to the main conference hotel. I think I might check it out now! 🙂

  4. Lola, Dave is an awesome guy! Man, what a privelage to meet guys like Dave in person…

    Thanks for leaving your comment too, it has allowed me to find another outstanding African blog.

  5. Thanks very much for the compliment…

    Yes, Dave is a great guy, and I’m sure you all in Tanzania must be vibing well with each other and sharing your thoughts, ideas and visions. My idea of heaven! Make the most of it!

    Looking forward to hearing more about TED Global..

  6. Hey, I’m glad the school is doing that. They’ve had TED in their sights since January!

    I figure that Gemma will come to be recognised as one of the most influential people in Tanzania. It’s a pity TED didn’t give her a spot to share the vision. Success stories need all the advocates they can find.

  7. Awesome pictures. Especially the one with Osiakwan with his hat.

    Nii Simmonds

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