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Where Africa and Technology Collide!

What I Learned From Watching the African TED Bloggers

[note: this was one of those posts that was supposed to go live a week ago, but server downtime for 4 days made that impossible. Some of these blogs are VERY much worth reading]

Harambee is a Swahili term that means “pulling together”. That mentality, the willingness to work together, was what made it possible to cover a busy event like TEDGlobal.

Africa Bloggers at TEDGlobal

Some of the African bloggers at TEDGlobal

It was a lesson in communication and coordination.

On the very first day everyone realized that Ethan Zuckerman must have dual processors in his head, there was no other way that someone could get a post up on every single 18 minute talk, 5 minutes after it was over. A number of us immediately discussed whether there was any use in duplicating all that effort, or if our time would be better spent adding our own angles on the speakers and event.

Some of us decided to take pictures, some did interviews between sessions and others decided to summarize the day. Everyone who blogs has their own voice, and I think it showed in the coverage. What could have been an amalgamation of everyone saying the same thing turned into a fairly well-rounded coverarge of the event.

There is a great Global Voices recap of all the coverage as well.

The TEDGlobal Africa Bloggers:

Soyapi – Malawi
Rafiq – South Africa
Andriankoto – Madagascar
AfroMusing – Kenya
Mental Acrobatics – Kenya
David McQueen – England
Ethan Zuckerman – Pan Africa
Ory Okolloh – Kenya
Ndesanjo Macha – Tanzania
Emeka Okafor – Pan Africa
Mulumba Lwatula
Philemon Msangi – Tanzania
Bankelele – Kenya
Andrew Heavens – Ethiopia
Jen Brea – Pan Africa
Ramon Thomas – South Africa
Fran Osseo-Asare – Ghana
Fifth Culture
Ellen Horne
Reuben Abraham
Sam Ritchie
Class V

[If I missed someone, send me an email]


  1. Hash:

    Yes, I noticed that the site was down for a few days. I was really happy when you got it back up, though.

    Also, it looks like I missed at least 10 bloggers in the Global Voices summary. Thanks for highlighting them.

  2. an amazing group of people. Hats off to Ethan (and you) for posts (and photos). It’s like when you go to a sports events or concert, you may end up seeing less than the viewer at home watching on TV – because you’re so busy, or engaged at the event

  3. You’re right Hash. Apart from blogging, others took photos, did video and audio interviews and some of us also twittered http://twitter.com/soyapi

    What else can you do if can’t beat Ethan 🙂

  4. “Harambee” is the right word, Hash. Everybody had a different take on documenting the event – I’ve gotten in the habit of working a particular way, and it was such a treat to see the work everyone else did – analysis, commentary, photography, interviews. Bloggers were the main documenters of this event, and we did ourselves proud with the work we all put into this. Congrats to everyone for the hard work.

  5. Ethan:

    Well said. I loved your updates as well of that of the other bloggers. You know… if not for yourself and the other bloggers we would not be quite as informed as we are now. Excellent work!

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