Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Bono and George Ayittey at TEDGlobal

Bono and George Ayittey, originally uploaded by whiteafrican.

This picture sums up TEDGlobal to me.

Two of the most famous people, with somewhat differing views on how to reach Africa’s future. Bono represents the part that states development aid is needed. Ayittey represents the side that claims private equity is the answer to Africa’s problem.

Why it sums up TEDGlobal so well, is because these two individuals with differing views were laughing and talking with eachother. That’s what this is all about; ideas and discussions.


  1. wow.. that’s awesome.

  2. That’s a photograph that speaks volumes. Somehow, I’m warmed and humbled by people like Bono. One thing I can’t argue with is that he aims to genuinely be of assistance, whether I agree with aid or not. We have many Africans in a position to help but who are not participating, not even in discussions.

    Personally, I believe Africans are their only hope. They must CHOOSE success. This laissez faire attitude towards progress and development has to be altered from the grassroots. No amount of aid can do that. Just a change in our attitudes and our speeches. What we are saying to each other. The din that rises above the noise we make as a continent. When we can clean that up to a positive, directed note, that’s our salvation!

  3. I have read Ayittey’s book, interesting and provides food for thought. I am very skeptical as to what Bono actually knows about Africa. His comparison of aid to Ireland as a justification for aid to Africa reflects the fact that he is totally misguided about the African countries and their issues. There is no single recipe to bring about growth and prosperity. All nations are left with is to learn from previous attempts, make adjustments where there have been success or failure. Aid has been a total failure in many respects. When it has failed the donors always resort to Double or Triple the aid budget. What kind of remedy is this? Would the doctor keep on prescribing the wrong medicine if s/he realises that the prescription is wrong let alone double or triple the dosage. African problems can only be solved by Africans themselves.

  4. The TEDGlobal Arusha lineup is so impressive, I think people will look back one day and claim that this is where it all began.

    I’ll side with both Bono and Ayittey on this one. We need a multi-pronged effort of Aid and Private Investment to dig ourselves out. We’re not playing on a level playing ground, and that’s where Aid comes in – call it a line of credit to start a business. Aid also helps secure things like infrastructure that must be in place before investment can take place.

  5. Wait, are you telling me you met Bono? Because if you are, then I think I might wet myself! I really respect that man. His efforts for Africa have done so much to open peoples eyes here in the US to what is happening there. Hurry up and come home! I want to hear all about this!!!

  6. So that’s where Bono is, down in Tanzania reading the Gospel According to George! I thought that Dr. Ayittey cancelled his trip at the last minute? It’s great to see that he made it to the TED Global Conference in Arusha. Beautiful photo of the two working and laughing together.

    We are trying to keep readers here in Germany (and elsewhere) focused on what you guys (and ladies) are doing down in Tanzania in parallel with the G8 Summit at Heiligendamm…lot’s of interest so far. I loved the TED Talk video with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala AND George Ayittey’s 6-page Q&A essay “Banana Republics vs. Coconut Republics”. The latter was a scream.

    Tell Bono to hightail it back to Germany to give his boy Sir Bob some cover re: that BILD Zeitung frontpage story of June 1st (see my blog). Plus the G8 Summit 2007 at Heiligendamm took another hit (torpedoe) today, the Schwarze Bloc (anarchists) have made it to the fence and are attacking the police (again). All Hell’s breaking loose here in Germany and the G8 leaders haven’t even sat down to lunch yet. Stay in Tanzania, it’s safer.

    P.S. The blogger crew is doing a great job at TED Global in Arusha. Great.

  7. I am with Liz & Bill on this one.

    And KUDOS to our blogger crew – the coverage couldn’t be better. Much appreciated!

  8. Eric, good coverage as always, keep it up.
    I think every African needs to read mr. Ayitteys book “AFRICAN UNCHAINED” to be able to grasp where Africa as a continent is and hopefully wake up and do something about it. Bono on the other hand has given the word SACRIFICE its true meaning.

  9. I believed strongly, both Bono and Ayittey’s ideals combined will be the start for Africa. We need both aid and private for Africa.

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