Posted by: beninmwangi | June 8, 2007

Africa Bloggers and TED Global-Keeping It Real!

There is so much inspiration that I am getting from TED Global right now.  And although I wasn’t there to experience the event first hand from what I have read it has been nothing short of astounding

You know what, can I keep it real with you?  Well, I’ll assume that if you’re here, then the answer must be yes.  So we’re going to take a quick detour for a second…Have you ever, as a blogger or entrepreneur, wondered whether your efforts were really making an impact?

Well, for some reason the  those questions come and go for me, and maybe it’s because my long-term aspiration is to have a more direct influence on promoting trade and investment into the SSA region.  And believe me, while blogging I’ve also been surveying the terrain in search of a vehicle that could make this a reality given my starting point (strengths and weaknesses and such).  But as of now, it has not come.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love blogging, but all that I’m saying is that if right now I found a concrete way to facilitate greater trade development into Sub-Saharan Africa, then that would take a precedence over my blogging.  However, until then blogging is where it’s at for me.  But between work, being a husband, a daddy, and so many other things it’s really easy for burnout to creep in.  And then if being worn out isn’t enough, then there is the nagging feeling I have been a stagnant blogger to contend with…

That’s where TED Global comes into this little story.  Well, to be honest with you, for me, the bloggers who have blogged about TED 2007 a big part of why this so special.  I mean it isn’t necessarily such a big deal to hear  the that top ranking NGO Execs, ministry officials, and business people are holding a conference in Africa about how to push the continent forward.  But when you add that little piece about making the bloggers a big part of the event then it takes on an entirely new dimension.  The organizers of this event were so ahead of the curve for putting it together this way, too.  Major kudus to TED Global and the organizers!  I mean where else could you find such a diverse and eclectic, yet active and engaging group of minds all in one place-seriously contemplating how to help bring more success to the African continent? 

So if you have not already guessed it, I am truly inspired, but as a blogger what inspires me the most is how the bloggers in attendance have taken the stage from the usual suspects-the conventional media.  Now of course, there is and will be more coverage of the event by the mainstream guys (Reuters, BBC, IPP Media great job). But if you do a search on google for the phrase TED Global, then the first few pages of results would look something like this

TED | TED Conferences | TEDGlobal 2007

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is an invitation-only event where the world’s leading thinkers and doers gather to find inspiration. – 11k – CachedSimilar pagesNote this

Eventful – Arusha Events – TED GLOBAL – Africa: the good news at

Get the latest information on TED GLOBAL – Africa: the good news at (venue not defined) in Arusha , Arusha at – 41k – CachedSimilar pagesNote this

BBC NEWS | Technology | Leading brains take on big ideas

TED Global will be the first time the US conference is held in Europe. Sessions at TED Global will include ideas about the cities of the future, – 36k – CachedSimilar pagesNote this

Mashada Blogs » bankelele » Ted Global Arusha

bankelele » Ted Global Arusha Mashada Blogs – Read all your favorite African blogs in one place. Search and browse thousands of posts. – 21k – CachedSimilar pagesNote this

Mashada Blogs » Afromusing » TED Global Day 2 – Emergent Design

Afromusing » TED Global Day 2 – Emergent Design Mashada Blogs – Read all your favorite African blogs in one place. Search and browse thousands of posts. – 21k – Jun 6, 2007 – CachedSimilar pagesNote this
[ More results from ]

TED Blog: Announcing TEDGlobal 2007: “Africa: The Next Chapter”

Speakers for TED Global ’07 announced from Pienso… See the impressive list. TEDGLOBAL Africa: the next chapter is sure to be a great event. – 37k – Jun 5, 2007 – CachedSimilar pagesNote this

African Path

During this week, TED Global will take place for the first time in An official statement from TedGlobal reveals a program line-up of over 50 speakers. – 57k – CachedSimilar pagesNote this

DNA – it’s a blog baby!!! » TED Global – Day 1

But to bring it back to the present, today is my first day at the TED Global Conference being held here in Arusha, Tanzania. ‘Tis the first time TED has – 14k – CachedSimilar pagesNote this

Africabeat: TED Global, Africa: The Next Chapter

P.S. Who will be blogging LIVE from the TED Conference 2007? GVO or the TED Global folks? We want video feeds too, lot’s of them with “wild animals on – 51k – CachedSimilar pagesNote this

Now when you look closely at those results, you’ll notice that except for two or three results, the rest are coming from bloggers (most of whom are actually in attendance).  I don’t know about you, but to me that is totally…I can’t even find the words to describe it or maybe words just can’t explain my excitement over this observation.

So, I’ve said all of this to say that something within me really needed to see Africa bloggers having this type of effect on media coverage, especially on a topic that I love so much.  In fact, I’ll take it a few steps further…if I never get a chance to achieve any of the aspirations that I mentioned earlier in this post, then I will be happy knowing that I have blogged alongside you-the Africa blogosphere.  Thank each and everyone of you.

That’s keeping it real.



  1. Thanks for highlighting this Benin. It was such an awesome event.
    To see so many of us blogging, and some blogging in French and Swahili too, was awesome. Meeting some of the people (just leaves you now Benin and not too long my friend) that have such an impact on me on African issues was out of this world.

    The focus of conversation as well around dinner tables, in the lobby and at special events was empowering. I think that many of us will be encouraged to push forward with financial, social and educational initiatives both online and off. And one of the greatest things for me was that many of the NGOs were listening and realising that we are going places.

    Wish you were there man.

  2. David:

    No problem Dave. I really wish I were there too. But hey, I am glad you were there. Do you know of any other upcoming events?

  3. […] to host the next edition of the blog carnival Africa Enterprising.  Your theme choice-highlighting Africa blogger involvement in continental, regional, or national trade/investment forums; is […]

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