TEDGlobal 2017 Session 2 is themed “A Path Forward” and kicks off with a an interview that humanizes President Paul Kagame. The interview was by journalist Vimbayi Kajase via live video link. Her line of questioning started personal and trended toward the strategic.
The Interview of Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame
Journalist and media entrepreneur Vimbayi Kajase interviewed Rwanda’s current President to kick of the session. Kagame, who recently won a seven-year third term as president, in a poll that was widely considered a formality, is a controversial figure whom watchers can’t quite decide whether to love or hate. Perhaps because it’s hard to place “visionary” and “autocrat” in the same sentence. However, the stories of economic growth, innovation in healthcare delivery and ease of doing business and innovation make his thinking about development on the African continent exceedingly relevant and germane. Vimbayi begins with a quirky question that would actually not be out of place in a conversation between good old friends who ran into each other on the street: “How is the madam, and how are the kids?”
TEDGlobal 2017 Session 2 Speakers
Pierre Thiam wants to share fonio with the world. Fonio is an ancient “miracle grain” native to Senegal that is gluten free and nutritious.
Mahen Bonetti was impacted by the movie Ceddo, a 1977 film by Senegalese director Ousmane Sembene, the first African-directed film. It was an experience she describes as “like dipping your foot in the stream again and this time the temperature was just right.” Over the last thirty-odd years she’s gone from discoverer to curator and exhibitor of African film and cinema, most notably as the organizer of the annual New York African Film Festival and founding director of the African Film Festival.
Magatte Wade delivered an impassioned talk about the challenges of doing business in Africa and what led her to start her own ventures, most notably the skin care line Tiossan.
Entrepreneur Magatte Wade calls out governments that make their countries (or allow their countries to become) hard to do business in. Once it’s easier to create a business, she believes, people will, in droves. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED
Llew Claasen is a Bitcoin geek and executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation. Llew manages to deliver the ultimate Bitcoin crash course. Llew thinks there is an opportunity for Africa to get in on the ground floor of a technology that is, both in its chronology and its inherent nature, what the internet was in 1995: nascent and full of disruptive potential.
Tania Douglas, a biomedical engineer, reminds us that while technology promises and is capable of much, it could be all for naught if we neglect the context. For instance: Most of the advanced medical equipment used in Africa is imported, but the tools often break down and end up in equipment graveyards because they do not do well in humid and hot environments, and cannot be operated without constant power.
Washington Wachira is a wildlife conservationist with a soft spot for birds. And his talk is practically an ode to them. “Birds are amazing!” he declares. “This talk is dedicated to all the birds in the world!” And he invites us to love them like he does by pointing out the similarities between them and us.
Wildlife conservationist Washington Wachira speaks up on behalf of birds at TEDGlobal 2017. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED
Session 1 – A New Map
Session 2 – A Path Forward
Session 3 – One Jump Forward
Session 4 – Exploring hard truths
Session 5 – Visual Thinking
Session 6 – Urban 3.0
Session 7 – Power Up
Session 8 – Manifestos