TEDGlobal 2017 Session 6 is about urban development. Cities are a constellation of dreams — dreams that are constantly dying and being born.
TEDGlobal 2017 Session 6 Speakers
Christian Benimana had to go far away from home. There were no schools of architecture in Rwanda, so he travelled to Shanghai, where he observed that, though impressive, China’s urban city and housing infrastructure was built at great human and environmental cost. Rwanda now is witnessing a great building boom of its own, and Benimana has made it his mission to advocate for a model of architecture that is uniquely African, sustainable and equitable. Benimana wants us to imagine future African cities not as vast slums but as the most resilient, the most socially inclusive places on earth.“This is achievable,” he says. “We have the talent to make it a reality.”
DK Osseo-Asare and his co-founder at Low Design Office wondered what would happen if they brought together technical graduates with little real-world experience because there are no jobs and scrap dealers who often teach themselves the workings of electronics by taking them apart and putting them together again. The result: a growing maker community where makers engage in peer-to-peer and practical, hands-on education, motivated by what they want to make.
Designer DK Osseo-Asare wondered: What would happen if we linked a community of trained engineers in Accra with the self-taught techies who work in local scrapyards? Predictably, amazements. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED
Robert Neuwirth studies the way sharing economies work right now in Africa. In Nigeria, Igbo traders take on apprentices who work for them for a number of years. When the apprenticeship ends, the trader sets up the apprentice with working capital to start their own business. Neuwirth also describes a money merry-go-round that people join, in which everyone puts money in a pot, and once a week or month, one person gets the money to do as they please — it sounds a lot like the Njangi system. Neuwirth argues that many African business communities and markets already operate on mutual sharing principles, which if studied, propagated and scaled could lead to immense returns.
Robert Neuwirth studies informal economies — and makes the case that, as modern and high tech as the “sharing economy” may sound, it’s been happening within African economies all along. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED
Vivek Maru is getting people to look at and engage the law in a different way than they are used to. “If we are going to make access to justice a reality, we need to transform the relationship between people and law,” Maru says. “We need to turn law from an abstraction or a threat into something that every single person can understand, use, and shape.” Maru started a global network of paralegals who break the law down into simple terms to help find solutions to the problems at hand. This apparently unconventional approach has helped force corporations who are running roughshod over the rights of the people in surrounding communities to do the right thing.
Vivek Maru is training locals to act as legal advocates in their own communities, giving many more people access to the protections of the law. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED
OluTimehin Adegbeye delivers a moving talk about how unconstitutional government-instigated land grabs are destroying the lives of thousands who live in scores of coastal communities on the coast of Lagos to make way for a “new Dubai.” These people, she explains, who settled in Lagos more than a hundred years ago would never have dreamed that the city that would grow around them would turn around one day to say that they didn’t belong there.
OluTimehin Adegbeye makes a stirring and powerful case for protecting city residents, no matter their economic level. Because, as she says, “the only cities worth building, indeed the only futures worth dreaming of, are those that include all of us.” Photo: Ryan Lash / TED
A teacher at South African school, Laerskool Schweizer Reneke, took this photo and shared it with parents on WhatsApp in an effort to reassure them that their children’s first day of school was going smoothly. However, the teacher did not have the intended outcome as the photo revealed a detail that was unexpected. The students were separated by race in the classroom.
Students at Laerskool Schweizer were sent back home after South Africa’s North West Education Department suspended the teacher, Ellen Barkhuizen, who is suspected to have separated the children according to race at the school.
Barkhuizen is reported to have taken the photo of the separated children, which is circulating on social media and has gone viral.
The school has been suspected of discrimination by parents for some time. One parent had this to say to SABC News.
“I have applied on time, but I was so surprised when they said they can’t accept my child, he is on the waiting list. So, I requested to see the list of the white people. They say there is no waiting list for the white people. That’s where I started to worry. Where are we going to take our kids because they are still young? We didn’t want our kids to go far because we are residents here. I came here in March. They told me I must come on the 1st of May. When I came they say I must bring the documents, I bring them. Eish mama, I feel pain.”
Speaking to SowetanLIVE, some of the white parents said black parents who are not happy about how the school operates, must take their children to township schools.
If you are not happy here, take your child to another school, nobody is forcing you. Now they want to make this as if it is racism, everyone just wants to make white people racists. We are not racists, we just want what is best for our children,” said one parent.
“Blacks don’t put their children first, we put our children first, and their safety and education comes first. This is the only white-dominated school in this town. There are over 10 schools in the township. If they are not happy, let them take their children there,” said another parent.
After meeting school staff and education department officials, North West education MEC Sello Lehari confirmed that the teacher in question had been suspended.
“As government, we would like to condemn any form of racism, alleged or not, and we deeply regret this unfortunate incident taking place in our country 25 years into democracy,” said a spokesperson for the local government leader, Job Lekgoro.
Blantyre district health office director of health services Dr. Gift Kawaladzira has confirmed the suspension of Patricia Mulichi who works at Ndirande Health Center.
Mulichi came under intense fire on social media platforms on Tuesday for taking a selfie which went viral.
The picture drew anger from people who feel the government is employing immature and irresponsible people to handle sensitive matters.
The Controversial Selfie
The controversial selfie showed a masked and exposed pregnant woman with wide open legs ready to give birth in a labor ward.
Executive Director of Malawi’s Nurses and Midwifery Councilm, Isabella Musisi says Mulichi deserves disciplinary action and has since banned mobile phones in labor wards.
“Our clients are looking for respectful maternal services. This will hinder achievement for universal health access in Malawi. Let’s see to it cell phones are not entering our labor wards. This is unacceptable behavior by our profession,” she said.
Mr Liu Jiaqi, a Chinese immigrant business man in Kenya was deported after a video emerged of him making racist comments. An employee filmed Mr Liu, a motorcycle trader, saying that he disliked Kenya because it “smells bad and [its people are] poor, foolish and black”. When the employee asked why he wanted to stay in the country, the trader said he was only there to make money. The Kenyan authorities arrested him hours after the video was circulated online on 5 September and revoked his work permit.
The Chinese national was deported the very next day. This was revealed in a tweet by the kenyan immigration department. This is the first time an individual has been deported for racist rants although it is not the first allegation of racism. BBC reports that In 2015, the owner of a Chinese restaurant in Nairobi was arrested after public outrage over the restaurant’s alleged policy of banning African customers at night. However, the restaurant owner ws never charged with discrimination or racism.
This wisdom is applicable regardless of what part of the world you find yourself in and it is of course no surprise that this young Chinese man quickly found out the hard way that you cannot benefit from the Kenyan economy while holding and expressing racist views. Discrimination based on color is against the law in Kenya. With that said, was the reaction of the Kenyan government too harsh or was it adequate for the offense?