Tag Archives: Africa

Everyone must attend a TEDx event…. inspiration inside!

I have  a dream. My dream is to speak at a TEDx event. I have a lot of passion I can speak about. Attending a TED Global conference would be like winning a lotto jackpot.

I only had an opportunity to attend a TEDx event. I can only share you my experience from attending a TEDx event. Enjoy…

One of the speakers and the CEO of Mxit, Allan Knott-Craig

We survive with a great deal of motivation. Whenever I seek a dose of inspiration, I switch on my computer and consume my downloaded TED Talks. When I heard that TEDxStellenbosch was to host its third annual event at Spier Wine Farm, my interest to attend was piqued. My university’s institute for leadership development, FVZS (short For  Frederick Van Zyl Slabert) sponsored me and other 19 cool people to attend the event on capacity as student leaders.

The theme of the Tedx event was What if Africa? Why what if Africa, you may wonder. This theme couldn’t have been suggested at a better time than this. Africa is a continent of a gloomy past, yet a bright future. Perhaps, if we start asking these questions, solutions that might drive change and inspire action might be born. Speakers gathered at the event and inspired attendees by asking visionary questions – questions that started with three words: What If Africa?

Not only was I particularly inspired as an attendee, but I was challenged to do the things that I strongly believe in. By the end of the day my mind was filled with a sense of wonder. I found myself being exposed to many new ideas and concepts including:

  • Taking pictures is an act in two direction
  • Internet can be used to conserve and advance environmental cause.
  • Economic prospects in Africa
  • How can Technology be used to stimulate interest in teaching and learning
  • Jonathan Shapiro asked a poignant question of “What if Africa embraced openness?

Question that attendees asked? What if Africa?

You see many people ignore opportunities such as this, not because they do not have time nor money to attend, but because they are not aware that these events offer an excellent networking opportunities. During breaks I found myself interacting with former Tedx Stellenbosch speakers and other thought leaders. My mind was fueled with new knowledge on the day.

The theme behind TED is “ideas worth spreading.” Just imagine how intellectually enriched we we going to be if we shared and spread ideas? I do not know the answer to that, but I believe that the quality of our thinking would improve and that would ultimately improve the quality of life in our communities.

The event itself was filled with diverse speakers from different backgrounds. They however, had one thing in common, the love for Africa and her development. Speakers displayed passion and fervor as they delivered their talks. It was interesting to be there. Here is my appeal, next time you see a call to attend a TEDx event, be the first one to grab a ticket. However cheap it is, however expensive it is, get that ticket anyway. Be inspired and share ideas.

If you were to deliver a TED talk what would your speaking topic be?

What if Africa encouraged its students to share and spread ideas in their campuses?


Posted by on August 12, 2012 in Leadership


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Africa is not that gloomy after all…..

Does the African continent hold great investment potential for both domestic and international investors? The answer is a resounding yes.

#Johannesburg, Africa's city of note (Source: thebesttraveldestinations)

Rumour has it that international media depicts Africa as that gloomy continent, with a bare-footed infant on the dusty street of Klipgat and wild animals in the vicinity. In short Africa is seen by many as a dark continent with no potential to anything great-be it investment opportunities or human capital. They normally do so because they are detractors who neither understand nor interested in the historic objectives that Africa has.

I feel very proud that Africa’s economic power house, South Africa has been invited to join the prestigious club of rapidly developing economies, The BRIC (now BRICS). Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – together are worth an estimated $12 trillion and still growing, have the potential of overtaking the United State of America which is reportedly valued at about $15 trillion as an economy. The question of interest is how such membership will benefit Africa at large? You see, South is the gateway into Africa, I am hoping that South Africa by virtue of its membership will be able, to a larger extent, expose Africa to potential Investors.

Perhaps, (I stand to be corrected) it is a wise decision to do business with Africa, since it is apparent that Africa is rising from the ashes. No one dare contest me when I say that Africa is an investment destination of choice. We have seen recently companies investing by large-and-far in Africa. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China investing in Standard Bank is a case in point.

The Opportunity

Furthermore things on this side of the world look pretty rosy because, according to IMF (international Monetary Fund) growth forecasts for the African continent for 2010 and 2011 are 4.3% and 5.3 % respectively, while advanced countries are expected to achieve 2.1% and 2.4% respectively. I repeat, I think that doing business with Africa makes economic sense, given the fact that the number of middle-class consumers is on the rise. Interestingly enough, business factors that hindered investment in Africa are also cooling off, such as political instability (North Africa excluded of course), chronic corruption, infrastructure bottlenecks, and poor health and weak rule of law.

Africa is by far a continent with many target consumers, estimated to be 1 billion, and most of this people’s disposable income is rising gradually. Against this background, the opportunity for retail business and other businesses exists.

C’mon, let’s have a conversation what do you think of Africa as an investment destination? I personally think that the opportunity cost of not investing in Africa is becoming too significant to ignore.

Source: ASA, African Business Review and Moneyweb.


Posted by on June 2, 2011 in Economics


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