TEDxACCRA: AFRICANS FOR AFRICA

TED is a non-profit global community devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). It began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics; from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

The TEDxAccra talks concluded recently on 12th April 2015. Speakers for the event were selected from distinguished nomination lists from within and outside Ghana to deliver inspirational talks, performances, innovative creations as well as better ways of serving societal and business needs. Kafui dey, Gena West, Maame Yaa Boafo , and Jane Afia Awindor. These are just a number of the influential people who gave their two cents on issues Africans face both inside and out of Ghana.

Citi Fm’s Breakfast show host and Director of News, Bernard Koku Avle, shared on the importance of African media. He highlighted the fact that Africans need to maximize on their own efforts to relay information about the African continent. “African journalists should not always rely on CNN but should create their own CNN and be able to tell our own story to the outside world,” he said. Additionally, he campaigned for locally generated TV and radio shows. Despite the challenge of hiring people without a formal education in film and media, he challenged African media to consider it because these are the people who can portray Africa to the world as it really is, writes Florence Naa Oyoe Quartey of Ghanaweb.

Farida BedweiFarida Bedwei (here on the left), a software engineer and author gave about Africans reliance on their governments. Why should we continue asking our governments for help when we can innovatively some of the problems that we face on our own? We should avoid the ‘blame game’ and think on our feet. Abrefi who has suffered from Cerebral Palsy Disorder her whole life also had this to say about the economy, “Ghanaians must stand up and fight against economic problems. The over reliance on government, for me, is not the best because there are certain issues that could be addressed without government’s involvement.”

Another speaker was Mrs Agnes Emefa Essah, the Chief Marketing Officer of Vodafone Ghana who was urging business owners to connect with their consumers in order to increase productivity. She urged them to utilize the internet to its full potential in order to interact with their customers about their products and get feedback while increasing in the production process.

On the other hand, Ms Christa Elise Sanders, Director of Webster University, Ghana has called for the introduction of innovation and technology into the African continent’s educational programmes. She said African teaching methods need to change drastically in order for the upcoming generations to be relevant in the emerging job market. Professor Patrick Awuah, Co-Founder Ashesi University contributed to this sentiment by saying that the amount of investment in education on the continent is a lot and the private sector needs to support governments to deliver quality education to their citizens. “Education will be more of Pan-African with the opening of campuses in various African countries,” he added.

The event was a success and inspired the audiences to stand up and make the change they want to see in Africa. What difference will YOU make?

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