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TEDxKampala – Celebrating Africa’s ICT Arrival

By Wayan Vota on December 1, 2009

Had I told you in 2000 that Kampala, Uganda would host a TED-type event sponsored by UNICEF and a growing IT incubation center, with notables like New York Times reporters and founders of the World Wide Web, you would’ve laughed me out of the room with a parting, “In Africa? Hahahahh!”

No one is laughing now. In fact, I’m applauding the organizational skills of Jonathan Gosier and his Appfrica Labs in pulling off TEDxKampala. Just listen to the presentation lineup:

Making ICT history in Africa

Simply put, the event was incredible! Stephen Boyera of the World Wide Web Foundation offered the keynote talk, while Ron Nixon from the New York Times dropped with arguably one of the most interesting talks of the day where he presented his app Ujima which tracks spending too and from African countries.

Solomon King of Node Six gave a moving talk on how he became a ‘famous citizen journalist’ for simply blogging about his experiences during the Kampala riots. Paul Bagyenda of Digital Solutions offered advice for young tech entrepreneurs, while Paul Asiimwe of Sipi Law Uganda talked about the importance of intellectual property law and digital rights to protect content and content producers.

Or better yet, you can check out videos of the event. Wait, think about that for a moment – you’re watching what happened just a few days ago hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away in East Africa. Just the very act makes me want to laugh with happiness – this is Africa’s ICT arrival:

If you’re disappointed you missed TEDxKampala, then check out Africa Gathering Nairobi – technophiles, thinkers, entrepreneurs, and innovators talking about positive change in sustainable development and technology across Africa. They’re convening December 21-22 in Nairobi, Kenya, to highlight emerging technology that is relevant to Africa – get your tickets now!

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Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of his employer, any of its entities, or any ICTWorks sponsor.
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One Comment to “TEDxKampala – Celebrating Africa’s ICT Arrival”

  1. Jon says:

    Wayan, thanks for mentioning us! I do have to take some time to thank the co-organizers and sponsors of the event: Renier Battenberg (Mountbatten.ug), Simon Vass (e-tech.ug), Kyle Spencer (linux.or.ug), Daniel Stern (UConnect.org) and of course UNICEF! Without them this entire thing wouldn’t have been possible. You can find more of the videos from TEDxJKampala at http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=tedxkampala&search_type=&aq=f