I was sitting in the subway today and was thinking how fortunate it was that I was invited to TED. Organizing that event was not that easy, I organized the 2003 Ghana Outsourcing Conference a few years ago in Philadelphia and that was hard. Multiple my event times 1000 and you have TEDGlobal 2007 in Arusha, Tanzania.
First, I owe a lot of people thanks to. I want to thank Bono, who had the vision of bringing this event to our continent and for even showing up. I want to thank Chris Anderson the owner of TED for putting his resources and time into organizing a wonderful event. I want to thank the TED staff, for without their help we probably would be stranded in Arusha or Nairobi (I believe some did actually...like me). I want to thank the all the sponsors, especially Google and Dan Shine from AMD on giving the Fellow's a choice of our own laptop (PC or Mac).
The last person I want to thank was very instrumental in getting many of the speakers. I've talked to this person via email a couple of times before we actually met at the annual Wharton African Business conference. I want to thank Emeka Okafor for a brilliant, masterful, and diverse speaker line-up for TEDGlobal2007. If Emeka hadn't told me to apply for a Fellowship I might not have made it to TED.
Many know Emeka as the face behind his blog Timbuktu Chronicles, jokingly I introduced Emeka to a friend of mine Derrick Ashong, at the Wharton Conference last November as the Walter Cronkite of Africa. No, Emeka is not a journalist. I think if you would talk to Emeka, he would say he is an entrepreneur with a journalist itch of spreading the word every now and then. Emeka in every sense is an entrepreneur, he is co-owner of specialty Food company called Caranda foods. Caranda specializes in Coffee, Tea and specialty foods.