Nigeria is in a crossroads of between a decent modern nation and chaos. The Nigerian economy is forecast to grow and overtake that of South Africa, making Nigeria officially the giant of Africa. But, can this giant country be a pioneer for the continent of Africa?
Panel: Dr Sheriff Alabi – Consultant with African Development Bank
Kayode Ogundamisi – Convener of the Nigeria Liberty Forum UK
Idris Bello- Afropreneur, and President, Oxford University Africa Society and Afropreneur
Jesse Adeniji – Analyst on Nigeria policies
Dipo Salimonu – CEO Ateriba and Founder Eirenicon Africa – a platform of ongoing presentations by, and discussions with political, business, social and intellectual leaders from across the African continent
This email from one of the viewers got me rolling on the floor!
When Nigerians loot money, they keep it in Switzerland
When sick, they go to Germany or India
When investing, they go to the US
When buying mansions, they visit London
When shopping, they go to Dubai
When on holiday, they go to Paris or the Bahamas
When educating their kids, they select Europe
When praying, they go to Saudi Arabia or Jerusalem
But when they die, they want to be buried in Nigeria.
Is Nigeria now a cemetry?
By Seun Babalola
I have just come back from an amazing three days in Washington DC with President Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Jon Stewart and about 1000 students from around the world who are committed to action in making a positive impact on the world.
While I am unable to write a full blog post on the highlights of the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative University at the moment, I wanted to share with you the video below in which I engage with President Clinton on the issues of public service, youth and Africa.
One of my greatest takeaways from the 3 days was the quote ‘ Talent is universal, opportunity is not’, hence it is our responsibility to connect those with talent to opportunities wherever we find it.
You can watch the full video of the session between President Clinton and Jon Stewart here.
Its been a hectic couple of days. I left Oxford on Tuesday after staying up all night writing a 3000-word essay arguing that famines are complex phenomena whose causes cannot be simply boiled down to food availability problems or even Sen Amartya’s entitlement approach.
A few hours later, I was in Istanbul, Turkey where I spent Wednesday to Friday as an invited speaker and MIT Fellow at the 2012 MIT Global Startup Conference to explore the theme Directions for Innovation. Over three days, we discussed new technological directions, global market directions and strategic directions for entrepreneurs, investors, and supporting organizations. Turkey, situated at the crossroads of civilizations with a vibrant economy, young population and fast growing consumer market, is poised to be a regional hub for entrepreneurship and investment. Istanbul, spanning East and West, was an inspiring location for this year’s MIT GSW.
One of my panel sessions dwelled on Entrepreneurial Expression: Strategies Around the World
Moderator: Bill Aulet, Director of MIT Trust Center for Entrepreneurship
Georgos Haour, Professor IMD Business School
Peter Barta, Executive Director of Post Privatization Foundation
Idris Bello, Program Director “Wennovation Hub”
Aysen Zamanpur, Founder and CEO Silk and Cashmere
For great tweets from the conference, you can check the hashtag #mitgsw on Twitter.
My opening remark at the panel session was; ‘If you are looking to hear about Africa in the context of hunger and starvation, you may leave now!”
Yes , there is hunger and starvation. There is hunger in Mogadishu, but there is also homelessness in Oxford. And there are many conferences devoted to talking about hunger, and many speakers better suited to discuss that. However, I choose to tell my own story, and its a story of what is possible (and happening) despite the many problems and challenges.
In sharing the great news about the startup revolution in Africa, I did reference this crowdsourced map of tech hubs/incubators across Africa, most of them less than two years old.
As I head off now to Washington DC for the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative with President Clinton starting this evening, I am unable to write a full post, but will let you enjoy the pictures below.
So yesterday, my humble self was profiled by CNN as one of the 10 leading tech voices from different African countries.
While I am deeply honored at being listed along with several people I look up to and respect greatly, such as Gbenga Sesan, Ory Okolloh (who I hope to meet soon), and Nmachi Jidenma, I will be the first to admit that there are several other Africans who are more deserving of the honor than myself, based on the amazing work they do on Twitter, related to the spread of technology in Africa.
That said however, I am not one to refuse such an honor, but rather view it as motivation to double my efforts around “encouraging entrepreneurship and creativity in the developing world as a tool to lessen the dependence of the citizenry on the state, which affects their willingness to criticise government leaders, thereby perpetuating poor governance.”
If you are really interested in technology in Africa, you need to also follow the following handles (by no means exhaustive);