2014 has been a challenging and hopeful year for the ‘Africa rising’ narrative and so what better time than at the end of it to attend the annual inspiring TedX Euston conference 2014 in London. Saturday, 6th December was the date, and Mermaid Conference Centre was the venue, packed with more 600 listening ears!
Speakers included CNN news anchor Zain Asher, Nigerian former footballer and coach Sunday Oliseh; Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina, Managing Partner of Red Media Africa, Y!Africa and YNaija.com Chude Jideonwo; Nigerian academic and public intellectual Pius Adesanmi; Chief Executive of Interims for Development Ltd and the Publisher of ReConnect Africa.com, Frances Mensah Williams; and one of Africa’s most successful businessmen, Ghanaian Tutu Agyare and many others.
The audience witnessed some of the continent’s most fascinating thinkers and doers shared their life journey in the talk of their lives, challenging the audience to engage and re-engage in a meaningful manner with the continent.
To date since its inception, some of the world’s most recognised names, Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed, Nigeria’s finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and the late BBC broadcaster Komla Dumo have graced the conference inspiring a new generation of people to find innovative solutions to the challenges of the continent.
I often find that I always have a mini-self-reflection moment wondering what I would say if I were centre stage. Hmmm . . . how does one do it? Give the talk of their life I mean, whats the secret recipe?
Well I think its just being your authentic self.
It’s theme ‘Facing Forward’ was inspired by the words of Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah, who once said: “we face neither East nor West, we face forward.” The conference, although Africa-focused was not limited to those with a direct heritage to the continent, but it also embraced many non-Africans who have a passion for Africa, development and social change.