TED seeking to get partnerships with African broadcasters to get its talks seen and heard on the continent


TED is an American organisation devoted to « Ideas Worth Spreading ». It organises conferences and events globally and records the talks at these events. It is now seeking to get these talks shown and heard on African TV and radio stations, writes Russell Southwood.

TED’s Delia Cohen who is spearheading this push into Africa says that elsewhere in the world the talks are widely watched on the Internet but they want them to be seen in Africa where the Internet is much less widely available : »We’re only trying to sell (to broadcasters) where Internet is not a good option. That’s our strategic objective. Our main motivation was to get to Africa. We don’t reach out as widely there as we do in other parts of the world. »

It is offering a one year licence on its talks to broadcasters so long as they don’t edit them or run ads around them. The first taker has been Kiss TV in Kenya but plans for airing them have not yet been made.

As a speaker at TEDGlobal in Arusha in 2007 I can attest to both the high quality of the content and the range of ideas : it has been the most interesting conference I have attended in Africa in 10 years of working there.

Speakers at that event give some idea of the range : Nogozi Okanjo-Iweda, pioneering Finance Minister on trade vs aid ; journalist Andrew Mwenda on how aid makes objects of the poor ; film-maker Newton Aduaka ; paleontologist Zerensay Alamseged on looking for clues to humanity’s origins ; Franco Sacchi, maker of a documentary on Nollywood ; Simon Mwadaro on the Wind Chaser Turbine ; and Idris Mohamed on investing in Africa.

For more details, contact Delia Cohen on : delia@ted.com