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African Heroes

Emeka Okafor: Africa Has Good Things to Offer


Emeka Okafor, a British born Nigerian living in diaspora, couldn’t understand why no interesting, innovative and creative activity seemed to come out of Sub-Saharan Africa unlike in Europe and the United States. Most coverage that commented on new projects in Sub-Saharan Africa was always placed within the context of “doing something unusual.” “I just wanted to read, see and talk about people doing interesting things: interesting things of their own merit, not interesting because they made people feel good," he observes.

Emeka, a member of the African blogsphere, a leading thinker, and an entrepreneur, realized he needed a platform to air interesting things about Africa. Initially, he would email what interested him to his circle of friends and family. After almost two years, he decided to widen his audience and started blogging. His focus was on what Africans abroad and Africans living in Africa were doing in terms of technology and models of doing things that might interest Africans.

Today, Emeka runs two blogs: Timbuktu Chronicles which aggregates some of the most interesting and exciting models of entrepreneurship happening in Sub-Saharan Africa and Africa Unchained that allows Emeka to "think out loud" about paradigms of development, innovation and politics.

He receives much feedback from Africans who visit the blogs and create their own businesses. “It is very encouraging to see Africans talking about development and innovation as much they talk about the politics and the fighting,” he observes.

One of Emeka’s current endeavors is Caranda Teas and Coffee in New York. The company is repositioning itself as a Fine Foods company. Also, Emeka managed and coordinated one of the world’s top technology conference that was held in Africa (Tanzania) for the first time this year (2007): TED Global. Currently, he is working on projects that focus on infrastructure and SME development in Africa.

Feel free to visit websites on Emeka’s activities below:

Blogs

http://www.timbuktuchronicles.blogspot.com/

http://www.africaunchained.blogspot.com/

TED Africa: The Next Chapter

http://www.ted.com/themes/view/id/45

Caranda Fine Foods

http://www.carandafinefoods.com/

Direct Expatriate Nationals Investment

http://www.deniafrica.com/

International Private Enterprise Group

http://www.ipegroup.net/

James Shikwati

Director Inter Region Economic Network

CEO The African Executive




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