At TEDAfrica 2007 in Arusha, Tanzania, 100 Fellows from around Africa participated in a first-of-its-kind gathering that brought together the "Cheetah" generation -- what TED speaker George Ayittey calls the new generation of groundbreaking Africans who are entrepreneurial, fluent in technology and run like the wind. That conference profoundly changed the lives of many of its participants.
Arusha saw the beginning of many new friendships, collaborations, companies, investments, websites and NGOs. A powerful network endures to this day. Participants also found recognition, validation and support for each of their projects and ideas.
Because TEDAfrica's success in 2007 was due in no small part to remarkable ideas of its Fellows, TED decided to create a permanent program to bring these amazing paradigm-shifters into the TED community.
We hope their new perspectives and enormous enthusiasm will catalyze new networks and the launch of many new initiatives.
In June 2007, TED held its first conference in Africa, titled "Africa: The Next Chapter," featuring thought leaders from across the continent. Their collaborations were the inspiration for the TED Fellows program.