June 15, 2007
It could have been here
Forgot to say that the organisers of TEDGlobal were originally planning to host their conference here in Ethiopia. The venue was booked, the hotels contacted. Then someone started setting off bombs around the capital. And suddenly Arusha looked like a much better option.
We'll just have to imagine what might have happened. Addis Ababa as the meeting place for the next generation of African entrepreneurs. Global coverage as the techerati toured Ethiopia's top tourist attractions (instead they all went off on safaris up and around Kilimanjaro). The TED audience also included some of the world's top technology investors including John Doerr of venture capitalists Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers. Who knows what deals might have been done.
Another big announcement to come out of the conference was Google's decision to set up its first African base - in Kenya. No idea whether Ethiopia was ever in the frame - almost definitely not. If it was, the deciding factor against it wouldn't have been bombs. It would have been bandwidth.
Posted by aheavens at June 15, 2007 7:41 AM