5 TED talks that will change the way you think about Africa

We’ve chosen five thought-provoking TED talks that will change the way you think about Africa in just one hour.

From the dangers of stereotyped perceptions of the continent, to entrepreneurship and business, to health and education, these five inspiring speakers have got you covered. Check them out:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – The danger of a single story

Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanise. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.

Sangu Delle – In praise of macro – yes, macro – finance in Africa

Praising macro-entrepreneurs such as Mo Ibrahim (ONE Board Member), Ghanaian entrepreneur and clean water activist Sangu Delle makes the case for supporting large companies and clearing away obstacles to pan-African trade.

We seem to be fixated on this romanticised idea that every poor person in Africa is an entrepreneur,” he says. “Yet, my work has taught me that most people want jobs.

Kakenya Ntaiya – The girl who demanded school

Kakenya Ntaiya made a deal with her father: She would undergo the traditional Maasai rite of passage of female circumcision if he would let her go to high school. Ntaiya tells the fearless story of continuing on to college, and of working with her village elders to build a school for girls in her community. It’s the educational journey of one woman that altered the destiny of 125 others.

You are somebody who wants to make a difference. You are somebody who wants to make our tomorrow better. I want to challenge you today that to be the first, because people will follow you. Be the first. People will follow you. Be bold. Stand up. Be fearless. Be confident.

Pardis Sabeti – How we’ll fight the next deadly virus

When Ebola broke out in March 2014, Pardis Sabeti and her team got to work sequencing the virus’s genome, learning how it mutated and spread. Sabeti immediately released her research online, so virus trackers and scientists from around the world could join in the urgent fight. In this talk, she shows how open co-operation was key to halting the virus – and to attacking the next one to come along.

We had to work openly, we had to share and we had to work together…Let us not let the world be defined by the destruction wrought by one virus, but illuminated by billions of hearts and minds working in unity.

Leymah Gbowee – Unlock the intelligence, passion, greatness of girls

Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee has two powerful stories to tell — of her own life’s transformation, and of the untapped potential of girls around the world.

Do you want to play a part in unlocking the potential of women and girls in the world’s poorest countries?

Sign our Poverty is Sexist open letter NOW and let world leaders know that women everywhere must be included in the conversation.

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