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Introducing TED Fellow: Ndubuisi Ekekwe

Posted by: Helen Walters on February 13, 2010

Ndubuisi_Ekekwe.jpg Ndubuisi Ekekwe holds two doctoral and four master’s degrees, including a PhD in electrical and computer engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore and an MBA from University of Calabar, Nigeria. He founded the telphony and IT firm, Ultinet Systems in Nigeria, and later worked at the Diamond Bank in Lagos. Now he is the Founder/President of the non-profit African Institution of Technology, an organization he describes as “seeking to help diffuse emerging technologies such as microelectronics and nanotechnology into African economies.”

How exactly do you plan to change the world?

By being an advocate to facilitate the diffusion and penetration of emerging technologies into developing economies where they can use them to create wealth and prosperity. I understand that technology improves productivity and without it the world would not have experienced changes in living standards over the last 500 years.

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Reader Comments

Good Brian

February 13, 2010 02:07 PM

A commendable achievement from the African. He is a great mind. I spoke with him in TED and he came out bright, articulate, versatile and intelligent. A talent indeed.


February 15, 2010 05:14 AM

The "good brain" comment is extremely patronizing i.e. "I spoke with him in TED and he came out BRIGHT, ARTICULATE, VERSATILE AND INTELLIGENT" I'll venture to say you may not have meant to come across as such but refering to an educated African as "articulate and intelligent" is not really a praise but an insult....would you refer to a Brit, an American or Chinese of similar backgroud as being articulate and intelligent? More than likely no; you expect them to be, it's a given, the comment is just silly.


February 15, 2010 10:34 AM

Abu, I think you are over reacting. Brian based on his words is positive. I get your feelings about stereotypes and how people perceive blacks. But understand that this guy holds patents and has written books. If Brian got those speaking with Ndubuisi, I will think you can take his words as genuine. No need for your over-the-top comments; let's have fun in this world among races.


February 15, 2010 01:27 PM

On the contrary,Chekwas,I completely agree with Abu.Like he asked: Would he have refered to a Brit or Chinese of similar background as such? I think not. He would expect them to be a given.

Udonna P

February 15, 2010 07:44 PM

Great work Businessweek for a refreshing news on nigeria. at least the world knows we have people. when dr ekekwe spent 3 months last year across 15 nigerian schools teaching, inspiring and mentoring for free, me knows our time is coming to become gr8. up nigeria my fatherland


February 16, 2010 03:35 AM

When you read this type of stories than young educated Africans are working hard to change their continent instead of waiting for the political class, one gets a picture of hope out of the horizon.

C Moi

February 16, 2010 12:53 PM

I told him the day he gave a lecture at University of Nairobi, Kenya and attending African Union congress last year at KICC that he would b great. It was such a fun seeing someone whose vision for Africa is so pure. That week more than 10 Kenyan newspapers quoted him b/c his idea to African Union was infectious. congrats on TED fellowship.

Abdul C

February 17, 2010 08:01 AM

A good point, if Africa can develop technology, it can create wealth without the troubles of poor politicking. The challenge is that good politics is a prerequisite to that technology development.

Mr Said, Tanzania

February 17, 2010 08:21 AM

The schools in Tanzania are hoping to welcome you and your team for the microelectronics Rainfall School this August. My students are indeed very excited.

Bekk Don

February 17, 2010 09:13 AM

In addition to emerging technology diffusion, Africa must develop its intellectual property rights (IPR). Without a strong IPR, many will not take the continent serious. Why transfer technology where it cannot be legally protected. Dr Ekekwe needs 'politicking' as Abdul said above. IPR policy in Africa is non-existent and that is the problem.

Uche I. Amadi

February 17, 2010 10:29 AM

I agree with Bekk. Besides IPR, Africa must also look inside. We also have technologies and science. Developing what we already have and bringing new ideas will make this Africa's century. we need more role models like this.


February 21, 2010 05:27 PM

Dr Ekekwe is a reflection of what a good engineering and science - based university can produce. The foundation for this was laid in Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria between 1993 and 1998 when the educational system had not deteriorated this bad. Africans, especially our leaders must remember that quality education, supportive technological environment (that promotes discoveries and innovation) and accountable leadership is the only way to position Africa as a force to be reckon in this millennium.
Thanks ND for making Africans proud. Raymond, FUTO Alumnus


February 23, 2010 11:56 AM

Hi Raymond, Dr Ekekwe was not made in Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria. He was my classmate in Secondary Technical School, Ovim, Abia State, Nigeria. That was where he was trained before he went to FUTO where he lead his class. It is thrilling that ND's grade remains the best SSCE/WASC ever in the history our school. It is all-time. No one has come close to breaking it. Yes this young man is humble. He was a science student, yet, he made all As in art courses under self study in SS1.

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What comes next? The BusinessWeek Innovation and Design team of Michael Arndt and Helen Walters chronicle new tools for creativity and collaboration, innovation case studies in both the corporate and social sectors, and the new ideas that have the power to change the way things have always been done.

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