Meet 5 African trailblazers from East Africa on the TEDGlobal 2017 list

It will be the first time in a decade that TED will be held in Africa.

They hail from different parts of Africa from Egypt, Uganda, Liberia, Botswana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Somalia and Nigeria.

"We choose fellows not only based on their accomplishments so far, but also on their grit, their collaborative spirit, and their potential to break barriers as they build their careers" said Tom Rielly, TED Fellows program director.

Each of these visionaries will deliver a talk at TED Global this August in Arusha, Tanzania joining a growing list of 436 other Fellows from 94 countries around the world.

Here are the five TED Fellows from East Africa.

Abdigani Diriye (Somalia | UK)

Diriye's is a Somali tech entrepreneur and inventor who is driving the Somalian tech scene through coding camps, incubators and accelerator programs.

His mission is to create commercially viable tech startups and businesses in Somalia and to research and develop new technologies in financial technology.

Kasiva Mutua (Kenya)

Jackline Kasiva Mutua (Kasiva) is an internationally touring drummer and percussionist based in Nairobi, Kenya.

She is pioneering a revolution in her Kenyan community where it is a taboo for women to play drums.

Her performance style fuses western styles like jazz and reggae with African traditional music.

Robert Hakiza (DRC | Uganda)

Hakiza is the co-founder of Young African Refugees for Integral Development (YARID) that focuses on rehabilitating refugees in Uganda through computer literacy skills, vocational education, English classes and access to sports.

Hakiza is himself a Congolese refugee in Uganda and together with his colleagues they are helping refugees to learn new skills.

Adong Judith (Uganda)

Judith is a playwright and director from Uganda, her outspokenness has led her to create famous works that provokes dialogue and social change on issues ranging from LGBTQ rights to war crimes.

In July 2011, she was the only African writer among 10 international writers to attend the Royal Court Theatre playwrights' residency where she developed her play Just Me, You and the silence that featured at the New Black Fest October 2011.

Yasin Kakande (Uganda)

For over a decade, Yasin Kakande lived and worked in the Middle East before being forced to leave. Kakande went undercover to write his autobiographical novel 'The Ambitious struggle' which uncovered the plight and human rights abuses of migrant workers in the UAE.

For Kakande, being selected as a Fellow shows that his voice which "has largely been neglected by media and global players” matter and communicate these human rights violations to a global audience.

The other speakers from Africa are Mennat El Ghalid (France | Egypt), Saran Kaba Jones (Liberia | USA), Wale Oyéjidé (Nigeria | USA), Katlego Kolanyane-Kesupile (Botswana) and Carl Joshua Ncube (Zimbabwe).


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