- Countryside in Crisis?
- The Energy Water Food Stress Nexus
- Unsustainable Fishing
- Keeping pace with a digital revolution
- Global health in the 21st Century
- Adapting to an urban future
- Educating for tomorrow
- Digital technology in Africa
- Persistent poverty in Britain
- Can the UK ever be sustainable?
- Plastic pollution in the oceans
- Natural disasters: how to improve?
- Not In My Back Yard
- Digital Divide in the UK?
- Importing goods, exporting drought?
- Britain’s ageing population
- Engineering our climate
- The future shape of Capitalism
- Migration: skills and the job market
- Razing the Rainforest
- London under water
- Concreting the countryside
- Future of low carbon energy
- Africa in the 21st Century
- Tim Brown »
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- Panel Discussion and Q&A »
- Infographics: How much fish do we all eat? »
Herman Chinery-Hesse - theSOFTtribe
Herman Chinery-Hesse is a software engineer by profession. 19 years ago he co-founded theSOFTtribe, one of the leading software houses in West Africa. theSOFTtribe has won a number of awards, including the prestigious Millennium Excellence Awards for IT in 2005 (also nominated in 2000). The company has been featured on BBC, CNN and the IEEE Magazine (of the United States) amongst others.
The trick we have discovered is we meet Africa where it is. We do not try and invent anything. What exisits is enough, we have SMS into the bush, internet in the cities. We can innovation around that.
— Herman Chinery-Hesse, May 2011
The BBC has described Herman as Africa's "Bill Gates". Herman believes that: "If Africa misses the current global IT boat, there may never again be an opportunity for rapid wealth creation on the continent."
Meet the Bill Gates of Ghana (INC Magazine)
He holds a number of directorships and is an Assessor of the Commercial Court, Ghana. He has won a number of personal awards including Outstanding Ghanaian Professional from the GPA Awards (UK), as well as the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Texas State Alumni Association and Texas State University-San Marcos (USA)—the first and currently only African recipient of the award.
Herman has also been a resource person and visiting speaker at the Wharton Business School, Harvard Business Schools, Cambridge University, the University of Ghana, and the TEDGlobal Conference in Arusha, Tanzania, amongst others.
Herman believes: "Technology is the only way for Africa to get rich. We don't have proper infrastructure and we can't compete in manufacturing. But if you put me behind a PC and tell me to write software for a Chinese customer, then I can compete brain for brain with anyone trying to do the same thing in the US."
theSOFTtribe employs around 70 people and has a client base of more than 250 organisations, including major multinationals such as the Ford Foundation, Nestlé, and Unilever; it is also a Microsoft development partner in the region.