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Can A New Generation Of Africans Fight Corruption?

By NPR/TED Staff | NPR
Friday, May 30, 2014

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Haves And Have-Nots.

About George Ayittey's TEDTalk

Ghanaian economist George Ayittey lashes out against corrupt African leaders. He calls on a young, fast "cheetah generation" to take back the continent from complacent bureaucrats he calls hippos.

About George Ayittey

For years, George Ayittey has been speaking out against the corruption and complacency that he believes are the bedrock problems of many troubled African states.

"We call our governments vampire states, which suck the economic vitality out of the people," he says.

His book, Africa Unchained, has helped unleash a new wave of activism and optimism — especially in the African blogosphere, where his notion of cheetahs-versus-hippos has become a standard shorthand.

He says this cheetah generation is a "new breed of Africans," taking their futures into their own hands, instead of waiting for politicians to empower them.

Ayittey is a Distinguished Economist in Residence at American University in Washington, D.C.

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