Ameenah Gurib-Fakim and Stephanie Busari: An interview with Mauritius's first female president
Ameenah Gurib-Fakim - Biodiversity scientist
Ameenah Gurib-Fakim explores the medical and nutrition secrets of the plants of her island, Mauritius. Full bio
Stephanie Busari - Journalist
Stephanie Busari is a journalist and editor at CNN International Digital. Full bio
thank you for joining us.
you're something of an overachiever.
of the University of Mauritius,
for your work in science
female head of state in Africa.
to the TEDGlobal stage;
ambitions at that time?
the opportunity to be here today.
the government of Tanzania
the contribution of our consul,
for all our stay here.
anything in your journey
president of your country?
immediately after TED, actually.
this journalist called me and said,
for the president of the republic,"
in the form of a declaration?
the interrogation mark,
and they see my picture.
where they wanted to have somebody
religion in Mauritius,
we stratify people's origins
whole campaign started,
to note, Stephanie,
is elected after the election.
was flagged before the election process,
they knew that at some point,
this Muslim woman president.
to you as a woman
of your country?
the terrible statistics
in the whole of Africa.
from the background I come from --
but more academic and entrepreneurial --
growing in my village
there was diversity,
have been most productive.
when cultures, religions --
when they were highly productive.
another conflict area
seem to be at loggerheads.
on how you reconcile both
at the perfection of the human body,
ecosystem functions together.
to those who are of faith,
there has been evolution."
that evolution exists.
What came first?
the various strata of evolution,
which is guiding the process,
don't happen by chance.
this great spirit by any name --
are not mutually exclusive.
to one of your passions -- science.
passionate about science.
a very young girl,
to become a chemist,
determined to study science
to that career guidance officer,
to draw attention to again,
with this rote learning.
this curiosity in the child,
for them to become great scientists,
curious in everything they do.
I went to see the careers guidance,
"What do you want to do?"
because this is for boys.
back, there'll be no job for you."
who happens to be my father.
and asked, "What did he say?"
He said, "What are you going to do?"
one must always follow your heart.
that I had developed this thinking
about what you do,
a single day in your life,
Confucius who said that.
as someone in your position,
especially on this continent,
that you actively work --
two days, Stephanie,
to that level of development --
an educated youth in Africa.
you cannot win a football match,
of the team outside.
of effort has to be done
them from a very young age,
that she can do anything.
that anything is possible
from a very early age,
look at the books,
when I went to a debate on Women's Day.
how many women inventors we have,
that hardly anyone knew
behind computer science,
with two Nobel prizes.
to actually make --
at a very young age;
if not better than her brother.
that I know you've been very active in,
is an area that Africa must embrace.
herbal traditions and plants
into a big pharmaceutical industry.
of how you've been using your expertise
to one of the talks;
to turn into a knowledge economy.
medicinal plant species,
I gave in 2014,
harness it in the right way,
our own livelihoods on this planet.
from countries of the north
for the protection of our planet,
livelihoods on this planet.
that must be addressed.
of Africa working for us,
that we have on the market,
our own traditional knowledge.
as allopathic medicine.
for traditional Chinese medicine
have not documented,
becoming a knowledge continent,
to address very seriously,
we are racing against time
the transmission has always been oral.
and make it happen.
of urgency around this.
in respect to documenting --
was I documented precisely these plants.
it was not perceived to be very serious,
in synthetic organic chemistry,
talking to these grandmothers,
bringing weeds in the lab,
to be working on these."
"Look, this is very important."
developing a crocodile skin,
doing different things.
since the documentation,
started working on as well.
big-man, African leader.
You called me a man.
and quite unassuming.
on the way they rule,
taken myself seriously.
take yourself seriously.
and just work towards them.
OK, I'm leading my third life --
I've been an entrepreneur, now I'm here.
to give my voice to so many initiatives
media, technology, you name it,
technology and innovation.
about the challenges
that there's corruption on this continent
share with us around this issue?
there is a corrupter.
doing something about corruption,
great people in Africa.
Why don't we talk about ...
the great quotes of Nelson Mandela.
we've had Julius Nyerere,
who have been champions of Africa.
pages of their book and see.
had been a great advocate for science
will make deserts bloom."
fathers of this continent;
About the speakers:Ameenah Gurib-Fakim - Biodiversity scientist
Ameenah Gurib-Fakim explores the medical and nutrition secrets of the plants of her island, Mauritius.
Why you should listen
She calls herself a chemist and a gardener (and she has a collection of 200 bonsai), but Ameenah Gurib-Fakim is the leading scientist studying the flora of one of the world's key biodiversity hotspots, the island of Mauritius. As the managing director of the Centre for Phytotherapy Research (Cephyr) and a professor of organic chemistry at the University of Mauritius, she explores and analyzes plants from the island and their health, nutritional and cosmetic applications.
She co-authored the African Herbal Pharmacopoeia, the first resource of its kind, led the first regional research project on the inventory and study of medicinal and aromatic plants of the Indian Ocean, and was the lead coordinating author on the international assessment of agricultural knowledge, science and technology for development, spearheaded by the World Bank.
Ameenah was honored as one of Foreign Policy's 2015 Global Thinkers .
In June 2015, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim became the first female president of Mauritius.
Ameenah Gurib-Fakim | Speaker | TED.com
Stephanie Busari - Journalist
Stephanie Busari is a journalist and editor at CNN International Digital.
Why you should listen
Stephanie Busari moved to Lagos from London in July 2016 to pioneer CNN's first digital and multimedia bureau. She also reports on-air in breaking news situations for CNN International.
In April 2016 Busari exclusively obtained the "proof of life" video that showed that the missing Chibok schoolgirls who were kidnapped in Nigeria in 2014 were still alive. She was also an instrumental member of the CNN team that won a Peabody Award in May 2015 for the network's coverage of the missing girls. Busari recently won a Gracie Award for her persistence in covering this story, and she's also a previous recipient of the Outstanding Woman in the Media Awards.
Busari is a passionate community activist who curated TEDxBrixton for three years before she left London. She founded TEDxBrixton in 2013 driven by a desire to bring disparate elements of her community together and to create a platform for those who wouldn't normally have one to share their ideas worth spreading.
A passionate and adept public speaker, Busari is regularly invited to share her insights and host panels. She has spoken at UN Women, Said Business School, Oxford, Africa Gathering among others.
Over a 15-year career, Busari has worked as a news reporter, entertainment and features writer, court reporter and columnist, and she has been published in many of the UK and international media's most influential outlets, such as the BBC and Daily Mirror.
During a six-month stint in Northern Ireland in 2003, Busari spent time in some of the worst affected areas of "The Troubles" and secured interviews with a crucifixion victim, government ministers and paramilitaries. While there, she also launched and edited an award-winning lifestyle column.
A native Yoruba speaker, Busari also speaks fluent French and is currently learning Hausa.
Stephanie Busari | Speaker | TED.com