To Bless Africa

How can we make the biggest impact with the most efficiency for the greatest good?

Africa in the News

4 Comments

“Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get Aids. Just kidding. I’m white!”

So tweeted the director of corporate communications for media conglomerate IAC yesterday, unleashing a storm of online protest. To be fair, the lady in question is apparently no poster child for sensitivity or good judgement in her utterances, having previously tweeted equally ridiculous and offensive missives. One hopes the backlash of this will teach her some tact – her twitter account certainly has been deleted since.

The fact remains though that the vast majority of stories being reported on out of Africa in today’s news are stories of poverty, disease, war or injustice. While Africa as a continent is certainly beset with great problems and those problems should be reported; if they become all that is reported and all that the majority of North Americans hear and associate with Africa, not only will their picture of Africa be very skewed, but they may well become too emotionally overwhelmed to actually engage in any way that is helpful – Africa then becomes either a topic to be avoided, or the butt of ridiculous jokes, as in the case of the tweet above.

The truth is that Africa is replete with stories of hope, stories of love, reconciliation, joy, ingenuity, beauty and value. Until we begin hearing and sharing those stories, we risk caricaturing and dismissing a continent of a billion people whose lives have a much greater effect on ours – even if we are oceans apart – than we may realize.

We have two choices: One is to continue to see a poor, ill, crying Africa, carrying guns, that depends on other people forever. (The other is) to promote an Africa which is confident, peaceful, independent, but cognizant of its huge problems and great values at the same time.” Zeresenay Alemseged in his TED talk: ‘The search for humanity’s roots’.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-25475862

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/p-exec-cupid-tweets-racist-joke-flight-africa-article-1.1554500

 

Author: to bless africa

We're a little multicultural family with roots in some three continents and routes through a couple more, who serve a great God whose love has taken us to far away Africa - through countries whose peoples and cultures we've in turn come to love deeply. Through our lives and this blog, we seek to explore, discuss and find more effective methods of bringing sustainable, measurable blessing to communities across this beautiful continent, and seek to encourage others into looking at how they can engage. @dantheandrade

4 thoughts on “Africa in the News

  1. hi! nice blog! what are your thoughts on sustainable change, then? stay positive 🙂

  2. Ewald, sorry for the delay in replying – we had a big ice storm and had intermittent power and no internet for the last couple of days. It was just like being back in Africa, except here we were freezing instead of melting! :-D. Thanks so much for coming by the blog, and for commenting! I loved your blog! Especially the ‘6 Things that will happen to you when you visit Africa’ post, which I’d love to reblog if that’s alright with you.

    Sustainable change is an enormous issue, and one that is difficult to summarize very briefly.
    That said, I will attempt to do so – in very brief – I believe sustainable economic change really requires market driven development – the encouragement of entrepreneurship, enterprise, ownership and initiative through training and the creation of business opportunity, which is what we are hoping to do.

    But economic change/growth/development is ultimately only one part of ‘sustainable change’. True sustainable change away from the conditions which are so prevalent in so much of Africa I believe would be the result of worldview change – a change away from the fatalism, victim mentality, impunity, tribalism, etc that leads to corruption, a lack of initiative, watching out for one’s own interests only, and ultimately to so many of the conflicts that are wracking the African continent. But for something this fundamental to change in even a region, let alone an entire nation, would either take a lot of people working hard over a long time, or divine intervention. Or both.

    What are your thoughts?

  3. hey there!
    thank you for your reply! It’s great to see more inspired people trying to contribute to Africa. You are right, economic change from the grassroots can help a lot for the locals. I get nervous when I see China buying up and “investing” so much especially in central and eastern Africa.
    I am not businessman though. My field of contribution is Education. To me, education is empowerment. And secondly, somehow I encourage them to invest in their country instead of “livin the dream” of escaping the continent. It’s awful when they ask you to help them leave – has it happened to you? I want to teach them how to fish 😉 For now it’s mainly myself who is learning. I need to find out what the things are that can actually help.
    The worldview and mentalities you mentioned are definitely roadblocks. When teaching kids, I can try to either show them what would be wrong about those habits, or to show them a more efficient way.
    If you had a chance to teach, what would you tell your kids?

  4. i’d be honored to see my post reblogged 🙂

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