Africa’s Global Image: Justified or Prejudiced?

July 26, 2012 § 1 Comment

image: Cape Coast, Ghana

There has been a push in recent days to ‘re-brand’ Africa in a positive light. Is this push empowering, or is it illusory? In this BBC debate, a group of experts and involved individuals (largely Africans themselves) discuss the question of whether or not mainstream media and public perceptions of Africa as war-ravaged and wallowing in poverty and corruption are ‘justified’ or ‘prejudiced.’

I happen to agree with the Indian doctor in the audience who argues that these terms (‘justice’ and ‘prejudice’) are too hyperbolic for categorization. The truth of any situation will lie somewhere in between the poles. But nevertheless, this debate (broadcast from Uganda) is interesting and provides many perspectives from throughout Africa and abroad.

“What we need to do, we need to learn the principle that Google applies. In Google they say, “You know, if you want to negate any other comments about you,  you need to flood the social media with your opinions.” Africans need to flood the media with African opinions, and African media needs to be encouraged to grow. Whether it’s one person, a hundred persons, urban, or rural–as long as Africans are talking about Africa, we should be excited because we are beginning to tell the African story by Africans, for Africa.” – Thebe Ikalafeng

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