Journalism Professor Suzanne Franks writes:
In more recent years it looks as if the single story has shifted gear. Instead of the relentless negative image of suffering and impoverished victims there is a new narrative, ‘Africa Rising’. Suddenly the continent is brimming with mobile phones and energetic businesses. In May 2000 there was a famous Economist front cover portraying Africa as the hopeless continent. This was replaced in 2011 with a cover full of bright skies and with the ‘Africa Rising’ headline. Time magazine followed suit with a cover using the same slogan…The trouble is that all reductionist stereotypes are incomplete and inaccurate. And in particular this latest characterisation of Africa as a place teeming with entrepreneurs, complete with its own ‘silicon Savannah’ has other problems. In a part of the world still facing staggering levels of inequality it brings the danger of tying Africa too close to a neo-liberal agenda and objectives.