AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Against the Gospel of “Africa Rising”

Almost ten years ago, Binyavanga Wainana mocked the relentless bashing of Africa for what it is: ignorance. Nowadays, however, a new gospel could use similar deriding: “tell them six of the ten fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa; drop names like Aliko Dangote and Isabel Dos Santos alongside Magatte Wade and Bethlehem

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Al Jazeera Joins The ‘Africa Rising’ Bandwagon

We recently posted a bit on Forbes Magazine’s list of the 40 richest Africans. In a similar vain, Al Jazeera has chosen to glorify Africa’s privileged few and feed into Western media outlets’ current obsession with the...

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

“Africa rising” and the shifting disease burden

In recent years, there has been increasing attention in academic and policy circles to the problem of non-communicable diseases in Africa. Some have gone so far as to identify a “shifting disease burden,” wherein conditions such as...

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

The great Thomas Sankara was murdered on this day 27 years ago

It is the 27th anniversary of the death of Thomas Sankara, and once again we mark the passing of one of the great leaders of the Twentieth Century. Sankara was a Marxist revolutionary in the last years of the...

Monday, October 6th, 2014

A museum in the middle of the street

Three towering moko jumbies stroll up behind the stage, as if on cue, dressed in suits of glow-in-the-dark yellow and electric blue. The sun is setting on the second and final day of ChaleWote, Accra’s annual street...

Friday, August 1st, 2014

We will be back tomorrow

Starting this morning, we begin our annual month-long break from this site (we’ll still be active on social media–Facebook and on Twitter and Twitter again). We’ll be back after Labor Day (the Americans’ poor excuse for May Day)...

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

“An African City,” the web series about five single women in Accra, Ghana

For the last few weeks social media has been abuzz with comments about a new web series set in Accra called An African City. The series tells the story of the 'Afropolitan Returnee' and as one viewer...

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Why I’m Not An Afropolitan

Last summer, I was invited to take part in a discussion, ‘Fantasy or Reality? Afropolitan Narratives of the 21st Century’, as part of Africa Writes 2013 Festival. I was joined on the panel by Minna “Ms Afropolitan”...

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Africa and the Future: An Interview with Achille Mbembe

Within a short period of time, the global, corporate discourse on Africa has swapped a refrain of hopelessness with a near eschatological discovery of a new el dorado — a place of gold from which global capital...

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

“Africa is finally seizing control of its image”—but which Africa and which image?

Al Jazeera continues its journey on the “Africa Rising” trail, this time with a documentary series on cultural elites—young photographers from Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, the Republic of Congo, and South Africa (see our review on the previous...

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

In Search of the “African Middle Class”

“Africa Rising” stories have become old news in English-speaking media, so much so that Africa is a Country called them a meme not long ago. But only a few have run in French news outlets, and one...

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Weekend Special, N°1001

1. The gray lady will sing. The New York Times has now featured two West African marriages in its Sunday “Vows” section in a matter of weeks. The first is of a Nigerian wedding (ceremonies in Abuja...

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Afrique 3.0, Version 2.0

Flying back from Dakar and Bamako to my home near “Little Senegal,” I snatched up Courrier International’s special issue “Afrique 3.0″ while passing through Paris. Tom made a quick survey of it just as it hit the...

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Malitia Malimob, rap music and the less glamorous stories of African migration to the United States

The new “Africa Rising” narrative propagated largely by a globally-connected middle and upper class diaspora, often obscures the grittier stories of the African immigrant experience. This is partly due to an instinct among African immigrants to want to counter...

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Did Goodluck Jonathan pay $1 million from anti-poverty fund to bring Beyonce and Jay-Z to Nigeria?

Whatever Jay-Z and Beyonce were expecting when they went to Nigeria in 2006, they can’t have seen this one coming.

Friday, January 25th, 2013

The story about the daughter of Angola’s longtime president being Africa’s “first woman billionaire”

BREAKING NEWS: The 40-year-old businesswoman daughter of Angola’s long-serving president is rich. This week the Twittersphere has gone mad over an article published by Forbes claiming that their “research” has uncovered the fact that 40-year-old Isabel Dos Santos...

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Africa’s billionaires are a national elite (and they’re awesome)

Forbes Magazine recently released its second annual list of “Africa’s 40 Richest” people. The feature appeared on the Forbes homepage alongside lists of “America’s Richest,” “India’s Richest,” “Thailand’s Richest,” and “China’s Richest.” For Forbes, it seems, Africa...

Monday, December 31st, 2012

2012’s SMH (also known as “Africa is a Country”) Moments

There are times we shake our heads or roll our eyes. When we could not invent some of the things that we spot in the media. For some reason especially New York Times journalists can’t help themselves...

Monday, November 26th, 2012

TIME Magazine and the “Africa is Rising” Meme

TIME Magazine has copied what The Economist did in 2011, and decided “Africa is Rising.” Again. This week’s European edition is taken over by stories on this theme. Alex Perry, who writes for TIME from Cape Town...

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Canada likes Africa’s “new image”

After spending its first six years in power largely ignoring the continent, the Conservative Party of Canada has finally “discovered” Africa. Last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper undertook a four-day trip to Senegal and the DRC—only his...

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Jeffrey Gettleman’s continent

Chief among the debates (or what passes for debates on blogs, Twitter and in mainstream media) about #Kony2012, are these two questions: whether or not external observers should raise awareness or otherwise stage interventions in a conflict...