Despite the international media’s tendency to speak in sweeping statements about the landmass called Africa, it is as economically diverse as it is geographically and culturally varied.
The historical discourse about Africa, at least that which has emerged from colonial and so-called “Western” powers, has largely been of a homogenous, amorphous “dark continent”; a land of disease and famine, flies and relentless poverty. But while poverty and disease remain issues for many African countries, the continent is also home to powerful emerging economies, multinational corporations and one-eighth of the world’s burgeoning population. The global view of the continent is changing as its massive potential becomes apparent. Today, Africa is as easily defined by a more prudent use of our abundant resources – including gold, platinum, oil, copper, diamonds, natural gas, iron and human capital – as we are by the sadly widening gap between the poor and the superrich.