The interviewees make the usual points, the press are only interested in negative stories and if Africans want a different narrative of their continent they should tell it themselves.
If you are in the habit of reading blogs and using social media you will know that the younger generation are already telling their own far more complete story. In fact, they are not only the narrators of that story they are also the characters.Yes, they acknowledge the problems on the continent, but they are brimming with solutions. They are either thinking of ways to, or are already taking positive action towards progress in their countries.
Case in point? This video shows a successful, positive, African, business woman. Magatte Wade certainly does not seem to suffer from any sort of inferiority complex. She is truly inspirational!
I've been mulling over my last post and the penny dropped. The problem with Walter's opinion is not the fact that he uses provocative language. It is the constant reference to the past. To what we as Africans have failed to do.
Field Ruwe's account of this conversation is not telling us anything new. It may be said in a blunt manner, but it is certainly not a light bulb moment for most of us.
In fact, in my opinion what is most disturbing about Walter's assessment is the conclusion, as I see it, that only intellectuals can contribute to the development of our continent. I firmly believe that equality of opportunity, a creative mind and self belief can go a long way.
African leaders, who incidentally are mostly dinosaurs, are not so different to the Western media or Walter. They see Africa's problems, but are not offering many useful solutions. They are still recycling the same old ideas, weighed down by their fight for independence and consequent 'failure' to achieve what they had envisioned for their nations.
Field Ruwe asserted as much when he wrote about the lack of innovation amongst our leaders. I would, however, point out that while Mr Ruwe talks about waiting a term or two for a new President who will encourage innovation we, the youth, are less patient. One of the major characteristics of a lot of the demonstrations and movements in Africa is that they are taking power back from governments, not waiting for the powers that be to act.
This Tweet says it all;
“We are neither Communists, Catholics nor socialist. We are African nationalists. We reserve the right to choose our friends "
The old categories are gone. We are so connected that all those artificial differences don't matter any more. We are able to see what those in more developed countries have and can no longer be content with scraping by.
This is not just an African story it is a global phenomenon. Consider this highly rated (if strongly worded) comment by a reader of The Guardian regarding proposed US legislation for the control of on line piracy ;