Wednesday, October 15, 2008

There is some good news in Africa...

... but you will have a hard time finding it. Perhaps we're partly to blame.

The International Federation of Red Cross is so concerned about the negative press that Africa receives that they did a survey to get other opinions on press coverage.

The Red Cross thinks that press coverage on Africa is too focused on war, famine, poverty. So much so that positive developments are never reported on.

So the Red Cross wanted to see if other groups shared the same view. Our clip includes some quotes on what gives aid groups hope. Our clip comes from the Red Cross press release on the survey found on Relief Web.

Equally, respondents see hope in continued economic growth, democratization, nation building and accountability, as well as Africa's human capital, conflict resolution in some countries, regional cooperation and international support.

Officials cited economic growth over the past half decade, as well as rising income from resources and commodities, expansion in the private sector and market reforms.

On the political front, more than half the interviewees mentioned continuing democratization, new leadership, accountability, decentralization and Kenya's "return from the brink".

According to a British respondent: "…the conflict situation is better than it was five years ago. The political process is better…"

"There are a growing number of countries in Africa that are showing very good GDP (1) growth," said a US interviewee, "serving as examples of very market-oriented, democratic, secure countries that are improving the lives of their people."

A German official wished Africa could be "not just a producer of raw materials but also increasingly a processor" of them.

A Spanish interviewee's hope was to "get very basic social services all over…Africa" in the next five years.

To balance this post, here is the bad stuff. The people interviewed said the biggest challenges facing Africa are the crises in the Horn of Africa and Darfur and the Great Lakes, food insecurity, health issues and climate.

But lets face it. It's the bad stuff that sells the papers, or nowadays make you click on the headlines that will expose you to more ads.

1 comment:

Jeremy Gillick said...

True, the media focuses on the negative but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Bringing attention to the atrocities happening in Darfur bring awareness and, hopefully, action. If all we hear are the good things, then there is not motivation to support initiatives to stop the genocides. Unfortunately if you mix the good with the bad enough in the media, people will mix them together and conclude that the genocides aren't that bad, or that the African government can handle it.

That said, I am very happy to hear about these positive things going on in Africa. Personally, I would like to know more about these developments. Thank you for sharing.