Africa, just like any other continent has its ups and downs, shame and glories, hopes and fears. Africa is not just about AIDS, hunger, poverty, the starving child, monkeys who still live on tress, wars and political instability as perceived by Westerners.
Almost all foreign countries have an area that is deeply affected by either poverty or social vices e.g (Chicago and Detriot). This shows that every country has its flaw
With that being said, we believe that the perception Westerners have about Africa is not entirely the Westerner’s fault as Africans have a part to play in the way we are perceived by Westerners. At the end of the day, the way you carry yourself, determines the way you will be perceived. Most African countries have a lot of resources which generate revenue, But even with the huge amount of revenue generated, our African leaders have failed to allocate the revenue generated efficiently.
Lets take the country Nigeria which is rich in oil for example. What will you expect to see when you step into the Murtala Mohammed International Airport? I bet you, you will want to see a world class state of the art airport but will wonder if the country is truly rich in oil. As we all know first impressions matter. Now taking a look at President Goodluck Jonathan’s daughter’s wedding. This is a wedding where over a 1000 guests received a CUSTOMIZED GOLD PLATED IPHONE 5S! as a take home gift for attending the wedding.
Meanwhile there are over thousands of people suffering who require basic needs such as health care and food but do not have access to them and an airport which is crying for help.
We should focus on how to grow and improve our continent to change the perceptions people have of Africa. Africa is a country of great economic potential.
By Funmilola Okokuro-Francis and Zeina Kowalski