Twenty Misconceptions About Africa II
Hello again! This post is a continuation from last week’s so if you’re yet to read last week’s writeup, I invite you to check it out by simply searching for “Twenty common misconceptions” in the blog’s search feature. Note that both articles are independent of each other so you don’t have to have read last week’s post in order to read this week’s – and vice versa.
11. There is no technology in Africa
Africa is not technologically void as all African countries have embraced technology. Computers, iPads, laptops, mobile phones and internet access are all found in Africa and even Africans in remote areas also own at least one cell phone.
12. Africans are mentally inferior and are thus unable to develop innovative ideas
The fact that most African countries are rated third world should not be attributed to an inferior mental capacity. Rather, it’s due to a lack of leadership and government initiative. Content on this blog posted on July 3, June 5, May 22, April 24, Mar 20 and Feb 27 demonstrate the innovative and creative technological solutions being developed by Africans.
13. Africa is flooded with social ills
Contrary to the perception made popular by mainstream western media, Africa isn’t all violence and starvation. Stories of poverty and deprivation are merely the 1% that grab the headlines. Africa, in fact, has beautiful scenery and very hospitable and peace-loving people who aren’t always fighting.
14. The continent is full of several environmental- related diseases
Aside from the recent outbreak of Ebola, Africa hasn’t suffered from an epidemic in recent times. Therefore, to assume that everybody in Africa is sick or susceptible to contacting these mysterious and uncontrollable diseases is false as there are proper vaccines, medicines and health professionals in Africa able to control and treat diseases.
On another note, an occurrence in a single village, city or country in Africa does not mean that the entire continent is at risk. There are 54 countries in Africa many of which are far removed from the other. Therefore, an outbreak or incidence of violence in one country may have no impact on surrounding countries.
15. All native Africans are dark skinned
Yes, Africans may be darker than individuals from other races. However, there are light-skinned native Africans.
16. Africa has no built conveniences
17. All African countries are corrupt
Africa isn’t so primitive where people bathe outdoors and answer nature’s call in the bush. Homes, business places and hotels all have bathrooms.
I understand how this perception can be deemed reality given Africa’s poverty levels when compared with its enormous natural resources. However, no country on earth is completely devoid of corruption – the level of corruption simply varies from country to country. Botswana, for instance, has a nearly negligible level of corruption.
18. All African countries are poor and survive on aid – yet many have internet access to conduct online scams
Africa may have been the recipient of foreign aid but that was in times past. Africa today is moving away from aid and towards trade as African countries are increasingly viewed as attractive trading partners by their foreign counterparts.
There are also many wealthy individuals and middle income households in Africa which have obtained their wealth legally. This income allows for internet access – even at home – which is very seldom used to surf the web for people to scam. Not everyone in Africa is steeped in poverty and looking to scams as a means of providing for themselves and their households. Check out my post on June 12.
19. Africa has very few hotels and lodges
Africa is rich in tourist sites and attractions which are endlessly patronized by foreigners. Many African countries also have rich and friendly economies which attract foreign investors. These and other factors contribute to the increase in the number of hotels available on the continent and the requirement that these hotels be developed to western standards – many of which are!
20. African countries are economically underdeveloped
Many African countries may not be as developed as the west but they are far removed from the Africa that still exists in most people’s memory. Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and Kenya have all recorded high levels of economic growth and the world bank’s growth forecast is still very positive. Experts agree that Africa is on the rise and that the continent may very well be the next super power, after Asia. Check out my post on Sept 1.
Are there misconceptions I missed?