‘A Swahili word for paradise or peace. A good place.’
Poverty, violence, famine and war. Just a few words mostly mentioned in one breath with Africa. ‘The dark continent’ is the first, and often the only synonym that people name when talking about the African continent. To what extent is this fair and justifiable? Why is it that we only speak and hear about the dark side of the African moon?
The genuine lack of in-depth knowledge, as well as the relatively flawed and shortsighted coverage of the African continent, likely contribute to the Western perception of Africa as ‘hopeless.’ This contemporary perception is vastly outdated and unfounded. Apparently, as non-Africans, we are unable to see that tragedy is able to walk side by side with rapid, unforeseen progress. Additionally, speaking in broad brushstroke terms about the continent, compromises the incomparable diversity of African cultures and populations. For comparison, it would be unimaginable and undesirable for Europeans, when generalizations would be made about Europe, based on, for instance, Portugal.
“When the media cover a terrorist attack in Paris, France will not solely be linked with terrorism from that moment onwards. On the other hand, when Nigeria is hit by a terrorist attack, the country will then be known, only for the presence of terrorism.” – Dutch correspondent and documentary filmmaker, Bram Vermeulen
It’s time for change. It’s time to modify the one-sided, mostly negative approach of Africa as the dark continent and accommodate it to the inimitable developments, currently taking place in numerous African countries. Statistics show that over the past fifteen years, economic growth was on a solid average of five percent. The African standard of living is rapidly improving and we owe it to the African people to adjust our view to the incredible developments of a mighty continent on a journey towards prosperity.
Therefore, the purpose of this platform is to improve the general perception of sub-Saharan Africa, its diverse people, many cultures and promising future. The Bright Continent will provide you with in-depth content and new insights which aren’t available in the daily newspapers. Please note though, that the website does not function a ‘good-news-show’ sugarcoating stories with a positive bias. The often harsh and complex reality in numerous African countries is a sure thing and such stories are not forgotten, neither are they denied. In such cases, we rather provide comprehensive and all-embracing content, explaining the backgrounds to news.
“Although it is easy to be impressed by the fact that all the arrows seem to be pointing in the right direction, it is important not to jump rashly from one-eyed Afro-pessimism to an equally one-eyed Afro-optimism.” – Swedish correspondent Erika Bjerström
Lastly, through our content we hope to improve the African-Western relations and indirectly contribute to more appreciation for the African identity. Because, like British Africa-expert Richard Dowden once said, “Not politics and the economy of African countries where the greatest victims of colonial times, but psychology, which led to the destruction of African confidence.”
Altogether, let this be a platform where different cultures come together, knowledge is shared and where diversity is celebrated. If you feel like joining our mission, feel free to get in touch. Because new insights and differing opinions which contribute to our perspective on sub-Saharan Africa, are most welcome.