Curtis Keim's Mistaking Africa - Essay Example

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The west has propagated many myths and misconceptions about Africa over the years. Though some of these myths are negative and untrue, they have been strongly held and believed as true. These misconceptions are passed tot eh kinds from their young age…
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Curtis Keims Mistaking Africa
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Download file to see previous pages The west has propagated many myths and misconceptions about Africa over the years. Though some of these myths are negative and untrue, they have been strongly held and believed as true. These misconceptions are passed tot eh kinds from their young age. The media has not helped put things in perspective as they often portray an exaggerated dark side (Curtis 57). Many students and graduates as well have no idea that Africa is a continent consisting of 54 independent nations and not a single country. In fact, all countries in Africa consist of many ethnic groups, use different currencies, and have unique national flags and varying political systems among many other differences. Social economic circumstances are different in each country, with different regions having different economic activities and social processes. The difference is so huge that English and French are the major languages through which people from different regions can communicate to one another. News on leading television channels often portrays Africa as chaotic, violent and dangerous. Scenes of child soldiers, pirates and kidnappers in the Indian Ocean, civil wars and massacres strongly reinforce the myth that Africa is indeed a dangerous place. What the media denies its audience is the calm and peaceful side of Africa. Rarely will countries like Ghana, Tanzania or Malawi, which are peaceful, feature on television. Whenever there is coverage on the continent, it will most likely be about civil war in Sudan, Somali pirates, the famous Rwanda genocide, post election violence in Kenya and Ivory Coast, revolution in North Africa and severe droughts in the horn of Africa. All these paint a picture of violence and great danger in the continent, a factor that contributes to entrenching of this myth from generation to generation. For a long time, nongovernmental organizations, faith based organizations and government agencies have engaged in mobilising resources to fund development projects, respond to emergencies and fight diseases and ignorance in Africa. This translates to a misconception that Africa is poor and diseases ridden. Whereas poverty is commonplace in Africa, the continent is not all poor. A closer look reveals that wealth distribution is the key problem. For instance, South Africa has a bigger GDP than some western countries, with many natural resources, good education and health care systems, organised business districts and ultramodern infrastructure. Unfortunately, poor sections of the society cannot access these facilities and are condemned to deplorable conditions in slum areas. In respect to diseases, poor sections across the continent bear the blunt of serious diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, polio and malaria, since they cannot access primary health care. Similarly, many poor children only attain primary education, which is cheap, often lacking finances to proceed to high school and collages. Election periods are very chaotic in many countries across Africa. Corruption across many African countries is responsible for keeping some old guards in power for as long as they wish. However, many countries including South Africa, Zambia and Ghana among others have exercised democracy to the latter. Western and Asian countries with economic interests in countries with weak constitutions have in the past championed for status quo in order to retain tyrants who protect their interest. Audit reports indicate that high-level corruption in international agencies and nongovernmental organizations in Africa has deep involvement of the administrators of such funds, who are mostly western. This indicates that corruption is not just an African affair, but has a back up from many western societies. Both high school and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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I never thought 1250 words essay could be written in such a free manner. I loved the idea of this essay. Will definitely use it for my own work!
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