Have you been listening? Can you hear the change? It’s hard to tell how vast a forest you’re in until you climb a the mountain, but hopefully we can put our heads up for a moment to see.
The conversation I’m hearing (reading, seeing) about Africa is changing swiftly. We’re not talking about Africa in terms of strictly AIDS, war and horror. Those notions have been challenged through films, books and raw data. Although the conversation is still in challenge and complication stages, it is coming out of the “Let’s not talk about death and disease only” phase.
Twitter has been my number one source of content for this conversation. It started with @barcampafrica following me last summer, followed by the more recent #thatsafrican, #brandafrica and #lightupnigeria conversations. Now, more African countries are hosting their own barcamps, and BarCamp Diaspora just concluded last weekend.
As I digest all this information, I find it’s increasingly important to listen. While we may want to jump to the solutions right away, it’s more important to listen to the conversations and cultures which have been developing and changing for thousands of years. There are plenty places to plug in.
I used to think Africa (there’s that generalized myth again) wasn’t making enough noise. It turns out I wasn’t listening hard enough. Are you listening?