The vast majority of Western media coverage of subSaharan Africa in recent decades focused on the HIV/AIDS epidemic, civil wars, crushing poverty, and widespread corruption.
While negative reporting is not necessarily always untrue and may even be necessary at times, what is conveyed to the rest of the world is a picture of Africans as helpless victims of circumstance, an image largely untempered by the few positive stories of the continent and its inhabitants. Lost in the flood of images of famine, conflict and disease is th picture of educated, empowered Africans working actively to solve the problems that Africa faces (which are also issues faced by people on other continents.).
'Help' for Africa as presented in the Western media almost always comes in the form of foreign aid or outside intervention. Without devaluing the need for international assistance and global cooperation, it is also important not to forget that Africans themselves have the potential and desire to work on Africa's issues, and indeed, the world's issues. In this issue, we present a few Africans who have made a difference not just in their nations of origin/residence but also on an international level.