African Civil Society: Prospects for Raising Awareness on Priority Issues
Sub-Saharan Africa is grappling with such severe and recurring economic, political and social crises that some of them, including HIV/AIDS, food insecurity and civil war, have ended up as humanitarian disasters. Making such a statement is not indicative of a state of Afro-pessimism. Black Africa is not faring well—that is painfully clear to everyone. But this part of the world is nevertheless not committing suicide, as suggested by Stephen Smith. It is putting up a fight. Evoking African resistance—and there is a resistance—against the destruction threatening the subcontinent is not a “crime against information.” Whether or not one subscribes to the principle of Afro-optimism, looking at Africa with hope does not mean ignoring the economic slump or the political deadlock affecting the vast majority of Africans. Such an approach aims to reveal what sensationalist news coverage too often neglects: the real efforts of men and women who are making a mark on history by building hope. There are millions of them, working within political circles, social movements or the ordinary masses, bearing this message for change.