The portrayal of Africa in the West, often helped by Africans themselves

Africa is a Country (Old Site)


Kenyans vote today (in some places voting have already started). And somehow, as in any election in any African country, the cliches are not far behind. “Will Kenya fall into mayhem after the results of the general elections are announced?” “Will one of (East) Africa’s most politically stable countries see a return of post-election violence that swept through the country five years ago?” “Has tribalism been eradicated in Kenya?” We can’t count how often international reporters have asked these questions in the past days. Like French soldiers in the northern Mali, journalist of every major international broadcaster and some even of tiny national news organizations have parachute landed in Kenya ahead of the general elections. Some of them, even if they won’t admit it, secretly hope to see a bit violence, albeit skirmishes. Some American outlets have taken six month old political violence and presented these as happening…

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