It’s sixteen years since the Economist published the article describing Africa as "the hopeless continent". Their opinion changed in 2011 to "Africa rising", but the story was still about Africa following in Asia’s footsteps.
In consulting firm EY’s 2012 and 2013 client survey, the data gathered showed them that similar thinking was held by their clients. Africa was perceived as the second-best investment location by EY clients already invested in the continent, and the worst by those who were not. The thoughts behind these perceptions stem at least in part from a media industry addicted to portraying sensationalist news and stereotypes. After decades of negative impressions surrounding Africa, many are finding the effects difficult to overcome.
Regardless, a ‘New Africa’ is charting its own course in this new century, and where once its infrastructural deficiencies provoked despair, these are now seen as opportunities to leapfrog or diverge from the status quo. Evidence of its rising above negative perceptions are illustrated by Africa's growing export of art and culture. Figures including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Touria El Glaoui, and Fuse ODG to name a few, have shared once shrouded glimpses of Africa with the rest of the world through literature, art and music respectively. We think through their work and successes they are having positive indirect effects on investment levels and diversification, and how Africa will be viewed on the global stage by the next generation.
With this belief and these thoughts in mind, the premise behind our work and initiatives such as Thinking, is to work with others to produce high-impact and profoundly different platforms, products and stories, that can help to shape and build what we think is one of the most exciting regions on earth.
Most Africans have been raised in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, Africa’s period of increasing positivity, and therefore - regardless of their socioeconomic condition - anticipate change and are ambitiously aiming to effect it.
‘Thinking’ seeks to change how Africa is perceived, by highlighting real innovation on the continent, and revealing the thoughts of those acting on the cross-section of technology, culture and impact.
“TINA festival will be the home of the now globally recognised Afrobeats sound, and contribute to changing how Africa is perceived by the global community.”
Director | Off Da Ground