12 November 2012

What it Takes to be an Africa Expert

It is becoming just as popular to write satirical pieces about Africa as it is to be what the pieces of satire are criticizing. Duncan Clarke writes in the Guardian Africa network about how to be an expert on Africa and includes a few zingers. He does a pretty good job of including just about everyone who says anything about Africa in his piece.
Remember, Africans are "entrepreneurial" (you saw that in three places on your 10-day tour de l'Afrique). They would be more so but for colonialism, imperialism, francafrique (add Eurafrique), "unequal exchange", foreigners (except Chinese), apartheid, prejudice against the "global south", or other harbingers of disadvantage and victimology like anthropogenic climate change (admittedly difficult to predict, just like Africa or the weather).
"Africans" should always be seen to prefer "African solutions" (and you too) even where no one knows what these might be. Speak "of them and to them" so they know they "exist", alike vague socio-anthropological entities, notwithstanding a couple of thousand languages, 55 "nation states" in balkanising evolution, hundreds of fragile borders, multiple power-brokers, and an unfathomable mix of ethno-linguistic societies and competitive entities seeking survival under Africa's sun.
Read the whole thing here to get the proper context.