Genocide. Starving babies. HIV/AIDS. These are the images of Africa all too prevalent in the Western media.

Photo: Stig Nygaard

As New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof wrote a few weeks ago:

“Mention Africa in polite company, and those around you may grimace, shake their heads sadly and profess sympathy. Oh, all those wars! Those diseases! Those dictators!”

But as Kristof went on to say, Africa is a lot more promising and hopeful than most Westerners acknowledge. And Africans themselves are working hard to use available technologies to get good news stories about their continent out to the rest of the world.

Take sisters Chioma and Oluchi Ogwuegbu, for instance. Chioma and Oluchi recently launched a website, Celebrate Africa, where they’re documenting their journey across the continent, a trip they’ve undertaken with the mission of “changing the negative image of Africa and encourag[ing] Africans and the world to begin to see the beauty in the continent, [as well as] promote a sense of identity and unity for Africa’s people.”

Chioma, who holds a law degree, designed and facilitated a leadership program for young women before deciding to undertake the trip around Africa. On the trip, she plans to volunteer at different non-profits, learning about local problems and solutions. Oluchi, who has a degree in economics, plans to videotape as much of their trip as possible, documenting the good news stories the sisters find along the way.

The sisters plan to visit 34 countries; so far, they have been to 14 countries, including Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. You can follow their trip by reading their blog.

Community Connection:

Planning your own trip around Africa? Be sure to touch base with Matador’s Africa destination experts.