Dayo Olopade The Bright Continent

ISBN 13: 9780544483996

The Bright Continent

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9780544483996: The Bright Continent
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“A hopeful narrative about a continent on the rise.” —New York Times Book Review

"For anyone who wants to understand how the African economy really works, The Bright Continent is a good place to start."
—Reuters

Dayo Olopade knew from personal experience that Western news reports on conflict, disease, and poverty obscure the true story of modern Africa. And so she crossed sub-Saharan Africa to document how ordinary people deal with their daily challenges. She found what cable news ignores: a continent of ambitious reformers and young social entrepreneurs, driven by kanju—creativity born of African difficulty. It’s a trait found in pioneers like Kenneth Nnebue, who turned cheap VHS tapes into the multimillion-dollar film industry Nollywood. Or Ushahidi, a technology collective that crowdsources citizen activism and disaster relief. A shining counterpoint to the conventional wisdom, The Bright Continent rewrites Africa’s challenges as opportunities to innovate, and celebrates a history of doing more with less as a powerful model for the rest of the world.

"[An] upbeat study of development in Africa...The book is written more in wonder at African ingenuity than in anger at foreign incomprehension." The New Yorker

 

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Book Description:

HMH Hardcover, 2014, previous ISBN 978-0-547-67831-3

From the Inside Flap:

The path to progress in Africa lies in the surprising and innovative solutions Africans are finding for themselves

Africa is a continent on the move. It’s often hard to notice, though—the Western focus on governance and foreign aid obscures the individual dynamism and informal social adaptation driving the last decade of African development. Dayo Olopade set out across sub-Saharan Africa to find out how ordinary people are dealing with the challenges they face every day. She discovered an unexpected Africa: resilient, joyful, and innovative, a continent of DIY changemakers and impassioned community leaders.

Everywhere Olopade went, she witnessed the specific creativity born from African difficulty—a trait she began calling kanju. It’s embodied by bootstrapping innovators like Kenneth Nnebue, who turned his low-budget, straight-to-VHS movies into a multi-million-dollar film industry known as Nollywood. Or Soyapi Mumba, who helped transform cast-off American computers into touchscreen databases that allow hospitals across Malawi to process patients in seconds. Or Ushahidi, the Kenyan technology collective that crowdsources citizen activism and disaster relief.

The Bright Continent calls for a necessary shift in our thinking about Africa. Olopade shows us that the increasingly globalized challenges Africa faces can and must be addressed with the tools Africans are already using to solve these problems themselves. Africa’s ability to do more with less—to transform bad aid and bad government into an opportunity to innovate—is a clear ray of hope amid the dire headlines, and a powerful model for the rest of the world.

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9780547678313: The Bright Continent: Breaking Rules and Making Change in Modern Africa

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ISBN 10:  0547678312 ISBN 13:  9780547678313
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014
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