Dayo Olopade

The Bright Continent

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“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 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
“A hopeful narrative about a continent on the rise.” —The New York Times Book Review
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392 printed pages
Original publication
2014

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