On Africa 2.0

By | June 23, 2011

Tolu Ogunlesi at 3 Quarks Daily:

In my mind I see Africa 2.0 as a giant construction site. So much is going on simultaneously: sketching, assembling, pulling down, and dredging; and arguments and debates, some threatening to turn violent. Architectural plans are emerging and disappearing and changing as construction is going on, and accidents happen every now and then.

But much as it looks like the tower of Babel, it isn’t. While there remain different languages – literal (linguistic), legal, ideological – there’s also the unifying ‘pidgin’ of hope, enthusiasm and hitherto-unseen opportunity – and technology is playing an important role in translating differences across borders and barriers.

There is no clear picture yet of what Africa 2.0 will look like, or when it will lose that frenzied construction-site feel, but if you look closely enough you will see the new patterns and narratives slowly but confidently imposing themselves on the old.