Newswise — New Brunswick, N.J. (Sept. 24, 2019) – Although there is work to be done to address systemic social issues, it is time to focus on positive stories and celebrate Africans who have overcome great adversity, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana said during the 2019 Chinua Achebe Leadershp Forum at Rutgers.  

“We still need to build roads, lower unemployment, educate the population and provide clean water, but I also want people to see the beauty Africa has to offer,” Akufo-Addo said during the event on Saturday hosted by the School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers Global and the Christie and Chinua Achebe Foundation.

While calling 2019 the “year of the return,” in which he invited people of the African diaspora to experience the continent firsthand, Akufo-Addo, on a visit to Rutgers University-New Brunswick, said discussions of Africa’s challenges must also challenge the Western world’s stereotypical image of Africa as a homogenous place of indistinguishable countries plagued by many problems.

“Africa has long (subjected to) the narrative that all countries within it are masked together, and not as a whole continent filled with many separate countries, each with a different identity,” Akufo-Addo said. “Throughout history in all cultures, the poor tended to be seen as a mass of people but rich are seen as individuals. Now is not a time to get angry at the images and videos of children in need in Africa. Now is a time to celebrate Africans who overcame great adversity.”

Read the full story on Rutgers Today.

Downloadable photos from the 2019 Chinua Achebe Leadership Forum are available at this link. Please credit Roy Groething: