Much has been said about the international media’s reporting on Africa. Over the past years, broadcasters and journalists have been reproached for their afro-pessimism. On this very blog, last year, Richard Dowden addressed an open letter to John Humphreys, bemoaning that “British media’s news values did not include a mission to explain, to dig a little deeper.”Today, the ‘Africa Rising’ narrative is well anchored in journalism, to the point where some are questioning whether what is produced is an unrealistic depiction of the continent.
The question everyone was asking was whether and when Raila Odinga would show up. If he failed too then it was implicit the event would not lift off. For it was Raila who galvanised the crowds; it was he who showed up with throngs of young mainly Luo men willing to be on the frontline once the tear gas started being lobbed about.
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In the early 2000s, pharmaceutical companies were high on activists’ hit lists, prompted by Big Pharma’s ill-advised attempt to sue the South African government for patent infringement on HIV drugs; an attempt to deal with the country’s epidemic by allowing cheaper, generic copies to be sold. Today, the discourse seems merrier.