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Nancy Kacungira: Change the narrative on Africa to a dialogue (Video)

Nancy Kacungira is a US State Department Professional Fellow, and the winner of the inaugural BBC World News Komla Award, Nancy began her media career as a radio presenter while still in University, working her way up from intern to Deputy Program Director by the time she received her first class degree. She then earned her Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies from the University of Leeds, where she graduated with distinction.

Nancy Kacungira was born in Tanzania to Ugandan parents and raised in Uganda. Kacungira has more than 14 years of experience working across a range of media in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. She spoke at a 2015 TEDx event in London.

“Africa Rising” is a moniker for the continent that has been in vogue recently. Africa has even been referred to recently as the “Hopeful Continent”. This is a welcome albeit simplistic change from references that had been used in the past for Africa, such as the “Hopeless Continent”.

Africa is a continent of 54 countries, over 2,000 languages, and over 3,000 ethnic groups. Africa’s landmass is significantly larger than that of India, China, North America, and Western Europe combined. Put differently …

Yet somehow, it makes sense in certain circles to sum up all of Africa with simple monikers.

Kacungira suggests that the best way to change simplistic narratives on Africa, in which Africans are “Subjects”, is for Africans to actively engage in a dialog on Africa. In driving such dialogs, Africans are “Protagonists”, she says.

“Who was consulted when the ‘Africa Rising’ narrative came up?” asks Nancy Kacungira. “Did you guys get a handout? Maybe you did. I could be wrong,” she jokes.

“What we need is not narratives. What we need is dialogs,”
Nancy Kacungira

The Conversation

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