All tagged Africa

Who's Responsible?

Much of the media frenzy surrounding the Ebola epidemic in West Africa has been a product of intense focus on the grotesque symptoms of the disease. The media has also fixated on the chaos that ensued in the most deeply affected countries. Reports have described hospitals overrun with Ebola patients, with other important aspects of medical caregiving such as maternal healthcare and AIDS treatment left unattended, and dead bodies abandoned out of fear of contamination in the streets of Freetown, Liberia. This coverage has unfortunately failed to call attention to the many factors that contributed to Ebola’s rapid spread, including the weak initial response to the disease.

China’s recent activity in Africa goes beyond the mere muscle-flexing and oil-grabbing tendencies of an emerging global power. In the last five years, media reports of China’s growing presence in Africa have increasingly reinforced and intensified Western fears of an unrestrainable imperialist state. Articles brandishing headlines such as “China’s Economic Invasion of Africa” and “Africa: China’s New Backyard” depict Africa as the victim of China’s rapacious neo-imperialism.

“I don’t drink Starbucks.” That used to be my mantra. They had destroyed Spinelli’s and were squeezing Martha’s, and I did not appreciate it. It wasn’t that I did not love their orange-mocha frappuccinos (I did), but I felt like buying their coffee would be an unforgivable breach of my ethical codes.