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  • Murphy Murphy '26

Silence in Africa: A Student Call to Action

 

Even though the world is more connected globally with the advancement of technology, it feels as if there should be equitable coverage globally as well. Logically, it is impossible to cover everywhere at once, but the same stories are being regurgitated, and it feels like only certain places in the world are being heard, leaving others in the dark.  

 

In 2005, Andrew Stroehlein of the International Crisis Group claimed that “News editors have long assumed ‘no one is interested in Africa,’ supposing their audience sees only hopeless African problems eternally defying solution and thus not worth attention.” He was referring to the ongoing conflict in the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo where 1,000 people were dying daily to hunger and disease caused by war.  

 

This statement led to questioning the lack of media coverage of the crises that take place in Africa. More specifically, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  

 

Now, almost two decades later in 2022, the Norwegian Refugee Council listed “the ten most neglected crises” that involved displaced groups of people facing adversity. On the list were the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, South Sudan, Chad, Mali, Sudan, Nigeria, Burundi, and Ethiopia. And again, in 2023, the Africa Center for Strategic Studies reported that “38 African countries are experiencing some level of acute food insecurity, roughly two-thirds of this threat is concentrated in five countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Sudan, Ethiopia, and South Sudan --- all of which are conflict-affected.” Within those countries, 149 million people experienced “acute” food insecurity, showing a 12 million increase from the previous year. This report left only 16 out of over 50 African countries not experiencing a level of acute food insecurity.  

 

To trace these tensions backward would require an intricate timeline analysis to understand which events caused conflict and food insecurity. With that in mind, and by listing a few points, Africa’s crises boil down to external turmoil that has often been met with a blind eye. For example, climate change, political instability, and displacement are catalysts for these issues. Historically speaking, it started with colonization and the scramble for African countries to utilize their resources for economic and political gain. Though the scramble for Africa started in the 1880s, the first European presence was by Portuguese people in the 1480s, showing colonizing forces many years before. Following the African Imperialism Era, the Post-WW2 Era brought a string of catastrophes. Then, a mixture of severe droughts and civil wars in the late 1900s contributed to a state of unrest in Africa, later having a snowball effect leading to catastrophes rolling over into the 21st century. 

 

So, with that, a conclusion is reached. 

 

With tensions on the rise, Africa needs attention and support more than ever. They need the same rapid support as the people in Ukraine, and they need people standing together against unjust circumstances like with the people in Palestine. They need attention from major media corporations to shed light on the tragedies affecting these people. A continent like Africa should be able to prosper from its own natural resources and they deserve the opportunity to live freely without fear.  

 

If you would like to contribute to raising awareness to aid the people of Africa, you can support the British Red Cross in their efforts to avert the crisis by donating to the Africa Food Crisis Appeal and sharing the resources on their site. Donating and volunteering with non-profit and non-governmental organizations focusing on projects that help African people get access to clean water and adequate food will help too. For example, The Water Project is a charity that provides access to clean water in Africa. Also, supporting local GLFx chapters in Africa provides help in working towards building sustainable landscapes. Educating yourself on the impact of coupes and Africa while attempting to hold them accountable for their injustice by spreading factual information will help the African countries facing violence. Holding the external influencers accountable for their implicit assistance in the demise of African people will support them as well.  

 

Finally, let's join forces on a global scale, standing together in unwavering solidarity with the African people, and extending a helping hand to support and uplift their nation. 




 

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