La diversidad de Africa

Cuando pensamos en "Africa", ¿qué imágenes nos vienen a la mente? Muchos se imaginan un continente plagado por la pobreza. la guerra, la desesperanza, la corrupción y el fracaso. Sin embargo, Africa es Marruecos, Sierra Leona y Sudáfrica; es Mozambique y Mali, Nelson Mandela y Charles Taylor. Los contrastes siempre parecen mayores que cualquier semejanza.

Por más fácil o conveniente que sea, no tiene sentido pensar en Africa como una unidad y no como un concepto económico, político o cultural. Las diferencias entre los países africanos son demasiado grandes. Incluso al interior de algunos países, Tanzania por ejemplo, donde la parte continental y la isla de Zanzíbar generalmente están de pleito, con frecuencia hay diferencias radicales de opinión y de forma de ver las cosas.

En Africa, es útil hablar de diversidad ya que, al buscar soluciones para los retos económicos a que se enfrentan los países del continente, es mucho más razonable pensar en términos de sus diversas regiones. Afortunadamente esto ya está sucediendo. En efecto, hay una serie de acciones prácticas interesantes en este sentido ya en marcha, aunque no todas siguen el curso regional original que fijaron sus fundadores.

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