21st century Africa is a continent on the move. Dynamic, youthful, and optimistic, this region of 54 vastly diverse countries, peoples and cultures is undergoing rapid growth and profound transformation. African innovation, entrepreneurialism, music, fashion, art and a new generation of African creative talent, innovators and business leaders are increasingly making their mark on the world stage. And yet, the progress and opportunity emerging from Africa remain a story largely unknown to many outside the continent. Africa is all too frequently viewed as the sum of its problems and through the prism of a single Africa narrative in which images of poverty, disease, famine, corruption, armed conflict, and genocide remain entrenched in the global consciousness.
The Africa Narrative was established to help shift the global mindset closer to the African reality, recognizing that the more the world understands and knows the region, the more everyone stands to gain from richer social, cultural, and economic ties. Central to its mission, The Africa Narrative seeks to gain a deep understanding of the impact of media and entertainment in shaping perceptions and opinions of the continent and to develop a richer telling of Africa’s story.
The Africa Narrative is a global initiative harnessing the power of the arts, media, entertainment, business, education, and philanthropy to engage the world in new stories of Africa. The initiative is based at the USC Annenberg Lear Center's Media Impact Project, in partnership with CrissCrossGlobal, an international communications consultancy. The Africa Narrative will broaden awareness of the region and its 54 nations through research, communications campaigns, and collaborations with partners from Africa, the US and around the world. Africa in the Media is the initiative's inaugural research project, with an initial focus on measuring US media depictions of the continent and their impact on US attitudes and engagement with the region.