Simon Moss – Community education expert
I spend my time traveling around the country, traveling around the world, talking to people about the progress and challenges that the world faces, dealing with, what I say, is one of the biggest challenges to humanity. Which is the challenge that 1.3 billion people on our planet are struggling to get by.
Along the way, I’ve had hundreds of conversations with people, answered hundreds of questions. And today what I wanted to share with you were some of the misconceptions, some of the assumptions that I hear from people, and I wanted to try and challenge some of them, and I want to share with you some surprising facts, and insightful stories that, I think, mean that we can look at the issue of extreme poverty a little bit differently. I wanted to start with this myth, that many of us have heard, that Africa is poor.
First of all, I want to try and ask, “Where does that come from?” For generations, we have been brought up on photos, that look a little bit like this. We see them in the media, we see them in charity advertising. We have this sense that nothing ever changes, and that actually, Africa is a bit of a basket case.
Well, Africa’s actually 54 different countries. There’s a huge amount of diversity. And the time I’ve spent in Africa, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa, doesn’t look like this at all. It looks a lot more like this. Because Africa is a continent that is full of amazing people doing amazing things. And although we might not hear all of the story a lot of the time, we should actually be really impressed with the progress the Africans themselves are making. And be asking the question, “What can we do to get in behind and support?”