Too many of our images of Africa are derived from nature documentaries, fund-raising appeals and mission trips. In reality, Africa faces in acute forms the same problems that afflict pretty much every region these days. Most important: Individual and social creativity is zooming ahead. Governing institutions are failing to perform the basic, elementary tasks.
I’m delighted that the points I have been making—that the trajectory of sub-Saharan Africa is among the most vital stories of the 21st century, and that we had better complicate our analysis—have taken seed in the intellectual firmament of the NYT Op-ed page.
The trouble with these op-eds (I learned this recently) is that they are so short. They fly by night. They necessarily lack nuance. But as to the matter of African modernity, I think nuance is sorely needed—perhaps why I think a reported book is the proper medium for this discussion.