It is very unfortunate that the world is still plagued with news and pictures that seem to depict a blood-thirsty and war-ravaged Africa. These stereotypes, that are constantly perpetuated by the popular mass and social media, are mainly about a conflict-ridden and politically unstable Africa, ruled by dictators and warlords.
While it is true that there are still a few territories with localised conflict zones, most of the 54 countries in Africa have become more stable and peaceful nowadays. Unfortunately, the depiction of bloodshed in Africa greatly influences investors’ perception, while giving the impression of an extremely high risk level over the whole continent. However, the truth of the matter is that the reality on the ground is not as extreme as often portrayed by these media.
Less armed conflicts and civil wars
Unlike during the post-colonial era of the 1960s and 70s, there are now less and less widespread civil wars, conflicts and social unrest in Africa. Although there is still civil war in Libya and South Sudan, as well as localised armed conflict zones, most of the continent has become more peaceful since the 1990s. Data from the Uppsala Conflict Data Programme, managed by the Swedish Uppsala University, as well as research from the Peace Research Institute Oslo and Oxford Research Group, all show that there is less conflict and death from wars in Africa.
Compared to Africa with its 1.2 billion people, the armed violence statistics in the US with a population of 323 million, show a stark difference. Unofficial statistics show that there is now a gun for every American in the US. According to the Gun Violence Archive, in 2016, there were 58,774 incidents of gun shooting with 45,691 people killed or injured in the US. Moreover, there were 383 incidents of mass shooting in 2016, increasing from 333 and 274 incidents in 2015 and 2014 respectively. This shows that the US is averaging about a mass shooting daily.