Afro-Optimism, n.f

State of absolute conviction that a bright future lies ahead for the African continent, and that we (the sons and daughters of the continent) will be the crafters of such a future.

Afrooptimism is a communal space where young Africans, from all walks of life and professions, can gather to discuss their common future and do something about it.

This community welcomes all strands and shades of optimists –the drunken idealists, the mere believers, the inveterate faithfuls, the realistic optimists—this community welcomes you all. It only shuts its gates upon the pessimists. Those have no place in this forum.

The goal: Centralize all the creative talents that Africa’s new generation has to offer and put them to good use. Unleash them as a force for good on the continent.

Our outlook: Development of the continent will have to come by the hands of Africans- the new generation of engineers, doctors, lawyers, who all, fully conscious and accepting of their pivotal role in the continent’s advancement, will put their skills and talents to the common purpose of creating prosperity and eradicating poverty across the continent.

Three guiding principles drive this movement:

1) Community-based action focused on results (sustainable ones): “deep roots, outstretched arms” principle.

Soon we will be posting pictures and details on projects that young Africans are turning into reality in their countries, all across the continent, to change mentalities and effect change, one school, company, orphanage and person at a time…

“Ce qui permet au baobab d’avoir ses bras tendus grands ouverts vers l’exterieur, c’est d’avoir ses racines solidement encrees dans le sol” (Leopold Sedar Senghor)

2) 53 countries, but 1 continent: Across borders, we share similar challenges. Collective action is a pre-requisite to enacting any type of meaningful change . We all are confronted with the challenges of debilitated societies, stuck somewhere between tradition and modernity, and lifeless structures. We all have to redefine the core of our identity, based on the many legacies we were left to contend with (traditional, Arab, Christiano-western)

How we define who we are and which activities we consciously decide to engage in or support will determine the course of Africa’s development

“The time has come to build an integrated Africa, a prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena”(African Union opening statement)

3) A holistic view of Development: from of our sectorial trenches, we need to look at the big picture. Africa’s development is a multi-front war. There is so much to be done, all talents and skills are needed.

Young Africans at home and abroad: Let us show what an army of Afro-optimists can achieve when they put their minds to it…

What this movement is:

A constellation of high-performers: driven to achieve the goal of social, economic, cultural and political advancement of Africa.

26 Responses to “About”

  1. I recently learned of a Ghanaian maxim that translates; “If there’s a crying baby in church, then it needs to be carried out!” It is quite suiting for “Afro-optimism’s” official launch.

    For years, we’ve been simmering with ideas and sitting on a vault of experiences but reined ourselves in by sharing only during the occasional chat. With this space however, the Afro-optimist council will now be truly global.

    Finally, the crying baby has been carried out!

    Thanks for officially getting this ball rolling.

    • Thank you, Sheila. I could not have said it any better myself. Welcome aboard! Let us only hope the crying baby grows into a significant movement that will make the difference.

  2. And it will grown into a significant movement. There are lots of interested people from the diaspora ready to come back to the continent and take charge of our future instead of looking to others for help. Let the REVOLUTION begin!

  3. This blog is a true treasure. This is what Africa is all about. COMMUNITY!!!! Afrooptism, keep up the good job. I think that we, as the current generation have been put in a strategic position. The direction of our continent not only lies within our minds, our hearts, but also in our actions. We must learn the lessons of the past and be open to the endless possibilities of the future, keep hope alive. Like Ms. Gnagno said, the REVOLUTION has already begun.

  4. This is a movement that WILL bear much fruit for generations to come. I applaud your efforts 🙂

  5. Brava Chica, we can do it!

  6. Wooohoo!! The official launch! Felicitation cherie, looking forward to more! Plus, I love the music 😉

  7. “There is nothing basically wrong with the Nigerian character. There is nothing wrong with the Nigerian land or climate or water or air or anything else. The Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability to rise to the responsibility…of true leadership” Chinua Achebe
    Although this quote is about Nigeria,I believe that it applies to all african countries and suits well the ideas behind this movement. Congratulations on launching the blog

  8. this is a very good initiative.i think what africa needs badly is a change of mentality;abstain from egoitism and jealousy.this will greatly influence africa’s progress.if africa could use her own science(witchcraft)as the whiteman uses his to help his nation and no to bring down each other as we do;our own technology would be far advanced by now.

    • Dear Khan, thank you for your contribution. I completely agree with the general thesis of your argument: Africa indeed has a lot within herself (her culture, her values, the inventiveness and ingenuity of her people, and most of all, her resilience) that it can harness and unleash as a force to be reckoned with in the world. Point well taken.
      But my question to you is this: you really believe using witchcraft present in each of our societies can get us moving forward? how so?? are you being preposterous in suggesting this?
      I’ve always viewed witchcraft as a negative force keeping our societies shackled. I’d like to hear what you have to say to this though.
      Again keeping in mind that there is no right answer here and we’re all just brainstorming.
      Thank you again so much for taking the time to think out loud with other Afrooptimists!


  9. salut à tous l’Afrique c’est aussi la francophonie c’est un plaisir de voir des jeunes se souciaient du futur de leur continent moi je suis persuadé que demain c’est nous et personne ne va développer le continent à notre place
    tenons bon l’avenir nous appartient vive l’Afrique

    • Merci babacar! Il est important de rappeler la francophonie, pour le meilleur ou pour le pire, est l’un de nos multiples legs de notre histoire. Faisons-en notre force!


  11. People of the Diaspora are in much need of optimism! We have a strong history, let’s use it to ensure a strong future! I had the profound pleasure of meeting Dr. Diop when he visited Morehouse College during a scholarly seminar on Pre-Egyptian Civilizations. He visited Spelman College where I was working as a writer/photographer, and I have a wonderful photo of him that I cherish. Thanks for this site!

  12. Angie: You are blessed indeed to have met the man in person in his living. We today can only honor his memory, and gather the power and courage needed to break the status quo and turn the ideals he incarnated so deeply (dignity, excellence and recognition for the African people) into reality. Thanks much for your comment and contribution to the site. Let us jointly, in our individual lives and ways, keep the afrooptimism alive!

  13. I love this, am an afro-opti

  14. Greeting and love the blog. I will add a link to your blog on my blog.

  15. Je suis très content du lancement de site qui peut permettre aux Africains de tous regarder vers la même direction. une direction autre que celle proposée dans la période afro pessimiste qui vient de s’achever. c’est réellement, ainsi que le disent fort bien Jean-Michel Severino et Olivier Ray, Le temps de l’Afrique. Après avoir longtemps nourri les autres continents du globe terrestre il est temps que l’Afrique se nourrisse elle-même. Qu’elle cesse d’être comme “une cicatrice sur la conscience du monde” ainsi que le disait Tony Blair.

  16. I command anyone that sees and act on the beauty of our African people. I command those young people in Senegal that had the courage to stand and remind the leaders and people peace and love reside in Senegal. Dismissing the old ways of divisive nature and walk and stand for a better future.
    “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”
    Mahatma Gandhi

  17. The time is here. I think the question about rebuilding our continent has never been about the will or “lack of” but rather “how”? How do we go forward? Every avenue seems promising but most seem to deliver the same meagre results. So what is the key we are all missing to accelerate our growth?!

  18. We must not loose hope as the African continent: evrything is possible trough determination.This is good because united we stand and divided we fall,to all fellow Africans the african future depends;so we must start to do something positive today in order to pave our future ahead.

  19. thanks wishing my self a good luck

  20. Paint me inveterate-faithful-drunken-idealist.

  21. When you have been last, the only place you can go is forward, as Africans we have tasted being last, poverty, hunger and disease. We are the only continent that cannot have backward strides, the only place to go from here is forward, and here we go

  22. We can start the change by beginning to like our African-ness. It is hatred of African-ness that makes us kill our own kind and feel that non-Africans are superior in intellect, creativity, governance and beauty.

    Let our women stop wearing foreign hair on their heads, ie weave-ons. Let’s begin to like our natural hair, how GOD created us. We can have afros, braids, sisterlocks, two-strand twists, various locks. Just do the research on natural hair styles.

    Also, let’s start wearing African attire especially in summer months. If you live in warmer climes, wear them more often. African attire is also for our African brethren of the USA, Canada, Brazil, Columbia, Caribbean etc. If you all can wear European attire without being European, why are you ashamed of wearing African clothes? Let our children and young people wear such attire too.

    Finally (for now), let’s spend our money within our community. Other communities never buy from us so why do we give them everything we earn? Let’s stop being lazy and search for African-owned stores and support them. Copy the link below to the Black Wallstreet (also called Little Africa) to see what our people are capable of if united.

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