“Africa: we need to make a difference in Norway. We need to collect our radiators, ship them over there, spread some warmth, spread some light, and spread some smiles. Say yes to Radi-aid.” – Breezy V
So says Breezy V, rapper, coordinator and spokesperson for Radi-aid, when presenting the new Christmas single for the Africa for Norway campaign – a new charitable initiative that shows that, after decades of receiving aid from Norway and the rest of Europe, Africans are now ready to repay the favour:
Except, of course, that this video should be taken with a huge pinch of salt…Click the ‘Why Africa for Norway?’ page and things become a little bit clearer:
Imagine if every person in Africa saw the “Africa for Norway” video and this was the only information they ever got about Norway. What would they think about Norway?
If we say Africa, what do you think about? Hunger, poverty, crime or AIDS? No wonder, because in fundraising campaigns and media that’s mainly what you hear about.
The pictures we usually see in fundraisers are of poor African children. Hunger and poverty is ugly, and it calls for action. But while these images can engage people in the short term, we are concerned that many people simply give up because it seems like nothing is getting better. Africa should not just be something that people either give to, or give up on.
The truth is that there are many positive developments in African countries, and we want these to become known. We need to change the simplistic explanations of problems in Africa. We need to educate ourselves on the complex issues and get more focus on how western countries have a negative impact on Africa’s development. If we want to address the problems the world is facing we need to do it based on knowledge and respect.
The Africa for Norway campaign is made by the Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund; the video is produced by iKind media.