By Leopold Munhende
SOUTH African President Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed The Africa Factbook as an earnest response to over 600 years of silence by Africans who have had to endure their stories being told by former oppressors.
Speaking on behalf of Ramaphosa, who is also the chairperson of the African Union (AU), at the launch of the book at the State House in Harare, Wednesday, South African Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mphakama Mbete said there was an urgent need to break negative myths associated with Africa that have for long been shared across the globe.
He said Africa has been fighting negative perceptions and a general view the continent was riddled with famine, wars, and no development.
“The Africa Factbook is a response to over 600 years of silence whilst others spoke on our behalf. As a result, there is a pervasive myth about Africa as a place of war, hunger, disease, of backwardness. It is presented as a continent without a history of its own and with few prospects for a prosperous and peaceful future,” Ramaphosa said.
“The Africa Factbook is, therefore, a corrective effort. There is so much potential and it must be harnessed by both Africa and friends of Africa. This must start by setting the record straight, by presenting the facts, as part of our efforts we need to present Africa as it is, as it was and how we wish it to be,” said Mbete.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa was guest of honour at the launch.