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Uomo Vogue : “Rebranding Africa” – A new representation of Africa

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Uomo Vogue : “Rebranding Africa” – A new representation of Africa

 

“In the last 10 years, African economies grew at twice the pace that they did in the 1980s and 1990s. And growth in Africa is expected to almost double this year. Of course, there are problems: chronic unemployment, poverty, disease. Yet, investing in Africa will ensure that its talents will remain in Africa and will contribute to the growth of their own country”

Ban Ki-Moon.

“An issue dedicated to Africa to show how this continent is moving and developing while trying to get out of a difficult situation of poverty and illness. We’ve photographed influential personalities such as Presidents, First Ladies, and Queens, but also artists, writers, musicians, designers and models: they are the evidence that Africa is developing and progressing continuously and that only showing its positive side we can change the perception of collective imageries and make it attractive for the production not only of fuel but also of fashion, cinema and tourism. Rebranding Africa is important for the future of this continent and for the millions of young people that live in it.”

Uomo Vogue – May 2012

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The May issue of L’Uomo Vogue is entirely dedicated to Africa.
According to the press release, “L’Uomo Vogue decided to underline the positive side of the African continent from all points of view that is showing the willingness to succeed in fields such as the textile and the oil industry, from agriculture to the growing of cotton, coffee, cocoa, to tourism and cinema, as shown by Nollywood in Nigeria that produces 200 films every year. Education and health are the two main points the various governments are founding their battle on, building new schools, universities and well-equipped hospitals.
It’s a new representation of Africa – positive, creative and trusting its own assets: this is Africa evolving, that has already brought great changes.The whole issue is a string of portraits of local personalities: Presidents, First Ladies, Queens, but also artists, singers, musicians, actors, fashion designers, writers, models, always portrayed in a positive, joyful way. They have all accepted to be featured in this issue because conveying a positive image of this Continent means bringing everyone’s attention on a world that so far has been “left out”, with the exception of a few African countries that have become a tourist destination.
Conveying a new image is fundamental for Africa also to give hope to the young and to the people who are working hard on their homeland’s economic growth. “Africa does not need charity. Africa needs investment and partnership. Joining forces with civil society and private sector, including non-traditional players, like the fashion industry, has become indispensable. Sustainable development is my top priority“, stated UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon who appears on the cover. Other spotlights include multi-platinum award winning South African vocalist Lira who has already achieved mass success in her homeland and is ready to be introduced to the international market.”
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L’Uomo, is completely dedicated to Africa and its rebirth in areas such as the textile and oil industries, agriculture, tourism, fashion, and even cinema, with a focus on Nollywood and the 200 films that are produced in Nigeria every year.
In contrast to the images of poor, downtrodden African people constantly shown in the media, this issue features portraits of Presidents, First Ladies, Queens, artists, singers and musicians like multi-platinum award winning South African vocalist Lira, actors such as Ghanian soap opera star John Dumelo, writers, models and Nigeria’s most famous fashion designer, Duro Oluwu, who have been left out of the international playing field but are making strides on their own. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who appears on the cover of the magazine, sums up the continent’s plight best when he says:
“Africa does not need charity. Africa needs investment and partnership. Joining forces with civil society and private sector, including non-traditional players, like the fashion industry, has become indispensable. Sustainable development is my top priority.”
As more people look to the continent for inspiration in fashion and other areas those partnerships ought to blossom and the country can come out from under the dark cloud that’s hovered over it for too long.

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Didier Drogba in Uomo Vogue

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