Issues in Brief, No. 13, March 2010

Pardee IIB 013 coverEnvisioning Africa’s Future: A Story of Changing Perceptions
By Julius Gatune Kariuki

March 2010 (8 pages)
Download PDF

Perceptions about Africa will continue to influence how its future is viewed and thus shaped. The year 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of “The Year of Africa,” and as we anticipate how Africa will develop over the next 50 years, it is important to understand how perceptions of the continent have evolved in the past. This paper explores how the changing image of AFrica has influenced the thinking about its future prospects since the 1960s, and how current perceptions may influence its future development.

Julius Gatune Kariuki, a native of Kenya, is a 2010 Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Frederick S. Pardee Center at Boston University. He is also a Fellow at the African Centre for Economic Transformation in Ghana.

This paper is part of the Africa 2060 Project, a Pardee Center program of research, publications, and symposia exploring African futures in various aspects related to development on continental and regional scales. For more information, visit