Why African Wars Get Much Less Global Coverage

Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine has consistently grabbed headlines around the world, with the media closely following developments in one of the most visible wars in the modern world. It is nearly impossible to avoid updates on social media, newsletters and the front pages of newspapers on the Ukrainian crisis, which begs the question: why do African wars never benefit from this type of coverage?

Global interest

The breadth of coverage of conflicts around the world comes down to the interest they generate. The media are the primary drivers of what people see, hear and speak. A war, involving one of the strongest and oldest countries (Russia) and a major global player (Ukraine), is more likely to garner as much attention as a small, poor country in Africa. The more power a country has, the more attention it attracts.

Interest in international business is often correlated with economic, social, cultural, political, geographic and access proximity. People react more to what they identify with, which affects media coverage. A quote from Virgil Hawkins summarizes this notion well: “Wars in Africa are of little interest to the West because they concern people who are too distant, too different, living in countries which are not ‘important’ enough. »

There is a stark difference between the influx of reporting on European conflicts and African conflicts, such as the civil war in South Sudan which lasted seven years and only ended in 2020, causing the death of more than of 400,000 people in 2018. The worst thing is that there will be wars within a war in Africa, so the devastation is much more striking, and yet the global reactions will minimize this event or not won’t recognize it at all.

Political significance

Political power plays an important role in the attention paid to a country. Powerful nations like the US, UK, China, Russia and many more are more likely to make headlines on a large scale, solely because they wield more power than smaller countries in power. development. These African countries are seen as weak and useless globally. Unless directly affected militarily, financially or politically, the West and Europe pay less attention to ongoing African wars.

Racism

Unfortunately, much of the way the world works will always be rooted in racism. European and Western broadcasters have always racially discriminated against those who are closer to the white race. In his article for the BBC, Maher Mazahi underlines a reality that we are all told is false, but that we are constantly proven wrong: “We are all equal, but some are more equal than others”. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has highlighted how European powers can come together and help each other collectively in times of crisis. However, conflicts among black people tend to lead to the suspension of aid from large entities like the World Bank and the United States. However, these African countries often depend heavily on it. While it is understandable that stopping a nuclear war is a high priority situation, it is hard to ignore that Africa never enjoys the same urgency, regardless of the level of devastation.

In conclusion, it is legitimate to ask these questions. Why is Africa always left behind. The world may have ‘changed’ on paper and in some ways, but fundamentally Africa remains the worst treated continent despite all it offers.

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