Africa, continent of light and bounty

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 15 May, 2009, 12:00am

Many people call Africa the 'dark continent'. Although I am not from Africa, and have never been there, I think this is doing an injustice to Africa.

Africa is a continent like any other and has more to give than a lot of other places. Africa is very fertile in some areas and some African nations export food to local and foreign countries.

Africa has many wonders, too. One example is the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, which has unique vegetation and lots of wildlife. Also, because the Cape of Good Hope lies between two major ocean currents, it means there is a huge diversity of marine life.

In addition, elsewhere in Africa are some of the animals we know and love the best - lions, elephants and giraffes. People pay a lot of money to go on safaris and see these magnificent animals in the wild.

I think Africa really has a lot more to offer than most people realise.

Ikra Gulzar, California School

From the Editor

Thanks for your letter, Ikra. The term 'dark continent' was coined by the Europeans who knew little about Africa at the time, but it has stuck. I do hope that you get to see Africa one day. It truly is a magnificent place. It's interesting that you mention the Cape of Good Hope, also known as the Fairest Cape. Did you know that there are so many different species of plants in that area that it rivals some of the lush rainforests for diversity?

Every place in the world has its good points and its bad points. It is quite silly to sweep aside an entire continent because of prejudice. While people do pay a lot of money to go on safaris to see wild animals, there are many other attractions on the continent. Some scientists believe it is where mankind was born, so in a way it really is the ancestral home of everyone.

Susan, Editor