Why is Africa poor? London

In this post Mark is taken by the many responses he’s receiving from you and speaks about blogging for the first time.

I’m finding this a bit weird. It’s the first time I’ve written a blog and its such a different sort of journalism from the style I’m used to.

It’s great to be interacting so directly and quickly with the audience, but who am I interacting with? In the past, in response to TV, radio or BBC Online pieces, people have of course written in with their comments.

My favourite comment was when I lived in Lagos, Nigeria and I was writing about trying to get to an appointment to play tennis with a friend. I got stuck in a massive “Go-Slow” as they call traffic jams in Nigeria and almost missed playing altogether. A kindly Nigerian lady – who gave her address and telephone number – wrote to wonder why on earth I had chosen to play at that particular club – and went on to name several Lagos clubs much nearer my point of departure which would welcome a visiting member!

But here on the blog I am looking at comments from people who I have no idea about. Some are even anonymous. Who are these people? Where are they?

Some admit to being in California or elsewhere; some say they are African. But Africans where? In the diaspora? On the continent? What is their motivation?

When interviewing people for radio or TV I like to look in their eyes – or smile, or look blank, as appropriate – to elicit comments or answers.

But right here, now – blogging – I only have my keyboard and my screen to look at.

Thank you for your comments anyway. I was really pleased to get them as I embark on a journey to ask “Why is Africa Poor”. But as I’m a novice at this blogging game I’m just not sure how to react.

Also, at the moment, I’m afraid I don’t have time.

I have risen very early on a Sunday morning to tap this out because it’s the last day in the UK for me before leaving for Liberia on a reporting trip for the series. And today I am taking my son to play football. So I hope you will forgive me if I read your comments in detail later.

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