JOHANNESBURG--Much of the data that is constantly pouring out of Africa tells a complicated, but hopeful, story. The continent, so long the stage for violence, corruption and misrule, now seems to be lurching towards a promising future.
A recent cover story in The Economist highlights some of these positive signs:
Over the past decade six of the world's ten fastest-growing countries were African. In eight of the past ten years, Africa has grown faster than East Asia, including Japan. Even allowing for the knock-on effect of the northern hemisphere's slowdown, the IMF expects Africa to grow by 6% this year and nearly 6% in 2012, about the same as Asia.
But interpreting the heaps of information making its way out of Africa's 55 countries can be difficult, and gleaning understanding of larger trends even harder. South African graphic designer Ivan Colic launched Afrographique nine months ago to help visualize this information. According to the site, Colic's aim is to make a "small contribution to assist the changing perception of Africa and its people."
His focus has ranged from his native South Africa to trends throughout Africa. Colic, who is part of advertising firm Ogilvy Zoom in Cape Town, has looked at everything from Facebook users by gender across the continent to the growing trade between Africa and China. The story that emerges from Colic's colorful and minimalist visualizations is of a place that is changing rapidly, partly because it has so much room to grow.
Images: Ivan Colic/Afrographique
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com