The African

In The African one follows an African businessman who sets his sights on becoming president of an East African country. The film is expected to be completed by 2010. The project is led by Folke Rydén and Peter Löfgren who, together with Castro, made the prize winning documentary film Arafat – the Olive Branch and the Gun, among many other projects.

The goal of the project

The media image of Africans conveyed in the West is still one of helpless people. The future of the continent is often described as a hopeless one, anything but bright. This is an image which does not correspond at all with Castro’s experiences in the continent.

- There is an enormous power to be found in striving after change , says Castro, who often travels and visits various parts of Africa.

- It is the people who possess the power to determine their future. There are fantastic natural resources in many countries which unfortunately seldom ever fall to the advantage of the people. A democratisation of these countries would contribute greatly to improvements in health and an increased standard of living for the citizens , continues Castro.

In order to contribute in some manner to the future of the continent, Castro supports democratisation of African countries which have one-party systems and/or pure dictatorships. By producing the film entitled The African he hopes to contribute to a change in the Western-perspective on Africa, and to inspire people in African countries to the idea that it is worth fighting for a better future by peaceful means.

In the same manner in which Nelson Mandela inspired oppressed countries to rise up, Barack Hussein Obama is today an important example for millions of Africans, as well as for the presidential candidate who can be followed in the documentary entitled The African. This man comes from privileged circumstances and has previously been active as a finance man in Dubai and Europe, among other things. He has been interested in politics and in relieving the situation for the citizens of his motherland. During the autumn of 2008 he is invited to attend the inauguration of Obama in Washington. The ceremony and Obama inspire him to the extent that he now decides to invest everything in politics and the democratization of his own West African homeland. He says:

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Yes, we can! We Africans should not accept to be pictured like victims – we have the prime responsibility in our own hands! We have to fix it ourselves. No one else is going to fix it for us. And the funny thing is: what needs to be done is very simple. You do not require rocket science or someone to be particularly intelligent – you have to fix the basic things. First step: you tackle corruption. Second: you have to have a very strong legal system. And you have to invest in education and health – and let the people work. If people are healthy and educated and there is justice – the nation is going to grow, just like a tree. It’s a matter of leadership. If the leadership is clean, the rest will be clean. The times of corrupt dictatorships are over. A new era is dawning inAfrica.”

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