Africa has been changing fast over the past fifteen to twenty years. Both the growth performances and the international image of the continent went through surprising U-turns, from widespread stagnation and pessimism to unprecedented progress and new prospects. The turnaround of economic performances began as early as the mid-1990s and led to a number of sub-Saharan countries achieving record growth rates for the better part of the following decade. Economic recovery, in turn, fostered a dramatic improvement in the way the continent was perceived and represented by the international media, where talk of ‘Africa rising’ or ‘emerging Africa’ became gradually more frequent, stimulating a growing interest in the region. What was largely a neglected continent during the 1990s, from around 2000 became the terrain of a new scramble for positioning by advanced as well as emerging economies. China’s trade with the region, for example, went up almost twentyfold in little more than a decade, with Beijing becoming the continent’s main commercial partner. Meanwhile, the US had declared the region “a high priority” of “growing geo-strategic importance” and renewed its African aid, trade and military policies, culminating in an unprecedented US- Africa Leaders Summit held in Washington D.C. in 2014.