05/23/2012 12:56 pm ET Updated Jul 22, 2012

L'Uomo Vogue and Africa

The May issue of L'Uomo Vogue is entirely dedicated to Africa, a continent with great potentialities and a strong will to redeem itself.

"REBRANDING AFRICA" is the screamer on the cover.

What does it mean? It means that Africa is a continent that has countless assets, unexpected possibilities and most of all is a young continent with a strong desire to assert itself and give dignity to women and men in equal measure. A continent under construction that is constantly evolving and always trying to improve its life conditions. Africa needs to rebuild a new image, far removed from the one the media usually convey reporting on wars and famines that, although actually occurring, are not the only side to show.

We decided to underline the positive side of this young continent from all points of view that is showing the willingness to succeed in fields such as the textile and the oil industry, from agriculture to the growing of cotton, coffee, cocoa, to tourism and cinema, as shown by Nollywood in Nigeria that produces 200 films every year.

Education and health are the two main points the various governments are founding their battle on, building new schools, universities and well-equipped hospitals.

It's a new representation of Africa, the one portrayed by L'Uomo Vogue. Positive, creative and trusting its own assets: this is Africa evolving, that has already brought great changes. The whole issue is a string of portraits of local personalities: Presidents, first ladies, queens, but also artists, singers, musicians, actors, fashion designers, writers, models, always portrayed in a positive, joyful way.

They have all accepted to be featured in this issue because conveying a positive image of this continent means bringing everyone's attention on a world that so far has been "left out," with the exception of a few African countries that have become a tourist destination.

Conveying a new image is fundamental for Africa also to give hope to the young and to the people who are working hard on their homeland's economic growth. "Africa does not need charity. Africa needs investment and partnership. Joining forces with civil society and private sector, including non-traditional players, like the fashion industry, has become indispensable. Sustainable development is my top priority," stated UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

I am inviting you all to read this issue with such an attitude. Each one of us can support this continent without showing exaggerated pity, but believing in the resources of the young and also trying to consider their development and not only their difficulties. Young people represent Africa, and our duty is to support them.