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For whatever reason, Africa seems to be the one place in fiction that never gets better as time goes on. On occasion, fiction decides to shake things up. Africa doesn't necessarily get better, but it catches up technologically. What happens to places as bad as third-world Africa with an advancement in technology but no reduction in widespread poverty?

Cyberpunk, and lots of it. At best, Post-Cyberpunk. The reason for its use is likely due to Cyberpunk's hyper-cynical, hyper-Social Darwinist themes making the idea a Discredited Trope when it's set in any other part of the world. Another common reason is Africa being an ideal place geographically to build a Space Elevator. Despite this application of the setting, and probably due to the stereotypes of Africa's climate, Cyberpunk with a Chance of Rain is not so common with this trope.


  • Wakanda, home of the Black Panther.
  • Elephantmen: The eponymous Elephantmen were created and trained by MAPPO at a huge lab/base somewhere in Northern Africa.
  • The Pan-African Judges comics set in the Judge Dredd universe.

  • The Ear, the Eye and the Arm takes place in Zimbabwe, in the year 2194.
  • In Otherland the Post-Cyberpunk applies to everywhere in the world, but notable is that Renie and !Xabbu are from Durban, South Africa.
  • Jon Courtenay Grimwood's Ashraf Bey books are set in an alternate universe North Africa. As cyberpunk as it gets.
  • The Watekni subculture in a Twenty Minutes into the Future Kenya in Ian Mc Donald's Chaga.
  • Zoo City is a Cyberpunk novel with fantasy elements set in South Africa. It has an endorsement from William Gibson himself and has the same kind of grey market protagonist that Gibson's novels favor.
    • Averted in some respects though, as Africa outside of the slums seems to be doing better, and the series is set in an Alternate Universe after the 90's, the story taking place around 2010.
  • Nero Manson's novel Sex Drugs And Violence In The Future portrays Africa as a nightmarish hell hole where rape and child soldiers are commonplace.
  • Alastair Reynolds's novel Blue Remembered Earth is a subversion. While not everything is perfect in the African countries, they've become new economic and technological powers and the overall tone is quite optimistic. A Post-Cyberpunk sensibility is present, but it's mostly set dressing.
  • Most of Nnedi Okorafor's books take place in a technologically updated future or alternate universe Africa that is also a Magical Land. Some examples are Zahrah the Windseeker, The Shadow Speaker, and Who Fears Death.
  • Averted in Raphael Carter's The Fortunate Fall, a Post-Cyberpunk novel set in a 24th century where everywhere but Africa is a third-world crapsack. Africa, on the other hand, is the hypertechnological promised land where, in an inversion of the "one drop" rule, only those who prove via blood test to have African ancestry are allowed entry. And did we mention the possibly real/possibly cyber versions of the Egyptian gods?

Live-Action TV

Tabletop Games
  • The Trinity roleplaying game subverts this; Africa is a leading force in 22nd century Earth, though not without its problems. It helps that Africa managed to avoid the worst damage of the Aberrant War, and the more modern Europe and North America got hit hard.
  • Transhuman Space has a lot of preppy Post-Cyberpunk, but one of the biggest themes is that the degree of penetration is horribly uneven and the full benefits of the Fifth Wave of technological advancement are only available to the richest parts of the world. Africa is not one of the richest parts of the world, and it's straight cyberpunk if you're lucky.

Video Games
  • Halo 2, where New Mombasa in Kenya is a high tech city and spaceport. At least when the game begins, before there's lots of Stuff Blowing Up...
  • One of the campaigns of Empire Earth 2: The Art of Supremacy takes place during the "Synthetic Age" (202X-204X) (featuring things like nanotech enhanced soldiers and giant mecha) in Africa, and deals with the poor native taking up arms against the exploitative megacorps. It ends with Africa becoming a technologically advanced world superpower.

Real Life
  • Social media was used during the 2011-2012 Egyptian revolution, as well as many other countries that were part of the Arab Spring. As one activist put it "We use Facebook to schedule the protests, Twitter to coordinate, and YouTube to tell the world." Looks like this trope might be becoming a reality.
    • Critics of the above take the alternative view that the online use of websites was mostly incidental to traditional movements, in response to many media outlets implying the revolution was driven by social media.

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