Africa 2013: Your questions to George Alagiah

George Alagiah
Image caption BBC correspondent and presenter, George Alagiah

As the Organisation of African Unity celebrates its 50th anniversary, the BBC is looking at the changes the continent has undergone over the past decades, with a series of reports on Africa in 2013.

Once known for coups, drought, starvation and brutal wars, Africa is rapidly changing. The size of its economy has more than tripled since 2000.

The BBC's George Alagiah travelled to Ghana and Ethiopia - two countries that are experiencing fast growing economies.

While in Addis Ababa, he answered your questions on the new Africa, in a Twitter Q&A.

Here is an edited version of the session - #AskBBCAlagiah - which was held on Tuesday 21 May 2013.

Question from @OverlandingWA: Do you get the impression that oil money coming to #Ghana is wisely spent? How about potential for tourism growth?

George answers: The revenues from oil are still relatively small and do not enough to crowd out the rest of the economy. #AskBBCAlagiah

continued: About tourism - growing up in Ghana, we had the beaches almost to ourselves. I'm sure there's huge potential. #AskBBCAlagiah

Question from Franklin Nelson, Cambridge, by email: How much journalistic freedom is there across Africa? #AskBBCAlagiah

George answers: Mixed picture. In Somalia dozens of radio stations, here in Ethiopia just a handful, journalists jailed. A long way to go. #AskBBCAlagiah

Question from @girleffect: #AskBBCAlagiah How has the African landscape changed for girls over the past 50 years? #Africa2013

George answers: I interviewed three young Ethiopian students yesterday and they were super confident. I think there's real change across #Africa2013

Question from @DanClarkeUK: #AskBBCAlagiah will Africa become the new sweatshop of the world, as India and China rise to developed economies?

George answers: That of course is the challenge for Africa's leaders. The people here are desperate for jobs so balance needs to be struck #AskBBCAlagiah

Question from @SObedih: #AskBBCAlagiah #africa2013 What role should the diaspora play in Africa's growth story?

George answers: They have a huge role to play. They bring money and skills. #AskBBCAlagiah #Africa2013

Question from ‏@emmavogelmann: #AskBBCAlagiah do you find the BBC partly responsible for the outdated portrayal of Africa in the media?

George answers: I think the African story itself has changed and we need to reflect it and keep coming back. #AskBBCAlagiah #Africa2013

Question from ‏@MattSharp20: Can international aid + charity take any of the credit for the improving African economy?#AskBBCAlagiah #Africa2013

George answers: I think it's fair to say aid has a mixed record. But we are now seeing change in British aid. #AskBBCAlagiah #Africa2013

Question from @TheLazyNative: What can Europe learn from regional cooperation in Africa? #AskBBCAlagiah #Africa2013

George answers: It's the other way round. Africa is learning the lesson from Europe on things like the single currency. #AskBBCAlagiah #Africa2013

Question from Kebba Touray by email: Why do African presidents have longer terms in office than people in other democratic countries? #AskBBCAlagiah

George answers: See where you're coming from. African leaders often say democracy is not about cut and paste models. #AskBBCAlagiah #Africa2013

Question from ‏@AwetYemane: Should Africa follow Chinese model of developmental state or American model of market liberalisation? #AskBBCAlagiah

George answers: I asked the same question to the Ethiopian PM. He was impressed by the Asian model. #AskBBCAlagiah #Africa2013

Question from Phil Thomas, Milwaukee by email: How can African countries make their rapid growth inclusive of the poorest? #AskBBCAlagiah

George answers: In Ghana hoping for trickle down from private sector boom. In Ethiopia, the PM says they've concentrated on agriculture #AskBBCAlagiah

Question from ‏@F_McCullough: Does South Africa's economy offer a lesson for the rest of the continent? #AskBBCAlagiah

George answers: Watch our #Africa2013 report from @BBCAndrewH on Wednesday. #AskBBCAlagiah

Question from ‏@AkuaBoats: #AskBBCAlagiah What is the biggest difference (positive or negative) between the Ghana you grew up in & Ghana today?

George answers: My sense is that the optimism I knew as a child is returning to Ghana. #AskBBCAlagiah #Africa2013

Question from ‏@MrrBrightsidee: Does the growth of Ethiopia make people optimistic for the future of neighbouring countries? #AskBBCAlagiah

George answers: The Horn of Africa has had a troubled history. Ethiopia's progress is certainly an example other countries should look at #AskBBCAlagiah

Question from Haji Bangura, London by email: When will African leaders consider the interest of their country first & end corruption? #AskBBCAlagiah

George answers: First, corruption not just an African disease. The cure is greater transparency. #AskBBCAlagiah #Africa2013

Question from ‏@fatmangh: #AskBBCAlagiah Has any country in the world developed or reached middle income status due to aid? #Africa2013

George answers: Aid can never be the total answer. It's what governments do with the money that counts. #AskBBCAlagiah #Africa2013

Question from Mr Chandra, Belgium by email: Africa's economy shows resilience, racism is being replaced by maturity & equality. Accurate? #AskBBCAlagiah

George answers: Careful not to generalise. Africa has 54 countries. There are still problems but it's turning the corner. #AskBBCAlagiah #Africa 2013

Question from ‏@nickjgmartin: Is China and its development having a positive or negative effect in Africa? #AskBBCAlagiah #Africa2013

George answers: Frankly all foreign governments have their own interests at heart. It's up to #Africa2013 to manage the relationship #AskBBCAlagiah

You can follow George on Twitter:

Twitter Q&A produced by Amber Dawson and Krassimira Twigg