In a taxi somewhere on the streets of West London the cab driver turned to me and said "What continent has got six of the fastest growing economies in the world?" "Well it's Asia isn't it!" I replied firmly. And there an awkward silence ensued... If I've learnt one thing as an actress over the years it's that there is more than one way to tell a story and this is no truer than when talking about Africa.
While the West has been trying to develop the right platforms and technology for mobile payments to work, and technology providers and operators have been battling for mobile payment supremacy, Kenya has gone straight from a barter/gift/debt economy to digital transaction - leapfrogging over the last 100 years of the West's progress in monetary transactions.
As representatives of the World Health Organization Member States arrive in Geneva this week for the 65th World Health Assembly, I feel a cautious optimism about the future, and the future health of Africa. With two female heads of state in Africa - Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Liberia and Joyce Banda in Malawi - women's health and gender equality are no longer marginalised, they have become central to a nation's potential for development and prosperity. National level attention to women's health and opportunity has become the standard against which our collective progress is judged.
Women in the developing world are 21% less likely than men to own a mobile, leaving an estimated 300 million excluded from the social and economic opportunities that owning one might bring. Closing this "mobile gender gap" doesn't just make sense for women - it's also an opportunity believed to be worth a staggering $13 billion to network operators annually.
A few years ago, malaria would have been a nurse's worst nightmare in Nyanza Province, Kenya. Outbreaks used to be common here. Now, as this year's rainy season begins, the health facility - which is supported by international medical charity Merlin - has only had two confirmed cases of malaria in the past week.
With a hunger crisis sweeping across the Sahel affecting eight African countries and putting the fragile existences of a million children in jeopardy now may seem a strange time to be talking about the remarkable progress for the world's poorest children that has been achieved over the past 20 years.
It is one of Africa's cruelest ironies that as the planting season begins, as it is now across much of the continent, so does the hunger season. The food stocks from the previous harvest are running low and it will be several months before the next harvest comes in. In this crisis, nearly one billion people go to bed hungry every night...
The British embassy in Mali has been closed as violence in the country threatens to spill out of control. Mali's under-fire military junta is comin...