But as more Africans start to use social media, it is playing an increasingly important role in allowing them to partake in conversations about their future, and to protest unfair representations.

To be sure, African countries face several challenges to democratization. Ethnic tensions continue to manifest in different forms. Corruption, nepotism, and electoral rigging still undermine Africa’s aspirations toward democratic governance. But Africa also faces other challenges, like heightened rural-to-urban migration, population growth, growing youth unemployment, increased demand for better education, and other opportunities. It is the convergence of these and many other factors that inform electoral tensions. That’s the kind of context we, as journalists, should be sensitive to. A little bit of humility and awareness of the intricate realities on the ground will help us avoid what Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie calls, “the danger of single story.”

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Mohammed Ademo is a journalist at Al Jazeera America. He's also the founder and editor of OPride.com, an independent news website about Ethiopia. He can be reached on Twitter @OPride.