Let's contrast this to some other representations. First, I'll include this diagram from ChartsBin (click for an interactive version):
But -- perhaps that's the point. Africa is still the continent that we love to talk about in terms of sweeping generalizations that efface the substantial differences between its regions and nations, as many have pointed out. It is indeed the only continent that it's still acceptable to discuss in sweepingly generalized terms. While the G&M "special issue" on Africa might be well intentioned -- and I haven't read the print version, so won't venture a guess on that -- the basic effect of a diagram like this one is to reinforce the popularly imagined version of the continent as a unified, uniformly Othered place of disaster and suffering. There are major social justice and humanitarian issues to be considered in relation to the continent, and I'm willing to concede that many of those are out of proportion to what's experienced in the rest of the world. I object, however, to the Globe's sensationalized, uncritical depiction of the continent. If their goal was to explore a serious humanitarian issue with attention to economic, geopolitical, and cultural issues, they've failed. If their goal was to make Sub-Saharan Africa look like a pool of blood, however, I guess they've hit the mark.