This week, African news and content website, 'This is Africa', launches a brand new site, featuring content in both English and French.
This is Africa is an online forum for Africans, by Africans, reflecting upon and engaging with the identity, heritage as well as the continent’s political, economic and cultural position in a globalised world. This site has a range of contributors from across the continent.
“Our content is about Africa, written by Africans. It is information for a global audience written by journalists from across the continent. Our contributors are inspired and passionate – they are opinion-makers, they document the stories, cultures, traditions and conditions of Africa. Together they ensure that the voice of This is Africa rings strong and clear. Through them we are giving the continent a voice, one which is Africa’s very own,” says TIA operations director, Nancy A. Onyango.
The African population is growing rapidly, with no sign of slowing down over the next decade. With 62% of the population – more than 600 million people – under the age of 25. With this in mind, it is imperative that Africa guide the talent and vitality of its youth to create significantly higher levels of prosperity and equality, in order to avoid the latent risks of high unemployment and social instability.
Today’s young Africans are part of a ground-breaking generation, a generation that is the most globally connected ever to have lived on the continent. Hence the importance of African-owned media spaces, for Africans by Africans, that reflect not only the paradigms, but the paradigm shifts of its diverse population, Onyango says.
According to Nielsen’s Africa Prospects Indicators (APi) report, 40% of consumers now access the internet using their mobile devices - with this as high as 70% in Kenya and Zimbabwe, 67% in Ghana and 65% in Nigeria.
By 2025 half of sub-Saharan Africa’s billion strong population will have internet access, with 360 million via smartphones. Through this burgeoning connectivity, Africans have increasingly more access to information, which is creating huge opportunities.
“We are witnessing the explosion of entrepreneurial and creative endeavour, the mass urbanisation of the under-30s and the enormous desire for information, which are all extremely positive conditions for shaping a better future,” outlines Natascha Jacobsz, project manager from RNW Media.
“We believe informed people are better equipped for shaping a better future and, therefore, it is imperative that we help them get access to the information they need and the conversations they care about. We’re proud to support TIA and are particularly thrilled with the launch of the bilingual website as it will help build the This is Africa brand and expand its reach and impact even further,” continues Jacobsz.
The aim of This is Africa is to provide contextually rooted content that is original in the form of opinion and lifestyle-focused multimedia pieces that include articles, videos, cartoons and picture essays. The themes are relevant to its readers, such as identity, sex and reproductive health rights, arts and culture, transitional democracies, anti-radicalisation, migration, business and innovation, and events.
The TIA launch was supported by RNW Media, Netherlands Embassy Nairobi, Trace TV East Africa, Ghetto Radio, HEVA Fund, KikoRomeo and Africa Media Initative.