Africa’s growing media space has presented a large investment opportunity which could generate revenue to boost the economy of the continent and also serve as a catalyst for the agenda to deal with negative narratives about the continent.
However, Africans are not stepping up enough to own their media space, take advantage of this opportunity by creating content to meet the emerging demand and also tell stories from their own perspectives.
Instead, Western investors have over the years taken interest in the sector, attempting to tell stories on behalf of Africa. Apart from the mainstream western media outlets such as the BBC, CNN, Standard and co creating their African subsidiaries such as the BBC Africa, CNN Africa etc, private investors from the West equally built multi-million media businesses across the continent.
Prominent among such growing western owned media is Genesis Media, a Ukrainian firm which owns influential proxy media pages, generating great traction in Africa. Genesis owns the likes of Legit.ng which operates from Nigeria, Yen.com which reports stories from Ghana, Tuko.co. ke which is based in Kenya, Briefly South Africa which focuses on news from South Africa among many others created in African countries.
These western media outlets employ the services of local recruits who are trained inline with editorial policies of the company to front the daily content space to establish local trust through familiarity. Stories are created based on their defined perspectives, generating millions of engagements translating into revenue which is drawn out of the continent all the time.
The success of these international platforms in Africa is a duty call to Africans to invest heavily in the media space, generate revenue to boost economic growth of the continent. Apart from the revenue aspect, narrative creation and perpetuation is an important reason for Africans to own and have control over their media space.
To be able to build a strong voice for the continent, its people and culture, there must be enough African media platforms telling stories from the African perspective to project the continent.