It was time Africa told its own story and the continent’s newest publication, African Independent, would assist in doing so, said Dr Iqbal Survé at Friday’s launch in Cape Town.
“We need to tell the stories of Africa’s potential and growth,” said Survé, Independent Media executive chairman. “It is time Africa told its own story.”
Addressing attendees at the breakfast launch, which included South Africa’s Minister of International Relations Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Survé detailed the journey to the first publication.
“Those involved must have thought I was never going to allow the launch of African Independent because of how I sent them back and forth,” he said. One of these was the newspaper’s first founding editor, Jovial Rantao.
Introducing his new “big, African baby”, Rantao called the launch an “extra special” day for Africans. “Today the journey to change Africa’s narrative begins,” he said.
Rantao thanked Survé for leading the African Independent team to launch. “Many African dreams fail because of a lack of support,” he said.
Rantao, president of The Africa Editors’ Forum and chairman of the Southern African Editors’ Forum, would head up the weekly publication, a 48-page tabloid which would provide deeper analysis of content delivered first on African Independent online. It would launch in 15 to 20 countries before being distributed in 40 African nations.
The publication had secured, before launch, 80 per cent of its advertising revenue for the first year. Survé said thanks to this, African Independent was ensured self-sustainability for its first year.
“Then in the second year, it will be profitable and in the third, super profitable,” said Survé, smiling broadly. Nkoana-Mashabane echoed Survé and Rantao’s words, saying now was the time for Africa to own its narrative.
She said the publication, like the African News Agency (ANA), should be relied on rather than foreign news sources. “We should not be waiting for the likes of AFP for news about our own country, our own continent,” she said.
Nkoana-Mashabane congratulated the Independent Media group adding that the African Independent’s journey would be easier as it did not have to “fight facts”.
“This is a welcome innovation for the country and the continent,” she said, “Africa’s time is now”.
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