World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Around the World in 60 Minutes: Africa

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

Around the World in 60 Minutes: Africa

“In the not so distant future, more people will be connected via mobile phone than have electricity at home,” says Trevor Ncube, Deputy Executive Chairman of the Mail & Guardian in South Africa.

Ncube reeled off a number of mobile-related figures that, he says, all point to opportunities for publishers, such as:

  • Africa is the second largest mobile market in the world;
  • The continent is undergoing a massive deployment of submarine fiber optic cables;
  • More than 735 million mobiles will be connected by the end of this year;
  • 84 percent of the population will be connected to mobile by 2015; and
  • There will be 230 million mobile broadband connections in 2015.

Underscoring all that is the fact that 40 percent of the African population is below 15 years of age.

“We have in Africa a very young population that is not falling in love with newspapers, but with their mobile phones,” Ncube said. “Our challenge is to deliver our content to them on those platforms and to figure out ways to monetise that. But I think we are coming at the right time, with the right audience, with the right products.”

Despite a number of lingering challenges (skill sets, finance, political threats, etc.) on the continent, Ncube pointed out a number of surprises worth highlighting, including the launch of numerous new titles, the mobile explosion, data journalism taking hold, and the actual development of apps in Africa, where 15 percent of the world’s apps are developed.


Dean Roper's picture

Dean Roper


2012-09-03 15:39

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