Category Archives: Africa media

The internet in South Africa: A tale of woe and hope

The tale of doom and gloom about the uncompetitive South African telecoms market is all too familiar. It’s kept a stranglehold on internet growth in this country, meaning the country has performed way below its potential in this sphere in comparison to the rest of the world. Arguably we are now moving in the right […]

Major int'l media conference coming to town

The World Association of Newspapers comes to town in June. The town I am referring to is Cape Town. The 2006 conference was in Moscow and included speakers such as Jimmy Wales and top speakers from Google, New York Times… you name it they were there. Despite the event’s name, its not only newspaper-focused. There […]

50m bloggers, 6bn people — but who gets to speak?

Ethan Zuckerman, the founder of Tripod and activist site Global Voices Online, emphasised just how difficult it is to get news about Africa, especially online. If there is news, its the usual fare of famine and disaster. I blogged about this in a rather depressing post called “Africa: Giraffes, war, famine, blah blah blah”, and […]

Coolest gig of the month

Went to the first ever Creative Commons Salon in Johannesburg, Melville, organised by Heather Ford and co. For the Creative Commons movement, the ‘remix’ has become one of the most powerful tools of the digital age. But they say the legal barriers to taking an established image or concept and mixing it up for a fresh take […]

Internet audience in South Africa growing

        Another of our OPA press releases, seen on a dead tree. 

Believe in the Berliner

Now the NY Times is a great newspaper. For buck a day (I’m talkin’ like a New Yorker now) its awesome value and i’ve bought it every day while here. It’s in the Berliner format — and it is by far the dominant newspaper here. SA’s broadasheets should consider converting — a broadsheet is just […]

On my way to New York

At the airport about to take off for our flight to New York. Am going to the US to participate in the Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Programme where I will be on a panel talking about new media and online journalism and how the discipline of journalism is changing in general as the digital age […]

The foreign press: Stop patronising Africa

A while back at the We Media conference in London, I became irritated at what I saw was the stereotyping and patronising of Africa. It is often unwitting and borne largely out of ignorance of this continent, with knowledge based on what is seen in the (generally negative) news and the movies. I had something […]

Full speech on media portrayal of Africa by SA deputy pres

Editors and their different media play a crucial role in ensuring success or failure in Africa’s quest to hold the world stage. There is, of course, enough competing news around these days to exert heavy centrifugal pressure away from Africa yet. I would still argue that we deserve and even demand attention for Africa…..

Internet useage in Africa: Top countries

It’s time to wake up, Telkom.

Here are the top ranking internet countries in Africa by internet hosts. I got this from Arthur Goldstuck’s comprehensive report, which you can get on his website.

Shows that, as a continent, we have a lot to catch up still. Thankfully the consensus is that South Africa is now set for more expansion, although expensive telecoms are still holding us back. A new challenger to the fixed line monopoly Telkom has been licensed but that is going to take a while to get up and ready and competitive. Broadband is beginning to make an impact here — but again it is expensive (thanks Telkom and cellphone companies).

At one stage South Africa was ranked 11th in the world, but we lost ground as a result of the cost of internet here which ranks among the highest in the world — it’s a wonder that South Africa, despite this, is still by far the top internet country in Africa.

Hopefully Telkom and the cellphone companies will wake up and realise how important ICT is for development of this country. They hopefully will realise that they can make profits without profiteering. South African cell companies (along with our banks who have amongst the highest charges in the world) rank among the most profitable in the world and appear to have so much excess cash that they are aggressive multinationals, moving into countries all over Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere. It’s great for the country, but what about the South African consumer and economy. Give us a break.

Top African internet countries (by internet hosts)