In honour of Africa Podcast Day on February 12, we have interviewed African podcasters to ask them about their experiences of being a podcaster on the continent.

Ady Namaran Coulibaly based in Ghana, is an interpreter and translator, and human rights specialist and leads a regional multiple language services company called Bolingo. Coulibaly is the host of Africa’s LSP Podcast, a monthly podcast for the language services industry since January 2021. The podcast talks to industry professionals such as translators, interpreters, knowledge management specialists and multilingual organisations, businesses and individuals.

How did you get into podcasting?  

A few months after we had launched the operations of Bolingo, we observed that the language industry in Africa was not very vibrant as compared to the other continents. Following reflections on the gaps and opportunities with regards to language services and realising the lack of engagement among industry professionals within the African continent, we decided to produce ‘Africa’s LSP Podcast’, a monthly podcast in which professionals in the industry share their views and perspectives on various issues relating to their work. Although I had no prior experience with podcasting, I offered to host the podcast and it’s been a beautiful journey ever since! 

Can you tell me more about the podcast you host and the type of stories you focus on? And why did you choose this specific topic?  

 Africa’s LSP Podcast is a podcast that focuses on conversations on language and language services, particularly translation, interpretation, localisation, etc. LSP stands for language service providers. Our primary objective is to place a spotlight on the ways in which individuals and organisations are contributing to the preservation and growth of African languages and the African language services industry in particular.  

Where do you see the future of podcasting in Africa? 

As podcasts are getting increasingly popular on the continent, I firmly believe that they will remain with us for a very long time. Most especially, it’s been refreshing to realise that there are also several podcasts being produced on various themes by Africans, especially African women like myself. I also notice an increasing number of podcasts produced in African languages, a trend that I believe will contribute significantly to promoting our language and culture.  

 What are some of the challenges with podcasting in Africa? 

Per my experience, internet connectivity seems to be the most challenging aspect of producing a podcast on the continent. Recording a podcast with a poor internet connection is a nightmare, as it impacts the quality of the sound and the production time. The most we can do as hosts is to appeal to our guests to get access to a reliable internet connection.   

Do you think there has been a growth in podcasting? 

I believe there’s been growth in podcasting on the continent, as more and more people are becoming aware of the need for us to share our own stories, using our knowledge and experiences. We have realised the need to take up our space within global conversations in our various areas of work and influence, and we are willing to effect change.  

Why do you think it is important for Africans to have their own podcasts and tell stories from their perspective?  

As Africans, we are better placed to tell the world about our experiences, our opinions and our perspectives. We understand that for a long time, our stories have been told on our behalf. Now, more than ever, we’re ready to share the myriads of untold stories on our continent and ensure that more voices are heard.  

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