Podcasts are creating a new space for fresh voices in Africa, allowing Africans to reclaim their narrative. On February 12, podcast enthusiasts from around the African continent will be celebrating Africa Podcast Day, an annual event that allows Africans to explore and celebrate the podcasting industry.
Africa Podcast day will include presentations, panel discussions, podcast launches, and networking opportunities.
This year’s theme – “Podcasting is Freedom acknowledges the liberation creators have voiced through audio,“ says Josephine Karianjahi and Melissa Mbugua, the co-directors of Africa Podfest. “Africa Podfest imagines and builds towards the future of African podcasting, and this year’s theme is exploring what the explosive growth in African podcasting means for representation, expression, and connection across Africa,” say Karianjahi and Mbugua.
Podcasting in Africa has grown substantially by providing a new medium for African creatives to express their voices and explore new topics. “Many people are taking to podcasts as a way to express themselves and expand their opportunities in the digital space. Audiences in Africa are also more aware of podcasts in general and are listening to more African podcasts. Podcasters are actively choosing to connect with each other more online and continue to look for resources and tools online to help them grow their podcasts,” says Mbugua.
Are podcasts the future? “Podcasts are here to stay. With the rising need for community-focused media, podcasting is set to elevate voices through audio that can be easily distributed across podcasting platforms, many of which are available on Android, which is one of the leading mobile operating systems for podcast distribution platforms,” say Karianjahi and Mbugua.
Though podcasting continues to grow, many podcasters face challenges such as access to technology, data, and infrastructure. Many people are unable to access a steady power supply, which prevents them from recording episodes or engaging with audiences throughout an episode. However, Karianjahi and Mbugua note that “there is also room for innovation, where audio file compression for distribution on popular chat and social media platforms has proven as a way to reach audiences despite local conditions”.
Despite the challenges, African podcasters are pushing on, creating new content, and expressing their voices and perspectives.
“We are privileged to find ourselves expanding the definition of who gets heard in Africa and celebrating the milestones towards a truly inclusive African podcasting ecosystem. Africa Podcast Day is an ongoing celebration of that work — particularly through the lens of African podcasters who are shifting the narrative on Africa’s single story,” say Karianjahi and Mbugua.
For more information on the event, click here
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