Is there a correlation between the way in which the media reports on Africa and investment levels? Africa No Filter researched news and content about business in Africa and the impact of perceptions about Africa as a business and investment destination. It also identified information and news gaps that offer alternative framing for business in Africa. The report analysed over 750 million stories published between 2017 and 2021 on more than 6,000 African news sites and 183,000 sites outside the continent.
These were the seven findings of the report:
- Negative coverage: International media tend to write articles that negatively impact business in Africa whilst African media are twice as likely to reference corruption in their coverage compared to international media.
- Foreign powers scramble for Africa: 70% of international coverage about business in Africa is dominated by references to foreign powers such as China, the USA, Russia, France and the UK.
- Africa is two countries: South Africa and Nigeria are referenced the most in news about business compared to smaller countries such as Mauritius, Botswana, the Seychelles and Namibia.
- Silencing creativity, amplifying technology: Creative businesses such as the music and entertainment industry play a significant role in business, however, only 1% of articles featured news about these industries
- Youth and women are underrepresented: Online news coverage of young people has declined since 2017, falling from 12.5% of articles referencing young people in 2017 to 8.1% in 2021.
- Government, policy and regulations dominate: Around 54.5% of business news in 2021 was framed through government action and policies. Additionally, African media focused more on themes related to government than on those related to entrepreneurship. Yet, African countries make up six of the top 10 countries whose populations were most likely to search for the topic of entrepreneurship in 2021.
- Free Trade Area and investment: It makes up 1% of news and academic research, yet the agreement is expected to lift 30 million Africans out of extreme poverty and boost the incomes of nearly 68 million others. It is also projected to boost Africa’s income by $450 billion by 2035 and increase Africa’s exports by $560 billion, mostly in manufacturing.
To read the full report, click here.
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