Is Tech Media Reporting in Africa Too Boring and Positive? These 3 Reasons Provide an Answer

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Is Tech Media Reporting in Africa Too Boring and Positive? These 3 Reasons Provide an Answer

The African tech media scene is emerging stronger and stronger each year. Its growth parallels the overall positive growth in the continent’s tech companies. Every year for the last three years, African startups have recorded record funding rounds, technological advancement has been fast, and continental mediums have praised this as “Africa Rising.”

Because of these strides as reported in the media, it is easy to suggest that African media have focused too heavily on reporting the good aspects of tech and startups. African tech media is currently obsessed with funding rounds, tech events and other positive stories.

However, the reality on ground doesn’t match the entirely positive outlook of our tech media. Here are a few reasons why.

Startups Rarely Disclose Information (Unless It’s Good News)

Recently, mobile money company, Paga has been very outspoken about their growth. The company announced it added at least two million new users this year. Every time it added a million users it announced it on its blog. And when it does, tech platforms are quick to publish it. Of course, it’s news!

But the company has never (or has rarely) disclosed essential details like number of daily active users, volume of transaction, or even the total value of their transactions. Meanwhile these are the key metrics used for startup valuation.

Asking for these details meanwhile is an uphill struggle. African tech startups rarely disclose them, unless you are a VC. But nobody is talking about these aspects. Is it because they may expose some negative information?

Tech Media Focus on Startups Springing Out But Rarely Check If They Are Truly Disruptive

A cursory look across several tech blogs, the view about most startups is that they’re innovative and their emergence would lead to a disruption in the industries they operate in. This is true for the financial services industry. But for other industries, not quite.

Yet, this is the mainstream view across board.

Specialised or semi-specialised reporting that gives a better narrative on the chances of a startup is truly missing. And with the scanty information startups themselves offer, one is really tempted to doubt if they indeed have disruptive capacities.

For instance, WeSabi or HireFreeHands are two startups operating in the outsourcing space, but they are yet to make any impact at all.

Many Problems Startups Say They’re Solving Still Exist

There are many startups operating in the agricultural sector and the fintech sector. Their aims have always been to make things better and more productivity for individuals in this market. But the reality is that much of the problems they are trying to address have not truly been fixed.

For instance, receiving money from abroad is still an extremely difficult task for Nigerians. No fintech has been able to offer an alternative for PayPal! And tech media shy away from such reportage, probably for fear of giving the glowing tech space a speck of darkness.

But to be fair, fintechs have been able to completely address many issues in the domestic payment industry.

How Are these a Problem?

When you consider the impact of each of these issues, you realize that the African tech media have focused on reporting only the positive and glittering aspects of tech. This is truly becoming boring. And in the long run doesn’t allow media platforms contribute much to the development of tech startups; other than making a lot of noise about their successes.


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