10 Digital Media Startups That Are Telling African Stories

Written by Peter Pedroncelli
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digital media startups
OMG Digital is one of the African digital media startups telling African stories. Photo – AppsAfrica

A number of digital media startups have emerged in recent years with the aim of telling African stories to a global and local audience through various modes of communication that have become the norm.

From Senegal to Zimbabwe, South Africa to Nigeria, these startups are focused on providing ways in which people can create or have access to unique African content.

So while a Tanzanian firm makes it possible for people to stream content in Swahali, a Ghanaian startup is focused on becoming the Buzzfeed of Africa, and a Zimbabwean platform is dedicated to supporting the rise of the amateur journalist.

Here are 10 digital media startups that are telling African stories.

TangoTV

Tanzanian media tech startup TangoTV operates in entertainment streaming — a segment of the market that is experiencing growth. TangoTV is a video-on-demand service that allows users to stream their favorite African Swahili language film and TV content, according to Techpoint.

Ubongo

Nisha Ligon and Doreen Kessy are the women co-founders behind Ubongo, Tanzania’s first homegrown cartoon series, designed to help children to discover the joys of mathematics through fun, local stories and songs. The edutainment and media company is aiming to transform the lives of 440 million kids in Africa through the cartoon.

OMG Digital

Ghanaian new media startup OMG Digital is known as the “BuzzFeed of Africa” due to the company’s focus on creating content for millennials. The tech startup creates and curates listicles, pictorials, videos and memes with an African audience in mind, and currently operates in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya. It was chosen for the first Launchpad Accelerator Africa class this year.

Snapplify

Snapplify is an award-winning South African media and technology startup specializing in the retail and distribution of digital content such as eBooks and mobile apps from various publishers to educational institutions and users around Africa. It was one of 20 startups selected for the World Bank’s XL Africa accelerator last year.

OkadaBooks

Okadabooks is a Nigerian e-book app that allows authors to publish books that can be read by a growing audience of more than 200,000 active users. To date, 18,000-plus e-books have prompted more than 1 million downloads on the platform, according to Ventureburn.

Ayiba

Nigerian online magazine Ayiba is a digital platform that proudly publishes content from readers. In doing so they aim to create content to inspire young Africans that is written by young Africans. According to the magazine’s Twitter account, “Ayiba highlights a new generation of achievers who disrupt narratives through innovation, tech, and new media.”

QwikGist

QwikGist is a web and mobile-based social news platform that aggregates a variety of Nigerian content. QwikGist is the first African news and chat user generated aggregator that allows users to add their preferred sources or select from a list of suggested sources from a wide range of news types that include more than 100 local or international options.

Tipster

Zimbabwean startup Tipster aims to be a news-sharing platform that looks to empower anyone with access to a smartphone, turning that person into an amateur journalist. In the words of the company, Tipster is democratising the news making process by placing the power of the media into the hands of the ordinary person, according to  InnovationVillage.

Be Afrika Media

Be Afrika Media Ltd. is a Kenyan startup that defines itself as a content creation company for African creatives and creatives interested in Africa. The business focuses on building brands in the creative sector in Africa through storytelling and technology.

Carvi Writer

Carvi Writer is a Senegal-based startup that aims to support writers in Africa, providing a platform from which writers can make money for their works. Carvi Writer not only sells written work, but audiovisual productions too, allowing creatives to self-publish and have the opportunity for some of their works to be transformed into films, documentaries or other audiovisual productions. This gives people a platform to tell uniquely African stories.