Despite low internet penetration, high cost of data and hostile governments more Africans are taking up blogging and wielding its power to tell their own stories. The rise of bloggers from the African continent has been a refreshing development for the following reasons:
- Africa has increasingly opened up to the world, proving that not everything on the great continent is a charity case.
- Mainstream news and everyday life developments are being criticized and analysed by experts enabling quality decision making by citizens.
- The emergence of undiluted news directly told by those with the lived experience, has meant challenging of myths and stereotypes while demanding responsibility and accountability from those who previously took it upon themselves to peddle certain skewed narratives.
Blogging Africans tell unique stories ranging from the common personal diary types, to tackling politics and economics. Some are sharing on fashion , travel, culture, food and living in the diaspora. There is a blog for each and every specific topic you can think of.
The Sub Sahara with its 38% internet accessibility has a better number of blogs compared to North Africa where there is low internet penetration. [World Economic Forum]
Blogging used to be niche on the African continent. It was mostly done by the middle and upper income earners because of internet affordability. The advent of cheap social media platforms like Facebook has opened the blogging door to those outside of these social classes, even though internet remains priced high.
The rise of blogs hasn’t been without its problems. The lack of regulations and code of ethics in the blogging space makes blogging attractive but also prone to misuse.
Anyone can now be a content creator despite not possessing the relevant education and expectations of operating a media space. Depending on their motive, the information they share can harm or benefit the public. Of course bloggers themselves strive to be credible to increase influence and avoid being called out by their readers but it hasn’t stopped many from malpractice knowingly or unknowingly.
Bloggers have been guilty of plagiarism, peddling false information, sharing unbalanced opinions as facts among other harmful practices. This has led to some individuals calling for the establishment of a code of ethics that guides bloggers.Whether the code will be adhered to is a problem that begs a solution on its own. Do you know how this can be done? I would be grateful to hear your thoughts.
Follow Afrobloggers to discover more blogging Africans from around the world. Afrobloggers is an online community that I founded to promote individual growth through peer to peer learning and networking whilst sharing and promoting blogs in an enabling environment for African bloggers.