Who backs allafrica.com? The importance of African owned media outlets

If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.”

–Bill Gates, Microsoft

For years now the website allafrica.com has been an offhand source for many leftists around the world and the black diaspora to keep up to date on continental African news from various states. Since 2008 it has quietly gained 428.6K followers on Twitter @allafrica and many accounts re-tweet or share its articles without considering how the narrative is shaped and what news in Africa is missing from being featured.

It claims to be a voice of Africa: “AllAfrica is a voice of, by and about Africa – aggregating, producing and distributing 700 news and information items daily from over 130 African news organizations and our own reporters to an African and global public. We operate from Cape Town, Dakar, Abuja, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Washington DC.”

But a closer examination reveals it has ties to Bill Gates and is financed by the billionaire foundation. As announced on its site here:

A $2.3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will enable AllAfrica to move from periodic to consistent coverage of development issues and to increase institutional capacity to support future projects.

What news development and key grassroots movement in Africa are being intentionally blacked out from reaching a global audience if AllAfrica has a vested interest in making sure Bill Gates is pleased? One thing is for certain, the black diaspora has various middlemen on social media who shape the narrative and pick particular news in Africa that is not about class struggle, questioning the role of NGOs, and overall the criticism of neo-colonialism in its present violence.

As an alternative, we should support independent African journalists with the right politics and sources in the diaspora who are in tune with the grassroots movement and actual developments in Africa.