Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Where are the African Blogs?

I just got an email from one of the editors at Deutsche Welle asking me why there are no Africans taking part in their annual Best of the Blogs awards. I hadn’t heard of the awards, so I headed on over there to find out what was going on. It turns out that the Best of Blogs (or The Bobs) is sponsored by some pretty big players (Technorati, Global Voices, Toshiba and O’Reilly to name a few) and looks legitimate.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Best of Blogs Awards Map - 2007

When it comes to how Africa is portrayed on the web, we are partly responsible for what the rest of the world sees. We have no right to be upset when Africa is excluded when we won’t even take the time to promote each other, the countries we come from and the ideas for which we stand.

There are a great number of exceptional writers throughout Africa. I finally chose to submit one of my favorites – Chippla’s Weblog, but I could have just as easily chosen any of the excellent bloggers elsewhere. With all of the bloggers in South Africa and Kenya alone, it’s a small wonder there hasn’t been any submissions yet from those 2 countries.

(small correction: it looks like there are a few blogs representing North Africa from Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco)


  1. Hash, I think it’s understandable about the blackout. There are hundreds/thousands of blogs, many of those are born and die literally every week, it’s hard to keep tabs on blog-related developments or recognitions. Plus I confess, I rarely keeps tabs on D.W. or blog awards. 🙂

    I’ll go and put in a submission now.

  2. E-Nyce – I’m admittedly part of the problem too. I wasn’t aware of these blog awards either until they contacted me. However, you know who’s been blogging for a while, who’s active and who isn’t. If we let each other know about these types of things it helps all of us.

  3. i’m just waiting for someone to start blogging about blogging, that would be an interesting read – especially here in Africa!

    And just to prove there are blogs, and good ones too, check out this one. Its getting very interesting at the moment…


  4. Let’s correct that picture a bit. I’m submitting a blog too.

  5. There thousands of African blogs, everyday i read a new blog from a different country. I don’t know where ya’ll been looking but how hard is it to find an African blog when they all exist on the same web?

    Voluntary submissions are a different story all together.

  6. Sanaa – I don’t think it’s that we don’t know how to find good African bloggers. After all, we tend to frequent each others blogs regularly.

    This is more about highlighting the good African bloggers that you know so that others outside of our African blogosphere can find good African sites.

  7. I’m an African blogger. Till recently, I’d not read any other African blogs, but now I seem to be finding new ones everyday. Okay, granted I live in England, and I started blogging fairly recently (have a number of blogs going, lol!) but still……… I shall check out the link you posted, see if I can submit a few AfroBlogs I’ve found on my recent travels.

    I like your blog BTW!

  8. I just found my way to your blog via muti. Thanks for highlighting this…illustrates how isolated the South African blogging community is.

  9. That comment I made on top has the wrong link. Find me at http://kenya-afrika.blogspot.com/

  10. Oh yeah, did Sokari see this? Didn’t she promote the Afrosphere last year?

  11. @Jonathan, Thank you for posting the link to the blog on Gorilla protection. I will be covering it on globalvoicesonline.org this week.

  12. Hopefully this new site will help to spread word about South African news & blogs??

  13. An unfortunate state of affairs indeed. Perhaps the problem is one of action. Clearly the innumerable conferences on blogs and blogging are increasingly appearing to be of dubious value in promoting African and afro-centric blogs. We need to change tact. Perhaps directly promote each other (and not blogrolls. They clearly have limited impact)

  14. @M – Interesting tangent. Can you expand more on your thoughts of the dubious value of the different blog conferences and how direct promotion could be done better?

    Kind of opens up a whole new discussion actually – which is greatly needed. I see value in face-to-face meetings of bloggers, but agree that their promotional value for Africa is usually limited. They are more useful for the people that they are there to network.

    What ways do you think we could better promote each other? The biggest way that I can show my appreciation for someone is to write a piece and refer to another African blogger, thereby openly giving my “vote” to them. It’s much stronger than showing up in my blogroll (that I need to reinstate at some time…).

    Anyway, would like to read more of your thoughts on this at some time.

  15. Thanks for pointing out this huge gap. Africa-bloggers deserve publicity for speaking out about a part of the world the rest of the world ignores!

  16. I am an African leaving in the US, I just started this blog (http://beyondwhatwesee.blogspot.com/) to add a positive voice to the way Africa and Black people in general are portrayed.

    So I welcome any post.

    It’s true tha there is a lack of visibility …but we are here , i’ve read blogs of nigerians, kenyans, marocans, tunisians, south afrikans, benenise, gabonese..u name it
    We just have to believe that we want to hear our own voices and have the rest of the world hear our blogging drums

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