Welcome to Quartz Africa.
We’re excited to be building out a team of journalists in the region to better serve our readers in Africa and business professionals around the world. Since the launch of Quartz in 2012, we have focused on seismic changes to the new global economy. Africa is home to many of them: Some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, a hotbed of trade and investment, and an important global laboratory for management, mobile, and financial innovation.
Much of our focus in Africa is on innovation. For Africans, innovation isn’t a trend or a fad. It’s a necessity. Most people on the continent live in countries where much of the local infrastructure has not kept pace with rapid population growth and urbanization. Recently, we have written about how Nigeria became the world’s top market for dual-SIM mobile phones, the rise of social networking across the continent, and how nearly a third of users make payments with their phones in several of the top African economies. There’s a lot more to come.
Ahead of launching Quartz Africa, we’ve been obsessively covering the historic elections in Nigeria, the continent’s largest economy, with early stories on the prospects of new president Buhari and the groundbreaking role of social media during the campaign. In Kenya, we covered the Garissa attacks with personal stories from local writers who know the area and the people. The stories from South Africa, the continent’s most advanced economy, reflect its difficult but fascinating post-Mandela transition. We told the personal and economic stories behind the xenophobic attacks in April, but we also explored the rise of the millionaire class in some of its big cities.
Our promise is to tell stories from across the continent for both local and global readers. Feedback and data from our readership in Africa indicate pent-up demand for stories told from the perspective of our writers, many of whom are locals or long-time residents of the cities and countries they cover.
There are 54 sovereign nations on the continent, with more than 54 different ways of doing things. We do not plan to tell the story of Africa as one monolithic entity. Yet increasingly there is a theme of innovation, modernity, aspiration, and progressive thinking that is common to many of these countries, particularly those in the same sub-regions. This will be the prism through which we approach much of our coverage.
The experience of Quartz Africa, which also includes the full coverage from all of Quartz’s journalists, will be automatically provided to readers in Africa at qz.com. Readers elsewhere in the world can access it at qz.com/africa. Please follow @qzafrica on Twitter, and reach out to us with longer comments at email@example.com. We’re also celebrating the launch of Quartz Africa with Quartz’s new Instagram account, which in June will feature snapshots from Africa curated by our editors. And don’t forget to sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief newsletter, for morning delivery in Africa or wherever in the world you live.
Finally, we hope some of you will be able to join us in Nairobi on September 14 at our inaugural Africa Innovators’ Summit, where we’ll celebrate some of the forward-thinking leaders and creators across the continent. Stay tuned for more details, or send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We thank many of you for the encouragement that has gotten us to this point, and count on your close reading and—most critically—your feedback going forward.
Editor in chief