The Media Blog: Apparently, Forbes Africa sells less than 30,000 copies per edition in South Africa

guest post, by Roqeebah Olaoniye

Africa’s youth are hungry for success and they are not letting the grim conditions around the continent derail them. There’s a young man redefining auto sales in Nigeria, a lady who has a PR firm run just by women, and there’s Angel Adelaja, one of the finalists at the recently concluded The Venture competition whose Fresh Direct NG has the potential to change the fate of agricultural sector in Nigeria for the better while providing endless opportunities for Africans intending to invest in agriculture.

How are they doing it in the face of harsh realities? What is keeping them motivated asides from their interest in making a better world for themselves and the rest of us? We argue that constant recognition by those that matter, the promise of due credit being to the proper inventors and thinkers, and accolades for records broken are major factors.

With the rise in popularity of publications where African youth are recognized and shown off to the right audience using the appropriate channels, we have seen more of the African youth break new grounds than ever before. Publications such as Forbes with its Forbes 30 under 30; Top 20 Tech Startups  which features Nigeria’s Jobberman in the top 10 as the ‘most popular search engine and aggregator in West Africa. On it’s 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa 2016 alone, there is more hope to found than whatever youth empowerment programmes our government wants us to believe it has in store for us. It’s not only Forbes and it’s not just about Nigerians but Forbes probably has the highest reach and grants the most important exposure. So it comes as a shocker to find that of the 3.4 million qualifying adults (between 25 and 64 years of age) “across seven markets” and that comprise the African affluent, only a measly 163,000 people can access copies of Forbes Africa. This is according to the IPSOS Affluent Africa Survey 2016 an independent research study, released on the 4th August 2016 as contained in a press release from the Forbes Africa offices. The press release went further to disclose that within South Africa, the average circulation of Forbes Africa in the second quarter of 2016 “stands at 22,813 according to a survey carried out for the Audited Bureau of Circulations of South Africa. This within a demographic of about 119,767.

Of course, the tone of Forbes Africa’s press release is nothing short of joyful seeing as the surveys put the publication in the lead in both cases. In the case of the IPSOS Affluent Africa Survey, Forbes Africa, barely in its fifth year since its first publication was released, has a wider reach in the sampling  than National Geographic Magazine, African Business, NewsAfrica, Harvard Business Review, The Africa Report, Bloomberg  Markets, New  African and Le Magazine de l’Afrique put together and in that order.

So what does this portend for us? Can we peg this on the rise and takeover of digital media? No, because these publications are available both in print and digital copies.

Are people simply uninterested in these publications? Are the surveys wrong? Then how many of us are actually subscribed to Forbes or any of the other publications on the list? There are so many questions.

South Africa boasts some of the most forward thinking and successful youth in Africa who have change to spare so this begs the question of how many subscribers do these kind of publications have here in Nigeria? Let’s ignore the obvious fact that there isn’t a single credible data collection Agency in Nigeria that can help extract this kind of information in Nigeria. So we ask: where are the Nigerian youth sourcing their information from? BellaNaija? Here? Linda Ikeji? Twitter and Instagram? Surely, not any of the “copy and paste” platforms that rule the internet right now.

Where do they go for inspiration and motivation, the kind that Forbes, Havard Business Review, New African and the likes offer? Do they get them from the same sources earlier mentioned? Or from meet and greets? Meet ups? Motivational seminars? Webinars? Of course there’s the The Guardian Life Magazine which beams its spotlight on select Nigerians breaking grounds and charting new courses but is that it?

It’s only a survey of one publication’s readership in South Africa; but it begs the question: What is the Nigerian youth being fed, media-wise?


PS: See anything worth talking about on the ins and outs of the media business in Nigeria on TV, radio, print and online (could be news, tweets, photos, opeds etc) send us a mail on[email protected] titled TMB. Let’s share the insight together!  

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