The Oldest Newspapers Published In Africa

The first edition of Al-Waqa'i'a al-Masriya in 1828

A newspaper is a serial publication containing news on current events in politics, sports, business, arts, and advertising. A variety of material and information has been published in newspapers besides the news and opinion. These publications may also include weather forecast, creative stories, local services, obituaries, crossword, and pictorials among other material. Most newspaper printing companies are business ventures which generate their revenues from subscriptions, advertising, and newsstand sales. Some newspapers are funded or run by the government and carry mainly the interests of the government. Newspaper printing companies either assemble news directly from the field or subscribe to news agencies like Associated Press.

Categories Of Newspapers

While most newspapers target the broader spectrum of readers, some focus on the different groups of readers defined by their interests rather than location. However, newspapers can be broadly categorized according to their frequency. The most common form of the newspaper is the daily newspaper which is printed every day. The daily newspaper contains the news of the previous day and is always printed overnight and distributed very early in the morning. Weekly newspapers are printed once every week, either at the beginning or the end of the week and contain the week’s highlight. Other forms of newspapers include bimonthly, monthly or quarterly newspapers.

Oldest Newspapers Published In Africa

The first newspaper in Africa was established in Mauritius in 1773 by the French. Annonces, Affiches et Avis Divers pour les Colonies des Isles de France et de Bourbon newspaper, which was the first in Africa, was first published on January 13, 1773, by Nicolas Lambert. The newspaper was printed in French and published weekly. The first Indian Ocean newspaper contained the local announcements, posters, and miscellaneous notices for the colonies of Isles of France. The newspaper was printed at the Royal Printing Office in Port Louis. The second oldest newspaper is Cape Town Gazette and African Advertiser which was the first South African newspaper. The newspaper was printed weekly from August 16, 1800, to around 1929 by the British South African Government. The mouthpiece was published in both English and Dutch and was simply used by the government as its mouth-piece. Cape Town Gazette and African Advertiser is credited for paving the way for most of the newspapers in Africa today. South African Commercial Advertiser was the first independent newspaper in South Africa whose publication began in 1824. It was printed in both English and Dutch. It was censored several times by the orders of Governor of Cape Town. However, the newspaper was a powerful voice for the democracy of the Cape Colony.

Impact Of Newspapers In The History Of Africa

The publication of newspaper was restricted by the government policies and lack of sufficient technology for frequent and bulk production. However, in countries such as South Africa, the publication of newspapers came as a relief to many who could now access government information and services. The government used newspapers for most of its advertisements announcements reaching a larger audience. The critics of the government and colonies also used newspapers to air their grievances and opinion. However, the government had to censor some of the newspapers like South African Commercial Advertiser to redeem its image.

Which Were The Oldest Newspapers Published In Africa?

11773Annonces, Affiches et Avis Divers pour les Colonies des Isles de France et de BourbonMauritius
21800Cape Town Gazette and African AdvertiserBritish South Africa
31824South African Commercial AdvertiserBritish South Africa
41824South African JournalBritish South Africa
51824Nederduitsche Zuid-Afrikaanse TydschriftBritish South Africa
61824The South African Chronicle and Mercantile AdvertiserBritish South Africa
71826The New OrganBritish South Africa
81827De VersamelaarBritish South Africa
91827The ColonistBritish South Africa
101828Al-Waqa'i'a al-MasriyaEgypt
111830De Zuid-AfrikaanBritish South Africa
121859Iwe IrohinNigeria
141891Mashonaland Herald and Zambesian TimesSouthern Rhodesia

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