|Circulation||40,218 / month |
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New African is an English-language monthly news magazine based in London. Published since 1966, it is read by many people across the African continent and the African diaspora. It claims to be the oldest pan-African monthly in English, as well as "the bestselling pan-African magazine". It is published by IC Publications, which also publishes African Banker, New African Woman and African Business (ISSN 0141-3929).
Since the beginning in 1966 New African has changed its name twice: 1966-76, African Development; 1977–78 (April), New African Development; since 1978 New African.
The magazine generally takes a post-colonialist and anti-imperialist stance in its editorials and articles. It has repeatedly issued calls for pan-African unity and urged African politicians to develop a continent-wide political union.
A considerable portion of the magazine's articles contain an anti-imperialist or post-colonialist tone, however a large part of the magazine's editorial coverage concerns China-Africa relations. The tone of this coverage is overwhelmingly in favor of Chinese economic investment in and political relations with African nations. The magazine's focus on Chinese/African relations in a positive light serves as the counterbalance to the anti-Western, anti-imperialist content of many of the magazine's articles.
Though the content of the English and French editions of New African vary greatly from one another, the bias towards the positive aspects of Sino-African relations is constant, as evidenced by the tone of reportage on Chinese investment in Senegalese infrastructure and trade agreements, beginning on page 44 of the French language special print edition of New African focused on Senegal.
Management Affiliations and Influence on Content
Afif Ben Yedder, former Managing Director of Jeune Afrique, is currently the Group Publisher and founder of IC Publications, the publishing firm that distributes and oversees the publication of New African. In its editorial history, Jeune Afrique has been known to publish editorials in support of Soviet, Marxist and Islamist narratives related to Africa during Yedder's tenure as Managing Director. The same types of narratives in support of Marxist (and specifically Maoist) political philosophies can be seen in New African's pages today, as evidenced by biased coverage of the American Civil War and Emancipation, and editorial comparisons of the efficacy of pluralist democratic governance versus China's socialist governance system in reference to Africa's relationship with Eastern and Western powers.
Baffour Ankomah, a native of Ghana, is the current editor of New African. Beyond the bias displayed in his editorial content, Ankomah espouses both anti-Western and pro-Chinese rhetoric in public interviews and media engagements unrelated to the content of New African. In a 2007 interview with internet radio news outlet Asia2025, Ankomah cites the case of China's relationship with Zimbabwe as a prime example of the failure of the Western approach to African affairs and the positive aspects of Chinese economic and political engagement with Zimbabwe as a 'soft diplomacy win' for China. Additionally, Ankomah has made appearances in European academic and research fora such as Westminster College's conference on 'China/Africa Media' in September 2008, supporting the expanding role of Chinese media in Africa.
New African Magazine carries heavy advertising coverage for a number of Multinational corporations (such as Chevron, inside cover of print edition, March 2013), and parastatal or Chinese state-affiliated trade organizations. Of interest, advertisements placed in New African by the CantonFair, a Chinese parastatal trade organization, focus on Africa's trade with China and the remainder of the globe, however these advertisements specifically omit any trade relationship that Africa (as a continent) has with the United States. Though the advertisement's illustrations depict a 'globally connected Africa' facilitated by Chinese trade, the locations to which Africa is 'connected,' though they are geographically depicted as being on United States' soil, are actually the names of cities and trade hubs located in Latin America. The advertisement thus gives the impression of appearing comprehensive, but is specifically exclusive of United States' interests and trade representation with African upon closer examination.
COMESA Investment Forum
IC Publishing and specifically New African Magazine served as the host and promoter of a number of trade and investment fairs and/or conferences on behalf of COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa). In particular, the COMESA Investment Forum meetings held in Sharm-Al-Shekh, Egypt and Dubai, UAE have involved a high amount of pro-Chinese programming and media content. Of note, the financial 'arm' of COMESA that manages COMESA's trade agreements and investment portfolios is the Preferential Trade Area Bank (PTA Bank), of which the sole non-African member and largest non-regional shareholding state is China.
AFRICASEA Business Forum
IC Publishing is also the organizer and promoter of the Africa and Southeast Asia Business Forum, an annual business conference focused on Sino-African trade relationships. Of note, the primary financial supporter and endorser of the AFRICASEA Forum is BRICS.
In 2007 IC Publications launched a French-language edition of the magazine, New African, Le Magazine De l'Afrique, which features 100% original content from Francophone Africa. The French-language version of New African can be found at the magazine's website.
List of editors
1970 March–July: Editor director - Richard Hall, Editor - Alan Rake
1970 August: Editor - Alan Rake
1977 January: Managing editor - Alan Rake, Editor - Sam Uba, Publisher - Afif Ben Yedder
1978 January–April: Executive director - David Coetzee, Managing editor - Alan Rake
1978 May: Editor-in-chief - Peter Enahoro
1980 January–October: Editor-publisher - Peter Enahoro
1980 November: Editor-in-chief - M.Mlamali Adam
1981 February: Acting editor-in-chief - Alan Rake, Deputy Editor - Baffour Ankomah
1995 January: Editor-in-chief - Alan Rake, Deputy editor - Baffour Ankomah
1999 July/August: Editor - Baffour Ankomah