This has been a pet peeve of mine for a while: the laziness of the international media in relation to the (post-) colonial tower of babel. Articles in English about “Africa” suffer from the “Africa is a Country” lens, but I would go further and say it’s “Africa is a Country That Speaks English” lens.

The tech scene itself is guilty of this! (Ironic because the language of code, one would think, would break down barriers.) We hear about great projects in Nairobi, Capetown, Kampala, Accra, but we hear very little noise about some great smaller projects in DRC, Cameroon and Mozambique. (What happens in these countries is inevitably smaller due to structural and historical differences.) I was heartened by the recent initiative to map African tech hubs – but much more is to be done to highlight and nurture smaller-scale innovation.

CNN’s recent post on “Top 10 African Tech Leaders” seems to have at least provoked a reaction. Perhaps those who want a “top 10” are too busy to hear about what is bubbling up in unexpected places, but Jean Patrick Ehouman’s post cataloguing francophone tech leaders is more than necessary.

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