The EastAfrican has several sections, as outlined in the app, and that is what makes reading it so interesting to read every week.
The first is the news section. It’s a newspaper after all, but one with a difference. While Kenyan newspapers have screaming headlines about the opposing political factions or shocking crimes, the East African is analytic from the headline onwards. The good stuff is inside, and their readers know this, so they don’t have to tease away on the cover.
It is also sold in many markets it covers and you will easily find alternating headlines about Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, DRC, Sudan and beyond the traditional East Africa community region. This week’s headline is on the just-released country budget statements, and I’m sure most Kenyans, were probably surprised to see that the Finance Minister from Tanzania is a lady!
The opinion section is top-notch. While they are usually on politics, theirs are analytic and look at the past to explain the current and predict future events. Favourite writers include Charles Onyango-Obbo (@cobbo3), Elsie Eyakuze (@MikocheniReport), and Muthoni Wanyeki. They will also feature special guest pieces like Salim Ahmed Salim writing on the ongoing electoral crisis in Burundi, or business leaders writing on the implications of new tax laws.
One of the strongest content features is the range of advertisements that appear in the EastAfrican. You get to read about Somalia government reconstruction tenders, school teaching positions in Uganda, mining machinery for sale in Tanzania, regional consultant and research vacancies around Eastern Africa, higher education positions in Rwanda to name a few. It seems that if you’re looking for the best talent or partners in East Africa, this is the place to advertise.
From the front page to the back page, business news is a prevalent topic throughout the newspaper. And while most business news comes out on Tuesday, a lot of it is not a surprise as it first appears in The East African whose new issues are published and distributed on Saturday. So if you’re a savvy investor, by Monday morning you’ll know a lot more than people who wait for the Tuesday papers. Along with the news are nice charts and graphs giving powerful snapshots from across East Africa of investor markets, trends, and deals.
There are also supplements and features of events that the newspaper is participating in such as the East African business summit, Pan-African Media conference and other regional, high-profile events. A recent issue had in-depth profiles of the candidates to replace Donald Kaberuka as the head of the African Development Bank.
The Outlook and Magazine sections have lots of interesting features. These range from travel guides around East Africa, city guides, the history of interesting sites and places, and features on science, sports, music, and film. I was once inspired to write a piece for the Magazine, and pestered the editors to accept my contributions. Sadly, only one piece, on shirt shopping in London, ran on the website of the EastAfrican but was not deemed to be of enough quality for the actual newspaper.
It also has very good short stories, Kwani piece, award-winning pieces and new discoveries from anon writers – like this thriller on expatriates, multinationals, strategy, corporate in-fighting, and marriage – all in two pages.