Tag Archives: TheEastAfrican

The EastAfrican is the last Newspaper You’ll Wrap Meat In

President Uhuru Kenyatta sometimes jokes about newspapers and the media and says that newspapers are only good for wrapping meat in. This is usually after they publish a story that he disagrees with and which he feels the writers have got all wrong. But the EastAfrican is the last newspaper that he, you, or any serious butcher will want to wrap meat in.

The East African is unique and consistently reach in quality content, week after week.  They break many stories and often run fresh stories that don’t fit in the bigger picture till later. In essence, it’s sometimes like an enhanced blog or tweet, and they park the story there for other media and readers to take on the discussion later.

The newspaper is great for trends because they routinely write on familiar subjects or topics that matter, and that are of interest in all countries. These include mobile money, taxation, customs & trade, agribusiness, food science, immigration and sometimes politics in the sense that it impacts the economies and business prospects of the countries.  In the current issue, you can read about vastly different pre-election situations in Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda. Probably a few people outside Uganda are aware that the country is going to have an election for special interest groups in which citizens will vote for their youth and older person representative in August.

They cover more than East Africa, and if a story from further in Africa has local interest angle, such as mining in Zambia, or the impact of oil prices on Angola then this its fit to run.

The EastAfrican has great in-depth pieces from well-known columnists, and from other people who are not household names but still produce great analytic pieces on budgets, politics, and economic trends.  See why Yoweri Museveni, is going to give me a new iPhone.

They are maybe the only newspaper that can tackle in-depth reports. While a daily newspaper will mention highlights of a report that was published, the EastAfrican can delve deeper into it with several pieces, interviews with the authors, researchers and decision-makers involved. You see over many leaders, like the leadership index that compares the performances of African presidents and the African Development Bank report on the level of female director representation at  corporate boards across Africa.

They also pull in a section of special interest stories from other publication like the New York Times. They are self for manager and consultants and you get nice summary s

 They translate their stories into common currencies as the writers recognize that readers may not know what a Rwanda Franc is versus a Tanzania shilling – so they provide helpful conversions to dollars to help better faster understand the impact. From a dollar base, any reader is mentally able to translate a story into their own familiar currency. They also have the regional indices so you can in an instantly see which are the best, or worst, performing stocks across East Africa over the last week, month,  or year.

Lastly, they have unique advertisements as it’s now clear that if you’re looking for an opportunity, job, contract or specialist that cuts across borders, then The EastAfrican is the place to find it.

Delve into The EastAfrican 

The EastAfrican has several sections, as outlined in the app, and that is what makes reading it so interesting to read every week.

EastAfrican cover

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, 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 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.

EastAfrican chartFrom 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 from 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.