Podcasting is on the rise in Africa today. One South African report, for instance, noted a jump in listeners from 22% in 2019 to 48% in 2022 among metro populations in the country. Popularity has even given rise to an annual festival known as Africa Podcast Day.
African podcasts are receiving widespread acclaim, too. Whether it’s “I said what I said,” which discusses the millennial African experience, or Sincerely Accra, which covers urban life in Ghana’s capital, they are drawing in audiences not just from African countries but also internationally.
One initiative has been especially instrumental in putting African podcasters on the map: Afripods, a free podcast hosting platform based in Nairobi, Kenya. Founded in 2017, Afripods has grown into a central hub where podcasters and listeners can access a wide selection of pan-African content. Categories range from comedy to true crime and podcasts are available in up to 50 languages, including Xhosa, Kikuyu and Yoruba.
While podcasting giants like Spotify and Apple still lead, a 2022 report found that Afripods was among the most used apps for podcasts in Africa. The platform has an ultimate goal of creating the largest library of African audio stories as part of a wider podcast movement helping African voices be heard.
The need and desire for homegrown African content has always been present, and Molly Jensen, CEO of Afripods, recognized this from the start of her position as CEO.
“We saw that podcasters in Africa were looking to connect with like-minded creatives and created community initiatives for them to connect,” she said. “We saw that listeners were struggling to find African content so we separated podcasts by language and country to make it easier for them to be discoverable.”
As Afripods is chiefly a hosting platform, it prioritizes creators’ needs by promoting their podcasts on social media and through live events. It shares the latest industry statistics with the network.
On social media, Afripods regularly spotlights podcasts across wide-ranging categories. Recently, the platform highlighted the Kenyan podcast “In my feelings,” which talks about mental health, and the Ghanaian show “Free your mind,” which deep-dives into Ghanaian society.
Afripods is dedicated to forming a network and community among African podcasters, too, chiefly through #AfropodsMeets, which uses Instagram Lives, Twitter Spaces, and live panels to engage with creators.
by Lara Reffat, International Journalists’ Network
Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on Unsplash