This Is Africa is a digital publication from the Financial Times Ltd with a mission to examine African business and politics in a global context. Financial Times has announced that the website will be shut down come 9th of January, 2018.
Here is a sample of the email sent to subscribers:
The reason given is not surprising: in a nutshell, the site is not viable business-wise and has little prospects for growth.
Not a lot of digital publications targeting Africa are profitable as business ventures. Consider that many offering generic content struggle with traffic and with income generation. It is even worse for those that require specialised skills to run.
By way of illustration, producing the kind of high quality content for This Is Africa requires staff with not just with the ability to write and a nose for news but also with a specialised knowledge of business and politics. Specialised knowledge means higher remuneration. That is an extra layer of overheads for digital publications that already struggle to make money through advertisements and sponsorship.
The site has recorded an average of 24,000 page views monthly in the last 6 months.
It is sad to see This Is Africa go. But Africa’s digital publications field is a jungle and a graveyard rolled into one.