CAPE TOWN – Africa’s only syndication content service, Africa News Agency (ANA) said although it was looking at restructuring its South African operations, there were bigger and better opportunities in the rest of the continent as that is where it was experiencing the most growth.
The news agency said this week that it was not scaling down its operations, but was rather looking at other ways to reposition staff and expand its operations throughout the rest of Africa as the domestic market had become too saturated.
In an interview with Independent Media, Dr Iqbal Survé, the chairperson of Sekunjalo Investment Holdings – which owns ANA after the former acquired Independent Media – said the agency’s executives were dealing with the restructuring as the media environment in South Africa had become highly competitive and over traded in the online space.
“ANA was established to inform the world about what is happening in Africa. The rest of the world wants the news of what is happening in Africa and not just South Africa. We have seen growth and there is a demand for African content across 20 different countries.
“ANA is currently present in 26 countries across Africa and clients are not asking for South African content, which is a decreasing customer base. On the other side, African content has increased so a decision was taken to reposition the business to meet the needs of the customers which is for greater African content that is exclusive,” he said.
ANA was launched in 2015 after Sekunjalo Investment Holdings acquired the former independent national wire service, South African Press Association (Sapa) post its demise, employing in the process former Sapa employees.
Since then, the world of media has significantly changed with ANA today announcing that it will shortly open offices in a number of African countries to service the exceptional growth the agency has experienced in its content curation service over the past 12-months.
The countries where ANA News will expand its operations will include Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt, with further offices to be announced in due course.
The appetite for African-centred content curation to the world and across Africa has grown significantly, and the company is optimistic as to the long-term prospects for the agency.
In a statement explaining its repositioning earlier this week, the company said the constant pressure on the syndication business industry coupled with declining revenues, increasing costs and continued competition in the traditional and syndication media space, had led ANA News to a point where it has had to review business efficiencies and reposition its current business.
“This has led to rationalising operations, including due thought to the skills required to service the content-curation business where the agency now finds itself expanding. The company is greatly saddened by the possibility of cutting back its local office contingent but, after a due and lengthy review of the economics and deliberation of numerous alternatives, the company is of the opinion it does not have any other option. This decision has not been taken lightly, with several alternatives having been considered prior to embark on this action,” the company said.