Four years ago today, on 1 March 2015, a small startup with grand ambitions and an African dream was born.
The African News Agency (ANA) was launched into the market as Africa's first news syndication service. A dream inspired by the notion of a news service by Africans, for Africans, as well as for the rest of the world. At ANA we have always believed that we, as Africans, should tell our own stories. The good and the bad, the despairing, as well as the uplifting, the failing, as well as the innovative.
ANA is proudly African and at the core of our business lies quality journalism and editorial values allied to the African narrative.
Our Newswire offers our media subscribers up-to-date multi–media content produced by ANA's editorial team, as well as our Pan-African and global media partners across a myriad categories, including Politics, Business, Economy, Health, Environment, Science and Technology, Faith, Sport and many more.
ANA's Picture Wire boasts historical content dating back 75 years as well as contemporary editorial and stock photographs, videos, as well as graphics and contemporary political satire content.
ANA's PR Wire offers small to corporate businesses a bespoke solution to increase their brand exposure by disseminating their press releases or brand statements to our ever-growing editorial network of more than 35,000 Pan-African media organisations and more than 28,000 media houses in the rest of the world.
ANA was formed in the immediate wake of the demise of the erstwhile South Africa Press Association (Sapa), a decades-long institution on the South African media landscape and a conveyer belt for producing some of the country's finest journalists.
In late February 2015, Sapa announced that it would be closing its doors after almost 77 years. Its final story, at midnight on 31 March 2015, ended thus: "Goodbye Sapa. Thank you for the news."
In the meantime, hurriedly, a bit crazily, but with no little sense of purpose and destiny, ANA was set up and trialed its operating systems and hit the market on 1 March 2015.
Today, ANA stands tall as the only true news agency service, providing content to a wide range of subscribers, both local and international, across text, photo, video and graphic formats.
But ANA was always geared to be more than a mere Sapa replacement. We recognised and seized the moment to tell Africa's stories.
Africa has been scarred by the effects of colonialism. Its peoples, its flora and fauna, its riches, its artefacts, its humanity, has suffered centuries of degradation. Even its stories have been expropriated. ANA and our partners are seeking to reverse this and to have the world hear and feel our stories of aspiration, innovation, ambition, style, and dignity.
Africa is Rising and ANA is here to tell its many stories.
Global Editor-in-Chief Lindiz van Zilla said: "ANA strives to produce authentic, definitive and high-quality content which reflects the many nuances of our diverse but inter-connected continent."
ANA CEO Grant Fredericks said: "We are not after charity. As with all of Africa, all we are asking for is a fair shake. We offer a world-class product, formed and honed right here in Africa, and we are saying to the world, 'if you want to know what Africa is truly about, then come to ANA'.
"We live in such an interconnected world today and it is only proper that Africa takes its rightful place among the family of nations as an equal, respected and valued member."
Van Zilla added that from small beginnings, ANA has grown into a globally respected media organisation with a footprint deeply embedded in Africa.
Messages of congratulations have poured in friom ANA's esteemed media partners.
The Namibian Press Agency's (Nampa) Chief Executive Officer Isack Hamata said: "The Namibia Press Agency wishes to extend a warm message of hearty congratulations to the African News Agency on the occasion of your fourth anniversary celebrations.
"ANA has cemented its place among progressive African news agencies that are tenaciously committed to the African development agenda, as forged and driven forth by Africans themselves. Over the past few years, our two organisations have established meaningful cooperation at all levels, and it is our sincere hope that your steady growth will continue to impact positively on our kinship for the mutual benefit of our countries and people. We wish you many more years of growth and success."
The Zambia Daily Mail's Editor-in-Chief Chapadongo Lungu said: "I would like to wish ANA a Happy Fourth anniversary. It’s been a journey worth the walk; one whose benefit accruals far outweigh the expected teething challenges.
Leonnard Chikadya, Managing Director at the Times Group in Malawi, added: "ANA embarked on this journey with a clear Vision and Mission to reshape the landscape of sharing news content for Africa and enhance knowledge of the youthful population of Africa for economic and social development of the continent.
"Times Group joined the African News Agency (ANA) network to offer our contribution to the realisation of the African Agenda of collaboration and networking with leading media partners that promote the new technological age in this new World Order of globalisation, with African focus to promote our local cultures, beliefs, and cohesiveness of society as one People of Africa."