The African Independent will change the narrative of how the continent is reported, Independent Media’s executive chairman Dr Iqbal Survé tells Michael Morris.
When, as a recently graduated medical student, Iqbal Survé chose to do his elective stint at the infectious diseases unit at Harare’s Parirenyatwa Hospital in the mid-1980s – and spent a further six weeks at a clinic in rural Zimbabwe – it sealed what turns out to be a lasting affection for a country often in the news for its deepening contemporary crisis.
Zimbabwe, the executive chairman of Independent Media said without hesitation, is his favourite place in Africa.
The warmth of the people, breathtaking natural beauty and his experience of the quietude of its rural life touched him as a young man, and the affinity is with him still.
Beyond questions of affection, though, is his interest in Africa as a huge growing market, and sentiment is not a primary feature of his appraisal.
He makes no apology for viewing economic prospects, or the scope of returns on investment in the continent, with unsentimental alertness, asserting that his high ambitions in Africa are realisable if founded on good research and clear-headed planning.
In an interview on the launch of Independent Media’s new continental weekly, African Independent, and its allied multimedia platform, www.africanindy.com, Survé spelled out the vision of an “integrated” strategy he sees challenging agencies such as Reuters, Bloomberg and Agence France Presse, and social media giant Facebook.