Africa Check is a non-profit organisation set up in 2012 to promote accuracy in public debate and the media in Africa. The goal of our work is to raise the quality of information available to society across the continent.
As former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan says: “For democracies to function properly, for people to make informed decisions about their lives, the claims made in the public domain must be held up to scrutiny and their veracity checked openly and impartially.
“I salute the work of Africa Check, as an important initiative engaging with journalists and citizens across the continent to raise the level of public debate.”
Devised by the non-profit media development arm of the international news agency AFP, we are an independent organisation with offices in Johannesburg, Dakar and London, producing reports in English and French testing claims made by public figures, institutions and the media against the best available evidence.
Since 2012 we have fact-checked hundreds of claims on topics from crime and race in South Africa to population numbers in Nigeria and fake health cures in countries around Africa.
In addition to South Africa and Senegal, we work in countries including Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Our work is published and discussed in media across the continent.
Our main team is based in Johannesburg at the Journalism Department of the University of the Witwatersrand, where we currently have a three-strong full-time fact-checking team, along with fundraising, training and research services.
From October 2015, we have a new fact-checking team based at the EJICOM journalism school in Dakar, Senegal, running our French-language site.
They work in liaison with the project director and finance team in London, who answer to a five-member independent board. See details of the team here.
Working with you & the media
That is why we both work with you, our readers, to identify the claims you want checked, and why we work to enable and encourage others in the media to check claims themselves.
We do this through the range of resources we provide in the ‘How to Fact-Check’ section of the website, through the reports we produce and the awards programme we run.
Funding, training & research services
Our funding to date has come primarily in the form of support-in-kind from the AFP Foundation, the Journalism Department of the University of the Witwatersrand, and the EJICOM journalism school, and grants from a variety of philanthropic institutions.
Since 2012 we have received generous support from the following institutions:
- The African Media Initiative & the African News Innovation Challenge
- The International Press Institute & Google & the IPI News Innovation Contest
- The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung
- The Millennium Trust
- The Omidyar Network
- The Open Society Foundations (FOSI, OSF-SA, OSISA & OSIWA)
- The Shuttleworth Foundation
As the same time, we work to supplement this with donations from members of the public who support our work and, since May 2015, with income earned by our new commercial Training, Research and Income services unit: TRi Facts.
We aim to build up TRi Facts to account for more than 10% of our total income in 2016 and more than 20% the following year. More details of our funding work are set out on the page: How we are funded.