Disinformation in Africa: “Where do you go if you need the truth?”

Bruce Mutsvairo in Argos Medialogica

The amount of propaganda and disinformation on the African continent keeps increasing, Professor of Media, Politics and the Global South Bruce Mutsvairo explains in Argos Medialogica. An anti-western message is being spread and the influence of Russia rockets.

Breeding grounds

Conflicts are taking place in many African countries, Mutsvairo points out on a map of the continent. He is certain that these are breeding grounds for misinformation. “In these countries, people have already been subjected to propaganda and misinformation for a long time”, he says. And as everyone claims to speak the truth, it is difficult for people to find out what is actually true.

Political influencers, sometimes having millions of followers, have a huge impact. “There are people who innocently receive false information via WhatsApp or any other sources of social media”, Mutsvairo says. They then share it with family and friends. “Where do you go to if you need the truth? It becomes very, very difficult.”


Russian influence has rapidly increased the last couple of years, and the effects show in the information that is circulating, Mutsvairo says. “The Russian disinformation is very present in trying to make the West look terrible”, he explains. This disinformation offers new ideas or recalls sensitive, emotive issues such as colonialism. “They use social media as a tool to get into the political affairs of other countries – and it’s working.”