Xinhua News Agency was founded on November 7, 1931, in Ruijin, in southeast China. Its coverage of Africa news came well before the start of its permanent presence on the continent: the first Xinhua bureau in Africa was set up in Cairo, Egypt, in December 1956. Xinhua’s first sub-Saharan bureau was inaugurated in Accra, Ghana, in February 1959.
Many of Xinhua’s earlier reports on Africa were about the continent’s independence movement and the interactions of the People’s Republic of China with African countries emerging from colonial rule, such as Premier Zhou Enlai’s historic visit to Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Ghana, Mali, Guinea, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia from December 1963 to February 1964.
By the end of 1965, Xinhua had 16 bureaus in Africa, about one-third of its total 51 overseas branches.
Xinhua Kigali bureau was founded in 2011.
Fast forward to 2021, Xinhua now has full-time correspondents or freelance contributors in 48 sub-Saharan countries.
Xinhua’s Africa regional bureau, established in Nairobi in 1986, coordinates news coverage of and subscriber service in sub-Saharan Africa, where it has more than 140 full-time editors and reporters.
Over the years, Xinhua has strived to make Africa’s voice heard and present a full picture of the continent to its subscribers in China and around the world, upholding its principles of objectivity, justice, truth and accuracy.
Xinhua, which has taken on challenges of the information age and embraced new technologies such as 5G and artificial intelligence, now offers wire services in 15 languages (Chinese, English, Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, Japanese, Italian, Thai, Indonesia, Urdu, Korean, Turkish, and German), with content in a full range of media formats, catering to subscribers and the general audience around the world. Xinhua also maintains an extensive presence on all major social media platforms, including posts in Swahili put out by a dedicated team at its Africa Regional Bureau.
As the state news agency of the world’s largest developing country, Xinhua stories cover the full spectrum of Africa’s development, from politics, economy, society, culture, to technology and sports.
Xinhua maintains sound cooperation and friendly exchanges with major media counterparts across Africa, contributing to deeper understanding and enhanced trust between China and "the fastest growing and most promising continent in the world," as described by Chinese President Xi Jinping in his speech at the China-Africa Business Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa, on December 4, 2015.
Xinhua is looking forward to a more prosperous and developed Africa when Xinhua celebrates its centenary in 2031.