AfricaOracle was founded by Joyce Sarpong in 2014. However, the inspiration to start AfricaOracle goes back further.
Aged 40, in 2007, our founder Joyce went on a trip to her Ghana with her family. Ghana had just discovered oil and there was a buzz in the country that she hadn’t experienced in a long time. The holiday gave her a sense of optimism and renewed hope for the future. So you can just imagine her surprise and dismay upon landing back at London Heathrow to discover that the narrative about Ghana and indeed Africa remained unchanged. The frustration spurred Joyce on to create a provide a more informed narrative about Africa.
AfricaOracle started as an online community with curated news. We launched our curated online magazines about Africa and this led to our founder being selected by the Royal Society of the Arts (RSA) as an African Diaspora ChangeMaker – one of 100 key African leaders – selected for her achievements in development work in the UK and Africa.
Early growth & funding
After a glimpse of the demand, we shifted our focus from curated news to storytelling and a blog. This led to us being awarded an Innovation Voucher in 2015 by Innovate UK – which is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government. The funding enabled us to develop innovative methods for storytelling and recruit interns. Our founder, Joyce was also invited by HRHs The Prince of Wales & The Duchess of Cornwall, to a reception at St. James’ Palace to celebrate British West African Communities. We also developed and codified our core values in the acronym VICTRE (Value, Integrity, Trust, Respect, Exceptional).
A new leaf
Our quest to amplify the brand image and narrative about Africa continued and we began to realise that travel and tourism is instrumental in providing opportunities, driving economic growth and creating and supporting employment. In Africa, 1 in 7 jobs are from the travel and tourism industry. We began to focusing our efforts in engaging with tourism boards, destination marketing organisations and the travel trade. This led us to becoming the UK rep for the Tanzanian Tourism Board in 2017.
Where Does the Name “AfricaOracle” Come From?
The name AfricaOracle, was inspired by our founder’s African heritage, and by the word ‘oracle’, which has a long and rich history in African folklore.
Combining Africa and Oracle created a name that illustrated this connection whilst at the same time, conveyed the ambitions and vision for the company as one that will contribute to the building of the image of a “New Africa” that promotes and showcases Africa and its diaspora, as well, which provides an informed narrative on Africa. The name AfricaOracle was adopted. The rest is history.
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