Meet the mind behind Manifexto.com, the go-to source for Portuguese-speaking Angolans looking for reliable news and information
“Recently I heard that sometimes Angolans come across a piece of news, and they won’t trust that it’s true until it appears on Manifexto.com,” says 35-year-old Zedilson Almeida, co-founder of a news aggregator for the Portuguese-speaking people of Angola. Almeida is a Fulbright alumnus who graduated from the University of Missouri with a Master’s in Public Affairs; he also holds a Bachelor’s in Business and Management from the UK.
“When I returned from doing my Master’s, I found it hard to find reliable news. You never knew how trustworthy the news was, or the agenda of the website that hosted it. We built Manifexto to solve this problem,” says Almeida, who is the co-founder and chief executive officer.
Access to the Internet has radically changed how we consume and share news and information. It’s becoming harder to spot ‘fake news,’ especially on social media. “Manifexto converges all news in a democratic environment, from reliable sources,” says Almeida. “It’s a neutral platform, and makes it easy for our readers to verify sources. Readers are able to read about a topic from several different perspectives, leaving them more informed and with enough information to form their own opinions about what’s happening.”
Knowledge is power and it’s this vision to empower Angolans with information that has seen Almeida selected as one of 200 change-makers in Africa to take part in the year-long programme, Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa. “I’m truly honoured to have been selected and it is amazing to see how the problems we experience in Angola are similar all over the continent, but in different contexts. The opportunity to exchange ideas with some of Africa’s greatest minds has been inspiring,” says Almeida.
“The media industry in Angola is profit-driven, but there so many stories that go untold. We encourage writers to share more stories from other niches in society, make a name for themselves, empower the population, and elevate the overall quality of journalism being produced in Africa.”