This publication was founded by Paris-based journalist Jean-Baptiste Placca in 1997 ,as a response to the clichéd and often reductive depiction of Africa in the Western media. In contrast L'Autre Afrique sought to inspire a different reading that reflected the diversity of opinion, the multiple realities, unique terminology and complexities of daily life across a vast continent of over fifty nations.This publication painted a picture of an Africa that existed apart from its associtaions as a continent that is troubled by political turmoil ,famine and disease.This publication thus sought to show an Africa that was serious and that is capable of being contructive.
L'Autre Afrique was thus characterised by rigorous investigation, in-depth analysis, detailed coverage and on-the-ground reportage. Placca also saw the newspaper as as a pedagogical tool and called for African journalists to function as contributing agents to the growth of Africa.
L'Autre Afrique was based in Paris but was distributed widely both in both Europe and Africa.In this way it took advantage of the mobility that the French communication and transport infrastructure provided to develop a global network of journalists, analysts and photographers. This network proved difficult to sustain as financial pressures forced L'Autre Afrique's closure after only three years. In 2001 Placca resurrected the newspaper as a weekly publication with a clearer financial structure. Despite this and better distribution systems this attempt also ultimately failed.
-Jean-Baptiste Placca, "At the crossroads", Editorial, L'Autre Afrique, n. 104, December 23 -12 January 2000. -"L'autre Afrique ou l'Afrique autrement," Afrik.com.