Africa can feed the world - 23 Oct 2017

[Louise Marsland] #WorldFoodDay was celebrated last week and World Food Prize Laureate and AfDB president, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, made it clear that Africa has the natural resources to feed the world's population, which is predicted to reach 9 billion by 2050. Africa has 65% of the uncultivated arable land left in the world and Adesina stressed that Africa should not be importing its own food and that the continent needed help in unlocking its potential. Africa's CEOs have also come together, forming the AfroChampions Club to promote investment and growth on the continent. Our condolences to Somalia after the devastating bomb attack in the capital Mogadishu on 14 October which killed over 300 people and injured another 300 more, with 200 listed as missing. Last week humanitarian organisations, the UN, NGOs, donors, the private sector, member states and civil society organisations stepped in to aid search and rescue efforts by providing earthmoving and fire equipment, ambulances, cash, medical and food supplies and tents. Follow us on Twitter @Biz_Africa. read more

Video increasingly dominates news consumption - 16 Oct 2017

[Louise Marsland] Need and necessity often drives innovation, especially in emerging markets and Africa is no exception. The dominance of mobile and cashless payment systems are two examples where Africa is leapfrogging global systems to come up with innovations that meet the needs of millions of customers on the continent in the telecommunications, banking and retail sectors. Video consumption of news and information, through mobile predominantly, is also on the rise, and research reveals that “news is increasingly being watched as opposed to read”. read more

Brand “Me” - 2 Oct 2017

[Louise Marsland] Our annual Focus on Youth Marketing trend report which published last week, covers some of the biggest trends that brands are wrestling with in targeting the youth. The current generation, the Millennials or Generation Y as they are known as, have probably garnered as much research and publicity as the baby boomer generation of the past. And next up is the connected, but unplugged Generation Z, who are more driven by brand values than the value of owning a brand. read more

How to market to today’s youth - 26 Sep 2017

[Louise Marsland] This week our monthly trend report is a Focus on Youth Marketing. Look out for content on this interesting marketing segment. read more

Shifting power on the continent - 18 Sep 2017

[Louise Marsland] Econet's Kwesè TV is in the news again, this time having inked a deal with BBC Worldwide for some of its content offerings. The young upstart is certainly making waves across the continent and looks set to become one of the dominant content providers across the continent in the near future. Great advertising is always a crowd puller and Kantar Millward Brown's quarterly measurement of the best television commercials in South Africa pulls in the readers and tracks trends. read more

Economic growth in Africa prompts investment - 11 Sep 2017

[Louise Marsland] Growth for the African continent is viewed as extremely positive for 2017/2018, with growth rates ahead of those for individual country economies. Vuma Reputation Management Africa business director, Nonye Mpho Omotola, our #AfricaAchiever this month, cites the “favourable” outlook with expected economic growth of just under 4.9% GDP (East Africa sits at 5.3% growth), with their decision to expand onto the continent. In fact, Africa is still a popular investment destination for multinationals, says Stefano Niavas, managing director of BCG South Africa. read more

Audience measurement on the continent - 4 Sep 2017

[Louise Marsland] The highlight of the past week was the Pan African Market Research Organisation (PAMRO) annual conference, this time held in Cape Town, South Africa. #PAMRO2017 unpacked key research issues in Africa, highlighting measurement success stories and case studies, such as: the reason the African Lions study into Africa's middle class sets a benchmark; the challenges in changing media consumption habits; the importance of data in consumer marketing; rethinking audience measurement in Africa; and more. My monthly trend report on Employer Branding also published last week. read more

PAMRO conference starts in Cape Town - 28 Aug 2017

[Louise Marsland] We will be spending the next three days at the Pan African Market Research Organisation (PAMRO) annual conference, this time in Cape Town, South Africa, where is also headquartered. read more

All the Loerie Award winners - 21 Aug 2017

[Louise Marsland] The South Africa team's extremely comprehensive coverage of the annual Loerie Awards for advertising creativity across the African continent and Middle East, is up and congratulations to editor-in-chief, Leigh Andrews and editor Jessica Tennant and journalist Juanita Pienaar. There are some excellent results for creative campaigns outside of South Africa. There's a global debate happening around hate speech, particularly after the fascist protests in the United States, and Nigeria's acting-president Yemi Osinbajo, has come out strongly, condemning hate speech as an “act of terrorism”. We covered #CEMAfrica2017 last week, including how governments can provide citizens with excellent customer experiences, as the customer experience officer, Phakiso Tlali, of South Africa's economic hub, Gauteng, explains. And of course, our thoughts and prayers go out to Sierra Leone, as the death toll continues to rise in the devastating mud slides of last week, following on flooding in the region. read more

The good news on Africa’s youthful demographics - 14 Aug 2017

[Louise Marsland] We all know that Africa is the youngest continent in the world in terms of its population demographics. With 300 million youngsters (63%) under the age of 25 years, Africa represents over 30% of the world's youth. In fact, of a population of 1.2 billion people, 42% of Africans are younger than 15 years and 21% are between 15 and 24 years old. read more

The battleground of social media - 7 Aug 2017

[Louise Marsland] It was a week dominated by fake news and social media influence across the continent. In Kenya, Facebook has taken action to halt the spread of fake news so it does not influence Kenya's elections, even taking out adverts in the country's newspapers, explaining how to combat fake news. In South Africa, which faces yet another contentious week in politics with another no-confidence vote against President Jacob Zuma, the Daily Maverick held The Gathering event in Cape Town, this time focusing on media and politics. read more

New media brands launch in Africa - 15 May 2017

[Louise Marsland] We all know that the internet has democratised information where it is not restricted. What the internet and social media has also done, is enable anyone to become a publisher, or to enable the publishing of information in a more accessible manner to all. So it is great to see the launch of new media for the continent, about the continent, using not only traditional media platforms, but also a strong digital media presence on all social media and digital platforms - another indication of the speed at which Africa is getting connected. Zimbabwe is in the news with the launch of a new magazine and web platform for the Zimbabwean diaspora, called ‘Zim Abroad'. read more

The business of business in Africa - 8 May 2017

[Louise Marsland] The World Economic Forum for Africa 2017 took place in Durban, South Africa, last week. Outcomes included CEOs positive about the growth potential of the continent, despite global uncertainty; addressing impediments to inclusive growth in Africa; and the myriad opportunities on the continent for growth - linked to infrastructure development and other economic drivers. There's a constant parade of innovation and development on the continent, driven largely by the media and technology sectors. read more

We need more homegrown African brands - 24 Apr 2017

[Louise Marsland] One of the findings of global brands surveys each year, is that Africa needs more homegrown brands. In order to create jobs and build sustainable businesses on the continent, we need to invest in our own resources and brands, instead of importing commodities and services. read more

Improving corporate communications continent-wide - 10 Apr 2017

[Louise Marsland] Making headlines this week is the news that digital investment in Africa is accelerating, particularly in the telecom and tech industries. This will be highlighted at TMT Finance Africa 2017, set to take place at the Hilton Hotel Tower Bridge in London on 24 May. Also amidst the stream of positive news is the fact that the first-of-its-kind Nigeria PR Awards launched at a gala networking event in Lagos last week under the banner of the Corporate Communications Awards. read more

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