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

Africa’s new ‘space race’ - 3 Apr 2017

[Louise Marsland] Access to the internet for everyone all of the time, is coming. With global plans by Google, Microsoft and Elon Musk, to link the world in a network of satellites and other innovations, there will come a day when no despotic dictator can cut off the internet or threaten to curb internet freedoms to quell dissent against repressive regimes. This is Africa's ‘space race' - the race for internet connectivity across the continent and lower broadband costs, says Michèle Scanlon, new business development at Gondwana International Networks. If you want to know what it is like to live without the internet in this day and age in a thriving economic hub, read Monique Kwachou's stirring account of ‘No Internet Cameroon' and the #Bringbackourinternet campaign. read more

Give us the good news - 27 Mar 2017

[Louise Marsland] Among the bad news stories from Africa (ongoing famine, aid workers killed in South Sudan, etc,) there are always good news stories to balance it out. And Africa is full of good news stories that need to be told and headlined and made to go viral, to balance out the negative effect of that bad news which plays into a negative, stereotypical view of Africa. read more

Defining corporate reputation - 20 Mar 2017

[Louise Marsland] Magna Carta Reputation Management Consultants recently researched the definition of “corporate reputation” for the launch of a new corporate communications index for Africa. They came up with: “the perception that people in general hold of a company”. read more

How to reinvent Africa’s business model - 13 Mar 2017

[Louise Marsland] How does Africa unleash innovation and its entrepreneurial potential? How does Africa become more attractive for international investors? How do you drive African corporate growth in digital transformation, fintech and innovation? These are all topics that will be discussed and debated at the next Africa CEO Forum in Geneva, Switzerland next week. In partnership with the African Development Bank, high profile African CEO's will participate to draw up plans for Africa's economic transformation. Brand Africa last week released Africa's top 100 brands annual list, the ‘Brand Africa 100 – Africa's Best Brands', including homegrown brands. read more

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