Spotlight on media freedom in Africa - 19 Sep 2016

[Louise Marsland] It was not a good week for media freedom in Africa, as several more incidents have been recorded that violate free flow of information and human rights in countries in Africa. Eritrea is in the spotlight again on the 15 year anniversary of a purge of journalists and politicians who have not been seen or heard of since. read more

Thoughts with Tanzania earthquake victims - 12 Sep 2016

[Louise Marsland] Keep Tanzania in your thoughts this week as a 5.7 magnitude earthquake struck north-western Tanzania on Saturday. The death toll on Sunday was updated to 16 and 200 people were reportedly injured. read more

Mark Zuckerberg visits Nigeria, Kenya - 5 Sep 2016

[Louise Marsland] Facebook dominated the news in Africa last week as founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg made his first trip to the continent, visiting start-up hubs and entrepreneurs in both Nigeria and Kenya. By all accounts, he was suitably impressed with the level of innovation, passion and ideas that he encountered. read more

A new narrative for Africa? - 29 Aug 2016

[Louise Marsland] Africa needs a new narrative to 'Africa Rising', argues a new book, 'Innovation Africa: Emerging Hubs of Excellence in Africa'. read more

Africa’s top creative festival - 22 Aug 2016

[Louise Marsland] It was The Loerie Awards in Durban, South Africa, this past weekend as part of Creative Week, so look out for your special Loeries newsletter with all the news in the Loeries Special Section for the awards, which take entries from Africa and the Middle East; as well as news from the annual public relations conference from PRISA; and the DSTV international Loerie judges' seminar. Elsewhere on the continent, while Africa moves to open up its borders with the launch of the Pan-African passport, the United Kingdom tightens up on its borders with the Brexit vote - what will both moves mean for those of us living and working in Africa? It is heartening to see international aid coming in via the various United Nations agencies like the World Food Programme, to provide food for the hardest hit areas in Southern Africa, facing the worst drought in decades due to the El Nino weather system. Japan is the latest to donate. read more

The business of Africa - 15 Aug 2016

[Louise Marsland] Regular readers of's Africa newsletter and Africa portal will have noticed tweaks to our news and navigation in recent months as we increase and refine our news operation to add more value to our business-to-business readers. This week we added an 'Africa Business' section on the Africa Media & Marketing home page, which will flow into the weekly and daily newsletters as well. The objective is to categorise more general economic news and general news that is also of interest to marketers doing business in Africa. read more

Purpose-driven brands are breakthrough brands - 8 Aug 2016

[Louise Marsland] There were two sets of content I worked on this week that were so inspiring: the 'Breakthrough Brands' report from Interbrand; and's Focus on CSI trend report. Both talk to the value of purpose-driven, authentic brands that touch the consumer. In 'Interbrand identifies the global 'Breakthrough Brands' disrupting markets', two African brands: Kenya's M-Pesa and South Africa's Tuluntulu, were identified as breakthrough brands among a host of other global brands that are the next generation of brands to disrupt and shape the market. The most important attributes of the breakthrough brands is their agility, ability to leverage technology, handle change, as well as balance innovation with core values. read more

Africa’s next ‘industrial decade’ - 1 Aug 2016

[Louise Marsland] The United Nations has declared 2016-2025 as the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa. What this means for the continent is renewed focus and support for inclusive and sustainable industrial development to further economic diversification and job creation to reduce poverty; and contribute to the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the continent, which all African Union states are party to. Despite the global economic slowdown and worst drought in 35 years, Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in the world, according to EY '2016 Africa attractiveness program, Staying the course'. read more

RIP Gordon Patterson - 25 Jul 2016

[Louise Marsland] It was a devastatingly sad week for the South African media, marketing and advertising sector which lost a giant of the industry, veteran media director and ad industry leader, Gordon Patterson, who died tragically in a car-jacking in Johannesburg, SA. Gordon was a popular and principled leader in the industry for 30 years, serving in various leadership roles. He was business director of Omnicom at the time of his death; on the Audit Bureau of Circulations Board; vice-chair of the Advertising Media Association of SA; on the print subcommittee of the SA Audience Research Foundation; and held leadership positions across advertising and media bodies throughout his career. read more

How would you describe 2016? - 18 Jul 2016

[Louise Marsland] It seems as if I wasn't the only one feeling like there has been too much bloodshed around the world in 2016 - the hashtag #2016in3words went viral globally over the weekend after the attack in Nice, France, with people expressing their weariness with all the death and sadness. I wrote a column about it: '#Trending: Stop the world, I want to get off'. In South Africa, the broader communications industry said goodbye this weekend to industry stalwart, Ruth Golembo, who passed away suddenly, last Thursday, 14 July 2016. read more

‘Give me the good news’ - 11 Jul 2016

[Louise Marsland] Somebody quipped on Facebook over the weekend that it seems as if legendary director Quentin Tarantino is 'directing' 2016, given how bloody, conflict-ridden and plain bizarre, things have been at times this year (think Brexit; and the rise of Donald Trump; and how many rockstars/icons have died). Or maybe it only seems like that to those of us embedded in a daily diet of news from around the globe. Luckily, when you work in B2B media, particularly in Africa, I feel, there is more good news about innovation, investment and talent to write about, than the truly weird. read more

The long view on Africa - 20 Jun 2016

[Louise Marsland] 'Believe in Africa, invest in Africa, take a long view on Africa...' were the sentiments overwhelmingly expressed on the stage of the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) last week when it played host to the influential Consumer Goods Forum 60th Global Summit, 15-17 June 2016. It was the first time in Africa for this august retail and branded goods body, which saw the CEOs of global retailers and brands strut the stage talking up investment in Africa. In a nutshell: yes, Africa has problems with political leadership, conflict and corruption, but when you see the innovation and investment in technology, start-ups, smart cities, power, infrastructure, education, farming, retail, and, indeed, every sector on the continent, there is no doubt that this is the place to live and work. Even deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa dropped by in a low-key entrance, to listen to speeches on investment and food security, before taking to the stage to talk about "Africa rising". Keynote speaker, Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola, which is investing $17 billion in Africa, was extremely bullish and encouraged retailers and manufacturers to take a long view of the continent. "Small improvements in Africa are yielding exponential results," Kent said. read more

How disruption is transforming retail - 13 Jun 2016

[Louise Marsland] Cape Town plays host to the respected Consumer Goods Forum 60th Global Summit this week, 15-17 June 2016, featuring some of the world's most prominent retail and brand CEOs, including WPP head Martin Sorrell and the assembled leadership of the FMCG world: Tesco CEO Dave Lewis; Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent; Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang; Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon; and Facebook Africa CEO Nunu Ntshingila. Over 800 delegates from over 365 companies from 40 countries are expected, spanning the entire consumer goods ecosystem, including retailers, manufacturers, service providers and trade associations. The theme is 'Seizing opportunities in the face of disruption'. read more

Latest shopper marketing trends - 6 Jun 2016

[Louise Marsland] The latest Shopper Marketing trends have been the focus of a special trend report on Bizcommunity this past week, ahead of the world Consumer Goods Forum summit in Cape Town next week featuring the global CEOs of leading multi-national brands and global retailers. As with most industries, retailing is also experiencing massive disruption, as empowered consumers and technological innovation intersect, meaning that retailers and brands need to work harder than ever in engaging the consumer in this overly cluttered advertising and marketing world. The good news is that the consumer wants to connect with you, as long as you add value to their lives. Adding to the challenges - and opportunity - in Africa, is the increasingly younger population, the 'Afrillennials', who have been a focus of #YouthMonth on Bizcommunity, this June. read more

Bizcommunity Africa goes daily - 30 May 2016

[Louise Marsland] went daily with the Africa Media and Marketing newsletter on Africa Day last week, 25 May 2016. The expansion into Africa with business-to-business content is a key business strategy and resources have been allocated accordingly. I've always believed that business-to-business media is about people, about their achievements, about their professional development, and about the interesting things they are doing. read more

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