Editor's column

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Technology set to change the continent’s customer engagement strategy… - 27 Jul 2015

[Leigh Andrews] This week, Leigh Andrews provides feedback on CEM for the tech-enabled African future, as discussed in the opening keynote of last week's Content Engagement Management Africa Summit. Don't forget the upcoming webinar presented by Meltwater Africa in association with Gumtree and Bizcommunity, on how to successfully influence brand reputation in today's hyper connected world. read more

Pan-African published fiction prize up for grabs… - 20 Jul 2015

[Leigh Andrews] The Etisalat Prize for Literature 2015 has put out its call for entries. This is the first ever Pan-African prize celebrating debut African writers of published fiction. Also making headlines, a new app will allow Kenyan SMEs to buy government bonds with just Ksh3,000. read more

Improved digital skills and a call to release all jailed journos in Ethiopia - 13 Jul 2015

[Leigh Andrews] Lilian Mutegi writes that Standard Group is to unveil a 24-hour TV news channel, set to give Kenyans a variety of news channels to watch as this is the second in its stable, set to deliver comprehensive, incisive news. In more good news for the continent's media industry, Airtel Nigeria has partnered with The Journalism Clinic to train journalists to host a four-city-four-week multimedia journalism training road show for 100 Nigerian journalists, offering them tools and techniques to make their digital content more compelling. Lastly, WAN-IFRA and the World Editors Forum are calling for the release of all journalists still jailed in Ethiopia, after a week in which six of their colleagues were freed. read more

Africa’s social media success story - 6 Jul 2015

[Leigh Andrews] This week it's all about African social media, kicking off with last week's first African Social Media Day celebrations on 30 June, when social media fanatics on the continent used the hashtag #SMDayAfrica to participate in the parallel event, global Social Media Day, launched in 2010 by Mashable. In light of this, Rachel Kanyoro discusses how social media has evolved in Uganda, with its rise in use attributed to the country's majority youth and politicians turning to the platforms to popularise their agendas. Lilian Mutegi adds that Facebook is eyeing the East African market - and Kenya in particular - having just opened its office in Johannesburg, South Africa, which Facebook describes as "the first step in furthering our investment in Africa and its people". Seems social media's the place to be... read more

Global insights for the African continent - 29 Jun 2015

[Leigh Andrews] This week, we draw international inspiration as John Beale shares special insights from the recent Festival of Media Global 2015, which took place in Rome. Two main trends set to still hit the continent are the fact that programmatic is still shrouded in confusion, and TV is threatened by digital - off our shores, at least. read more

The best advice for start-ups looking to get their business off the ground - 22 Jun 2015

[@Biz_Africa] Dancing with gorillas may not seem like logical advice, but it's exactly what Dr Shameen Prashantham advises you do to get your business off the ground - no actual animals involved, it's all about start-ups partnering with large companies, in particular multinational corporations, to their best advantage... Then, if you're looking for global inspiration, you're in luck because as of today, Cannes Lions 2015 officially kicks off. We've had a week of expectations and highlights of years past, now get ready, as Lions CEP Phillip Thomas says "The best is yet to come!" The Cannes Lions Pharma and Health & Wellness winners were announced on Saturday, and we also have all the finalist shortlists as soon as they're released, along with the award ceremony results and exclusive insights from Ann Nurock, attending as our first ever media correspondent on the ground in Cannes. read more

Online – the avenue for winning content, readers and research - 15 Jun 2015

[@Biz_Africa] If you're ignoring the youth in your marketing campaigns you're in for a big surprise, as African youth account for 65% of the continent's consumer spending, and they read everywhere, all the time - that's according to research from Frukt, an international ad monitoring agency. With this 'read anything, anywhere' mindset in mind, Sibongile Lehloo shares five important tips to creating viral content, keeping in mind that there's an art and a science to creating online content and a campaign that goes viral. That's also why it's important to take your research online, with the rise of the R500 smartphone handset pointing to benefits such as increased speed and reduced cost, as well as improved accuracy and validation of research results. What are you waiting for? Online isn't just the next thing, it's the only thing. read more

African acquisitions in the spotlight… - 8 Jun 2015

[@Biz_Africa] The board of Tiso Blackstar Group SE has announced the completed acquisition of Times Media Group Limited, leaving it with 100% ordinary share capital of the largest and most dynamic media company in sub-Saharan Africa. It also has a 22.9% equity interest in Kagiso Tiso Holdings, one of South Africa's largest black-controlled investment companies. read more

Cannes Lions are calling; celebrating award-winning journalism on the continent… - 1 Jun 2015

[@Biz_Africa] There's no need to be sad if you won't be attending the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in person, as we have the next-best thing for you: This year, we've appointed Ann Nurock as our first media correspondent on the ground in Cannes, bringing you winners' category shortlists, social media updates, seminar report backs and at least one Bizcommunity exclusive interview per day. Sit back, relax and get ready, as you can't get any closer to Cannes than with Bizcommunity this June! Award-winning reporting goes hand-in-hand with this focus on award-winning advertising, with the Promasidor Nigeria Quill Awards presented on Friday night. read more

Africa Day: Bringing what was free to paid-for TV - 25 May 2015

[@Biz_Africa] Thinus Ferreira delves deeper into how DSTV plans to extend the SABC news channel into Africa, with the public broadcaster's 24-hour TV news channel now available to the rest of the continent on the pay-TV platform's channel 404. Amr Shady feels technology definitely paints a brighter future for Africa, particularly as we celebrate Africa Day today, on 25 May. But all the celebration doesn't mean it's time to rest on our laurels, as modernising local economies is also important for Africa's future, making the continent more competitive by raising people's living standards, especially with Africa's population set to triple by 2050 - this is according to the African Economic Outlook 2015, released at the African Development Bank Group's 50th Annual Meetings. read more

Digital dominates the African conversation - 18 May 2015

[@Biz_Africa] Sara El-Khalili writes about 'Mobile technology: Bridging the African digital divide, a must-read as this week marks World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. Still on the topic of all things technological, Abigail Mawonde writes about how social media has become a major threat to the viability of the newspaper industry in Zimbabwe and the existence of journalism as a profession. Zimbabwe's digital space keeps the focus, with Koliwe Nyoni Majama explaining that local content production support is critical as the country gears up for digitisation. read more

Radio still tops for news in Zimbabwe… - 11 May 2015

[@Biz_Africa] A new survey by Afrobarometer in partnership with Zimbabwe's Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI), revealed on Thursday that a third of Zimbabweans still prefer to get their news from the radio, with only 10% checking social media for news every day. Moving further afield, Louise Marsland's latest [TrendTalk] column investigates whether brands can truly unlock the sharing economy, as explored in PricewaterhouseCoopers' ground-breaking research into this recent economic phenomenon. Rounding out the thought leadership this week, Sherry Zameer explains the power of mobile marketing, listing the 'old school sledgehammer marketing approach' as a pitfall to avoid in this time of personalisation and relevance. read more

Mobile motivation and the top global ads of 2015 so far… - 4 May 2015

[@Biz_Africa] In this week's [TrendTalk] column by Louise Marsland, we look at great ads in play, highlighting how this year's top industry trends such as branded content, social advertising and storytelling are taking the lead in branding, resulting in new advertising concepts and ideas. We also investigate how mobile motivation is sweeping across Africa, with insight from Amr Shady on how mobile's expansion is fulfilling the continent's growing needs for mobile solutions and creating more opportunities for its workforce. read more

Faster Tanzanian internet becomes a reality - 28 Apr 2015

[Rod Baker, @Biz_Africa] In this week's top stories from the continent, TIGO Tanzania is set to become the biggest and fastest internet network in the country thanks to its brand new 4G LTE technology. Next up, Andre Steenekamp offers advice on how to manage brand and reputation risk when your customer has a louder voice - especially handy in a time where consumer perceptions and attitudes about your company are now increasingly formed by the word on the social media grapevine. Lastly, don't miss your chance to enter the 2015 APO Energy Media Awards, especially as APO will award the first prize winner with transport, accommodation and a 'per diem' allowance to attend the Africa Energy Forum, held in Dubai from 8 to 11 June 2015, as well as one year of access to over 600 airport VIP lounges worldwide. read more

Becoming a sustainable brand in a time of industry accolades - 20 Apr 2015

[Rod Baker, @Biz_Africa] It was an eventful weekend award-wise, with the 2015 MTN Radio Awards winners announced, as well as the winners of the 2015 PRISM Awards. Atmosphere Communications scooped top honours in the Campaign of the Year category for the second year running, this time for the One Rand Man campaign it ran with King James Partners. And making the continent proud, FleishmanHillard's Prosper Campaign came out tops in the new Pan African Campaign of the Year category. Another well-deserved win. read more

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