All the Loerie Award winners - 21 Aug 2017

[Louise Marsland] The Bizcommunity.com 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

The value of cultural integration - 6 Mar 2017

[Louise Marsland] Collaboration, empathy, integration and tolerance all formed key notes in the overall message coming out of Design Indaba 2017, Africa's global inspiration showcase for the creative industries, held each year this time in Cape Town, South Africa. Bizcommunity.com fielded a strong team at Design Indaba 2017 and reported back on all the major presentations in our special Design Indaba section on our daily news site. Global events have obviously had an impact, as most presentations dealt with tolerance and the value of cultural integration brought by migration, as outlined in my overall trends report back on Design Indaba this year. read more

The Year of Visual Communications - 27 Feb 2017

[Louise Marsland] Bizcommunity.com has wrapped up its annual BizTrends2017 with a round up of all the trends we predict will move the industry this year. In 17 Trends for 2017, we predict that this will be the ‘Year of Visual Communications' as video gains prominence and becomes an integral element of all marketing communications. Elsewhere in Africa, the Africa Data Science Association NGO has been formed to promote globally acceptable data science practices for Africa. read more

Africa gets its own domain name - finally - 20 Feb 2017

[Louise Marsland] After years of wrangling through the courts, the .Africa domain name will finally be available to brands and individuals from mid-2017. This follows the resolution of a court case in the United States. read more

Preparing for times of uncertainty - 13 Feb 2017

[Louise Marsland] The only way to prepare for uncertain or disruptive times in business, in your own industry, is to be informed. To understand the global forces at work, pessimism in the markets, the factors that are looming to disrupt your industry. read more

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