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] Bizcommunity.com 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

Africa’s digital push - 23 May 2016

[Louise Marsland] The 'Africa Business Agenda' survey released on Friday by PwC shows that Africa remains a vital growth opportunity for global and local CEOs; that Africa's growth and economic prospects remain positive; and Africa is poised for the digital revolution. Initiatives like the SMART Africa Alliance, in collaboration with global technology and communications brands, are developing a more connected and fully functioning knowledge-based society in Africa. read more

Louise Marsland takes the reigns as editor of Bizcommunity Africa Media & Marketing - 16 May 2016

[Louise Marsland] It is a privilege to be back at the helm of a Bizcommunity media community as editor of the Bizcommunity.com Africa Media and Marketing portal. read more

Building a customer-centric organisation - 9 May 2016

[Louise Marsland] Technological innovation moves at a breathtaking pace these days, as we all know. read more

Today is the 25 anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration - 3 May 2016

[Louise Marsland] Today marks the 25 year anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration on 3 May 1991, a historic call for press freedom made by journalists across the African continent. It was an influential document, aimed at promoting an independent and pluralistic African Press. read more

Increased media investment in Africa - 25 Apr 2016

[Louise Marsland] Every week it seems there is news about another media collaboration or innovation in the ICT, mobile or digital sector on the African continent. Africa is rising, no doubt about that and it is gratifying to see all the new media launches and many awards for talented young developers from the continent. Africanews, a Euronews offshoot, which launched on the continent in January this year, launched into sub-Saharan Africa this week through a myriad of partnerships with local broadcast and internet channels; and Deutsche Welle and Channels TV announced a collaboration on the Eco@Africa channel to highlight best-practice environmental guidelines for ecological protection from all over in Africa and the world. read more

It's been a good week for African developers who showcased a variety of innovation - 18 Apr 2016

[Louise Marsland]
Facebook invited African developers to showcase their work at #F8, its eighth annual developer conference in San Franscisco last week. A young Malawian team impressed Sheryl Sandberg as she wrote on her blog. read more

Economic diversification and a superhero will save African economy - 11 Apr 2016

[Louise Marsland] Africa has a new superhero and his name is Jongo, played by hip hop star Pacou Mutombo. South Africa's e.tv network will broadcast the new TV series on 19 April on e.tv and DStv channel 194. read more

African business opportunities abound – if you start with yourself - 4 Apr 2016

[Leigh Andrews] Farren Roper says now's the time for marketers to establish their professional brand. Not being a true brand ambassador for your own truth in sharing your stories, successes and failures is the opportunity cost of building great role models for other would-be marketers to aspire towards, especially as more and more business moves online. Hatem Hariri agrees that digital transformation is key to Africa's future. read more

Cracking African business basics - 29 Mar 2016

[Leigh Andrews] Duke Malan kicks off this shortened work week's content by explaining how to 'sell a country' in five minutes, particularly from the perspective of Ethiopia, the world's fastest growing economy in 2015. He states that while the country's rise was driven by investment in infrastructure, the agriculture sector, population growth and a rapidly expanding manufacturing sector, few realise that Ethiopia is actually "open for business". read more

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