Editor's column

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Branding for good - 13 Apr 2015

[Rod Baker, @Biz_Africa] The tide has turned in marketing and today, Louise Marsland in her [TrendTalk] looks at 'Branding for good' and how the tide has turned in marketing, with products and campaigns from big brands working hard at providing solutions to societal problems. Mobile is big in Africa, as is moving money about using mobile, so get to Mobile Money & Digital Payments Africa, which will be back in Johannesburg in May. From France comes the news that AFP has launched Africa Weekly, a broadcast-ready programme for television and digital platforms, but on a much unhappier note, a court in Egypt has sentenced three journalists to life in prison. read more

Free De Morais now! - 30 Mar 2015

[Rod Baker, @Biz_Africa] One thing that separates pseudo democracies with true democracies is media freedom, and that being the case, the Angolan government is falling short... which is why Reporters Without Borders has joined nine other NGOs in demanding the withdrawal of criminal defamation charges against Angolan journalist Rafael Marques de Morais, who went on trial on 24 March. It's just not cricket.... read more

That’s right, shoot the messenger… - 23 Mar 2015

[Rod Baker, @Biz_Africa] Zimbabwe's Industry and Commerce deputy minister Chiratidzo Mabuwa has blamed journalists for Zim's problems because she says they sold out by writing negative stories on the country's indigenisation and economic empowerment laws. On a different tack, Wendy Cochrane asks: Does your brand have what it takes to be a hero at the bottom of the pyramid? Many companies, she says, are alert to the opportunities that exist in our dynamic developing markets, but building stable brands within this volatile climate is not for the faint-hearted. And on a very positive note, Merck is supporting schistosomiasis education in Mozambique and that's good news for the fight against this debilitating disease. read more

Milk, popcorn… and Nigeria - 16 Mar 2015

[Rod Baker, @Biz_Africa] Ahmed Bulbulia, writing from Nigeria, looks into the curious case of milk & popcorn in Nigeria, and still on the West African giant, we look at the nation and how it is among the 20 fastest growing economies and what that might mean. And just in case you haven't had enough of Nigeria, Burson-Marsteller has announced a new partnership in Nigeria... the launch of CMC Connect Burson-Marsteller in Lagos and Abuja. Leigh Andrews writes on the epic impact of global-local acquisitions and mergers... and spoke to Elian Wiener, founder and CEO of Epic Communications - recently acquired by Publicis Groupe - on the subject. read more

Egypt postpones Al Jazeera trial - 9 Mar 2015

[Rod Baker, @Biz_Africa] In a move that is unlikely to polish its already tarnished image, an Egyptian court has postponed the Al Jazeera journalists' retrial. On a happier note, Burundi is set to ease media restrictions - Burundi's national assembly has approved a draft media law, backtracking from contentious 2013 legislation. And over in West Africa, Nigeria is leading a mobile lifestyle and here's why that matters to brands. read more

From the world to Africa... Design Indaba - 2 Mar 2015

[Rod Baker, @Biz_Africa] One of the highlights of the South African annual calendar is, what else... Design Indaba and as always, we were there, bringing you the latest from the world of design. read more

So, what makes a winning campaign? - 23 Feb 2015

[Rod Baker, @Biz_Africa] The Bookmarks Awards are one of South Africa's premier advertising awards programmes, and that's why Danette Breitenbach spoke to a number of winners to find out why exactly a Bookmarks win is meaningful. Also on the topic of creativity, Leigh Andrews chats to Liné van der Merwe of Life is Awesome agency on the subject of how to extend the 'Life is Awesome' philosophy beyond the creatives that usually live by these words. read more

confiscation - 16 Feb 2015

[Rod Baker, @Biz_Africa] When Mugabe took a recent trip - albeit a great deal shorter than the trips he usually takes - and succumbed to gravity, Zimbabwe Information Minister Jonathan Moyo was quick to threaten the media afterwards that next time, devices would be taken from the media. Appearing to defend the heavy-handedness of the state security services who forced journalists to delete photographs of Mugabe's fall, Moyo is quoted as saying that "...The Vatican does that, the police at the Vatican. read more

Calling Africa’s business… - 9 Feb 2015

[Rod Baker, @Biz_Africa] If a 'digitally literate shopper' sounds like a trend of the future, read this quickly as your business may already be behind the times... Leigh Andrews reports on [eCommerce Africa] and the ins and outs of engaging with digitally literate shoppers - so get reading. read more

Egypt frees Al Jazeera journalist, but… - 2 Feb 2015

[Rod Baker, @Biz_Africa] Peter Greste, one of the three Al Jazeera journalists jailed last year in Egypt for alleged terrorism-related charges, has been freed and deported. But that still leaves Canadian citizen Mohamed Fahmy and their Egyptian Al Jazeera colleague Baher Mohamed. read more

Lobola goes mobile - 26 Jan 2015

[Rod Baker, @Biz_Africa] Lobola has gone mobile and not everyone is happy. The issue? A new mobile app that takes the African tradition of paying a bride price into the technological age... read more

Until we meet again… - 19 Jan 2015

[Ilse van den Berg, @Biz_Africa] It is with a sad heart that I write my last ed's column today as I bid this fabulous company, Bizcommunity.com, and all our readers farewell. I have always had the dratted travel bug (which cannot be cured with any vaccination unfortunately), and so, when the opportunity arrived to leave on a jet-plane to Northern Italy for a few months, I simply couldn't decline. read more

Give that brand a boost… - 12 Jan 2015

[Ilse van den Berg, @Biz_Africa] Looking to break into the lucrative African market? Leigh Andrews reports that the key may lie in a new online directory, A-Listers, with the power of social network functionality that links your brand to African celebrities. She chatted to Laura Eboa Songue, Founder of A-Listers, to find out more... On the digital/mobile front, the Nigerian Government has revealed plans to connect 50% of its population to 3G broadband during the course of 2015; and international research firm Frost & Sullivan predicts sub-Saharan Africa will over the next seven years experience the fastest growth in mobile usage globally. Last but not least, check out some tips on hiring the right employee for a small business as well as how to react when making market research mistakes. read more

Let’s make 2015 a year to remember - for all the right reasons - 5 Jan 2015

[Rod Baker] 2014 has come and gone, and it's history... even though much of what began last year seems destined to continue... read more

2015… Bring it on! - 15 Dec 2014

[Ilse van den Berg, @Biz_Africa] Well, we've reached the end of the year, albeit too often in the dark, but this is the time of the year when we get together with our families and friends and enjoy our time together. So from all of us here at Bizcommunity.com, to all of you - our clients, advertisers, readers and followers - a hearty Best Wishes to you all, and to those dear to you. This has not been the easiest of years, but 2014 is almost at an end and if there is one thing history has taught us, it is that South Africans of all colours, creeds and walks-of-life are resilient... read more

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