Innovative new tech from Africa - 24 Oct 2016

[Louise Marsland] One of the most innovative new technologies to come out of Africa is the growth of 'pay-as-you-go' solar electricity services - often supported and available through mobile networks. It is a vital service that is being rolled out across key African nations such as Ghana and Uganda, with plans for roll out in DRC, South Sudan and Burundi by 2018. Using renewable, clean energy and rolling it out through available services such as wireless, mobile networks, is the only way to go in the future with all such services - in particular bringing electricity to all, including underresourced rural areas in Africa. Strategy is always a strong news focus, and this week we have published articles on digital strategy, PR, apps, creative strategy and the internet of things. In other news, Africa's editors gather in Pretoria today to meet with outgoing African Union chair, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, to discuss how to "deepen" Africa's narrative and deliver on Agenda 2063. read more

African journalists honoured - 17 Oct 2016

[Louise Marsland] CNN and Multichoice honoured Africa's top journalists last week at the CNN Multichoice African Journalist 2016 awards. There were a record number of entries this year: 1,637 from 38 countries in Africa. read more

Numbers are positive for Africa investment - 10 Oct 2016

[Louise Marsland] Economists globally have been talking up Africa from an investment perspective, despite the drought, decline in oil revenues and despite global economic recession elsewhere. This week a report from the United Nations said there is an evident "bounce back" in investment. The investment story continues, especially in the hotel sector, where there seems to be a race on between the global hotel groups to open new hotels on the continent, including in Africa's tallest building - the Hilton in Nairobi, Kenya; and Marriott is also opening three new properties in Cape Town. read more

Digitising Africa’s economies - 3 Oct 2016

[Louise Marsland] Congratulations to DDB Middle East & Africa for being crowned Network of the Year at the African Cristal Festival advertising awards, held last week and congrats to all the winners. To attract the attention of consumers these days, brands have to create experiences that consumers can share, says Ogilvy's chief creative officer, Pete Case. These include experiences where the consumer is entertained or informed without overt branding. read more

Media industry outlook to 2020 - 26 Sep 2016

[Louise Marsland] Despite the decline of the publishing industry in certain regions due to the growth of digital media, there are still growth opportunities to be found in the media and entertainment industry in Africa, according to the latest PwC Entertainment & Media Outlook in which they unpack future trends until 2020. Video gaming, television and 'filmed entertainment' are growth areas in Africa, in particular Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. The B2B market will be a major source of revenue for the media industry due to the amount of data required by business. While the print industry will decline by a billion rand in South Africa, total advertising revenue will rise due to the growth in internet advertising and television advertising dominance. In Nigeria and Kenya, growth will come from internet advertising as access increases; as well as from television growth and an emerging middle class with more disposable income. The latest PwC outlook highlights five key shifts that will emerge in sub-Saharan Africa up to 2020: primary growth is being driven by the youth market; content is still king; content consumption will be curated; growth will differ from one region to the next due to varying levels of disruption; and ongoing disruption of the market and media models will transform the market, as technology companies also enter the race to become hybrid content companies. read more

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

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