[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[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
[Louise Marsland] The new secretary-general of the United Nations, António Guterres, has expressed his hopeful optimism for Africa in a recent address at the African Union Summit. He spoke of the continent's promise and vast potential: “I am convinced that the world has much to gain from African wisdom, ideas and solutions.”
He said he also brought with him “a deep sense of gratitude” for Africa's humanity. read more
[Louise Marsland] While the news coming from parts of the world is rather depressing this past week, it's nice to be able to post stories like ‘Ten media innovations in Africa in 2017', from Dashboard's Peter Searll, which looks at the speed at which the media landscape on the continent is changing and the proliferation of smartphone penetration, rise in media consumption, new choices and formats, including the emergence of better research tools.
Central to this is the roll out of 4G across Africa. In research from Balancing Act, they outline ‘The new data normal for Africa'.
Then there is the fact that despite a global economic downturn, Africa is expected to show modest growth in 2017/18. read more
[Louise Marsland] It has never been more important that in this age of unfettered information flows and unrestrained social media, to maintain a healthy scepticism when confronted with news that evokes a strong emotion. In this era of fake news, it is not only up to the media to filter the facts from the nonsense and offer up stories to inform and entertain us; but it is also up to every individual to take the time to evaluate the source of content, including pictures, before sharing or reacting.
What makes it extremely difficult to spot fake news is that often the URLs or social media handles are very similar to the original source - often mainstream, well-known media sources. read more