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Digital dominates the African conversation - 18 May 2015

[@Biz_Africa] Sara El-Khalili writes about 'Mobile technology: Bridging the African digital divide, a must-read as this week marks World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. Still on the topic of all things technological, Abigail Mawonde writes about how social media has become a major threat to the viability of the newspaper industry in Zimbabwe and the existence of journalism as a profession. Zimbabwe's digital space keeps the focus, with Koliwe Nyoni Majama explaining that local content production support is critical as the country gears up for digitisation. read more

Radio still tops for news in Zimbabwe… - 11 May 2015

[@Biz_Africa] A new survey by Afrobarometer in partnership with Zimbabwe's Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI), revealed on Thursday that a third of Zimbabweans still prefer to get their news from the radio, with only 10% checking social media for news every day. Moving further afield, Louise Marsland's latest [TrendTalk] column investigates whether brands can truly unlock the sharing economy, as explored in PricewaterhouseCoopers' ground-breaking research into this recent economic phenomenon. Rounding out the thought leadership this week, Sherry Zameer explains the power of mobile marketing, listing the 'old school sledgehammer marketing approach' as a pitfall to avoid in this time of personalisation and relevance. read more

Mobile motivation and the top global ads of 2015 so far… - 4 May 2015

[@Biz_Africa] In this week's [TrendTalk] column by Louise Marsland, we look at great ads in play, highlighting how this year's top industry trends such as branded content, social advertising and storytelling are taking the lead in branding, resulting in new advertising concepts and ideas. We also investigate how mobile motivation is sweeping across Africa, with insight from Amr Shady on how mobile's expansion is fulfilling the continent's growing needs for mobile solutions and creating more opportunities for its workforce. read more

Faster Tanzanian internet becomes a reality - 28 Apr 2015

[Rod Baker, @Biz_Africa] In this week's top stories from the continent, TIGO Tanzania is set to become the biggest and fastest internet network in the country thanks to its brand new 4G LTE technology. Next up, Andre Steenekamp offers advice on how to manage brand and reputation risk when your customer has a louder voice - especially handy in a time where consumer perceptions and attitudes about your company are now increasingly formed by the word on the social media grapevine. Lastly, don't miss your chance to enter the 2015 APO Energy Media Awards, especially as APO will award the first prize winner with transport, accommodation and a 'per diem' allowance to attend the Africa Energy Forum, held in Dubai from 8 to 11 June 2015, as well as one year of access to over 600 airport VIP lounges worldwide. read more

Becoming a sustainable brand in a time of industry accolades - 20 Apr 2015

[Rod Baker, @Biz_Africa] It was an eventful weekend award-wise, with the 2015 MTN Radio Awards winners announced, as well as the winners of the 2015 PRISM Awards. Atmosphere Communications scooped top honours in the Campaign of the Year category for the second year running, this time for the One Rand Man campaign it ran with King James Partners. And making the continent proud, FleishmanHillard's Prosper Campaign came out tops in the new Pan African Campaign of the Year category. Another well-deserved win. read more

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

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