On the continent, youth are less impressed with foreign labels, foreign heroes, foreign artists, foreign culture; and therefore, foreign goods. This is really a remarkable trend. Young people are finally confirming their own identity in the process. We have an increased interest in our own history, culture, and our country’s development.
|Sean Donovan, TBWA Group CEO at the HDI Africa Conference|
At the tail end of June 2018, HDI Youth Marketeers hosted an African Conference, which was attended by various members of the HDI collective. The objective of this conference is to dig deep into understanding the culture of the African youth. Amongst attendees was TBWA Group CEO Sean Donovan who as a contributor delved into the bigger TBWA Africa vision as a culture-driven agency – one of the highlights of the conference. Another brilliant piece came from CEO of Grid Worldwide, Adam Byars, who presented a very insightful session and shared tools about how to turn conventional marketing tactics into digitally disruptive content with extreme impact. Bongani Chinkanda, CEO of HDI Youth Marketeers, presented the HDI Africa expansion strategy.
Technology is changing the world and on this very youthful continent it is important to move at the speed of culture. This means that digital media is new media. “In Ghana, music and sports has become a common language,” says Kobinah Acquah, MD of HDI Ghana. “Education is a primary source of escaping poverty, and as young people contend with high food prices, and interest rates sitting at 30% plus, the hustle is real,” he adds. “Being part of the HDI collective enables us to change the narrative for the youth and create platforms that empower them for a brighter future.”
David Malonza, MD of HDI East Africa, shared that the Kenyan youth population (of under 25s) is a high 59.35% with an expected growth rate of 2.52% yearly. This is even higher than the South African reality. Online advertising is one of the fastest-growing sectors in Kenya’s market and by 2021, revenues will hit US$ 227 million, making it the third-largest source of revenue.
Sappi Bachi, Managing Director of HDI Zimbabwe, added, “It was great to meet the other African agencies and engage with them, especially about their experience in the youth space as it is new for us in Zimbabwe. The day was filled with interesting nuggets that were eye-opening. The direction of growing the African footprint is exciting and will enable us to move at the speed of culture and compete more effectively. I believe clients will listen when the youth speaks.”
“The annual HDI Africa conference will be vital to our strategic goal of growing our African footprint. It helps us understand the fundamental issues that affect the youth. Main issues include education, health and other socio-economic issues that help transport the youth to economic freedom,” says Chinkanda.