Media News South Africa

Marco acquires majority stake in Africa Communications Media Group

Africa Communications Media Group (ACG), the go-to communications consultancy for communication support across sub-Saharan Africa, announced the acquisition of the company's majority stake by Marco, an agency specialising in brand building and reputation management.
Didier Lagae, founder and CEO of Marco
Didier Lagae, founder and CEO of Marco

Marco is expanding its communication capabilities across the African continent as ACG positions itself to service clients globally. Marco has a strong leadership base in the Maghreb region, which has seen the agency successfully support prolific African clients as well as global clients’ communication needs in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region from its office in Casablanca, Morocco. In addition, Marco services well over 100 clients from its now 16 offices owned globally.

For seven years, ACG has been one of the largest African-owned agency handling communication solutions for global clients across the entire continent. Both Marco and ACG have, over several years, developed a solid network of affiliated and in-country partners covering all parts of Africa. ACG is headquartered in Johannesburg. In addition, the African PR powerhouse has owned offices in Côte d’Ivoire supporting the Francophone market, together with Marco’s operations in Casablanca, Morocco.

Furthermore, ACG has a third office in Nairobi, Kenya, that serves as the regional head office for East Africa. Marco’s newly-owned sub-Saharan agency has excelled in providing tailor-made communication solutions to prestigious clients such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mercedes Benz, Bloomberg and Ethiopian Airlines.

Africa on the move

Marco strongly believes that Africa is a continent on the move with a rich tapestry of cultures, languages and economies. The acquisition facilitates greater expansion to provide communications support to clients across the African continent.

The top five economies in sub-Saharan Africa with the highest GDP – Nigeria ($514bn), South Africa ($330bn). Kenya ($106bn), Ethiopia ($100bn) and Ghana ($74bn) – offer huge potential for expansion within the communications sector. Africa is often associated with mineral or fossil fuel production, but new sectors are rapidly emerging.

Media and marketing communications were valued at over $10bn in 2019. The tourism sector is also set to blossom with projections of 34.8% growth in 2022 that will fuel a strong demand to promote African countries, such as Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique, as top tourist destinations. For eight years, MARCO has provided world-class communications support to high-profile clients in the Maghreb region of Africa such as the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). MARCO has also led the international outreach for COP22 held in Marrakesh in 2016 and supported the government of Morocco with a five-year global support programme to encourage investment.

Didier Lagae, founder and CEO of Marco said, “Marco has been partnering with Africa Communications Media Group (ACG) for many years now. I have had the immense pleasure of working alongside Mimi Kalinda and the rest of her team, in a variety of campaigns especially for institutional clients related to the European Union. Since we handled all the international communications and outreach for the COP22 held in Marrakesh, Morocco, in 2016, Marco has been the go-to communication support agency for key institutions and corporations operating on the African continent.

“Marco’s award-winning work for institutions, such as Invest in Morocco, and private corporations such as Bombardier and Intelcia, has all been led from our operations centre in Casablanca, Morocco. Eight years of a strong base in Morocco has consolidated MARCO’s footprint, especially in the Maghreb region, with an ever-growing number of clients using our expertise, the latest addition being the European Investment Bank (EIB).

ACG is spearheaded by founder and CEO, Mimi Kalinda, who hails from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, and was raised in South Africa, London and Brussels. Kalinda knows Africa through and through, and she will lead the communications operations in supporting Marco group clients in the sub-Saharan market.

Kalinda, founder and CEO of Africa Communications Media Group (ACG) said, “Uniting both Marco and ACG, we are now in a position to implement communication support to both sub-Saharan Africa and the Maghreb region. In addition, MARCO has a global outreach through its additional 16 offices worldwide and its affiliated presence in 100 markets outside of Africa. ACG being part of the MARCO family translates into real opportunities for our clients to not only build their reputations and brands in Africa but also well beyond the continent’s frontiers.

“By developing a presence and a reputation in Europe, most notably in Brussels, Paris and London, as well as in Washington DC and New York, we are now available and accessible to our clients. I am also very pleased to combine my personal expertise in powerful country brand building with Didier’s unmatched experience and knowledge, as well-articulated in his book ‘A Country Brand, a Branded Country’.”

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