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Mobile Entertainment Forum expands into Africa

The global voice of mobile entertainment, Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF) held its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) elections and general meeting during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in earlier this year and in a first for Africa, Emma Kaye, CEO of Gate7, was elected to represent the African territory on behalf of the MEF EMEA board.
This is the first time the expanded geographical coverage of the board reflects the chapter's extended remit, which now includes the Middle East and Africa.

Says Gerard Grech, MEF EMEA chair, “Africa and specifically South Africa is a significant market for the mobile sector. According to the South African Telecommunications Report of 2007, 2006 ended on 36.8 million mobile users, providing a penetration rate of 78.5%. By 2010 they expect a penetration of 100%, by which time growth in the 3G sector will be well underway at around 42.3%.

“The expansion of the MEF EMEA board is an important step for us in ensuring we represent the entire EMEA region, in all of its geographic and cross-industry diversity. I'm delighted to welcome Emma Kaye as our African representative, and look forward to the contribution she will make in achieving MEFs goal of driving a global industry at a local level.”

First woman to represent Africa

As the first representative from the African continent and more significantly as the first woman to represent Africa on the EMEA board, Kaye is perhaps most revealingly described as an industry imagineer and an entertainment, advertising and social development architect for the mobile platform.

Before setting out to giving sustainable business direction to an African brand in new media for the mobile screen, Kaye did much the same for African animation and entertainment. Her credentials as co-founder of Triggerfish Animation (www.triggerfish.co.za), AnimationXchange (the largest grassroots forum for content creators), AnimationSA.org (www.animationsa.org) and the first animation festival in Africa, stand out.

Recently, her experience has catapulted her into the field of new media: first as CEO of Breakdesign - taking this company to the top five globally with Nokia and top seven for Adobe in the creation of Flash Lite games - and most recently as founder and CEO of Gate7, a mobile media, entertainment and content company.

Driving key projects

Through Gate 7, Kaye is driving key projects and initiatives within the world of new media including Novel Idea, a text based content channel powered by Mobfest (http://mobfest.co.za), Africa's first made for mobile festival geared to aggregate user-generated content.

It is Kaye's knowledge of the emerging African market and her ability to harness her skills to both affect and effect change that is introducing a new platform where film and mobile meet and opportunities are created. Her ability to network from grass roots level up, her understanding of the industry and her uncanny ability to get things done, is what positioned her as the ideal candidate not only for the European board of MEF, but also as the forerunner to lead and direct the African Chapter.

Says Kaye, “My nomination to the EMEA board is an acknowledgement that Africa is a significant emerging market in the entertainment and mobile telecommunications sectors. This is an area that has significant commercial and social benefit for African business and consumers alike. Considering that mobile penetration in Africa exceeds 80% compared to the 10% penetration of the Internet, Africa's potential to contribute to the world of mobile is staggering. We now have the ability to deliver appropriate content and services to target markets with no previous access to this type of information and the potential for change on both a social and economic level is significant.”

The EMEA board is committed to creating local trade development opportunities for members; providing exclusive regional market insight and data and advising members on legislative issues affecting their businesses.

For more information, go to www.m-e-f.org.
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