Having just returned from the African Cristal Festival – africancristal.com – in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire where more than 40 of the African countries were represented I was encouraged by the level of insights that were willingly shared amongst the delegates – this despite the various language barriers. What stood out for me were a number of things, sometimes we forget the old, but without the old there is no new.
In many African countries “traditional” media is still king, print, radio and television is still at the top of the list, and yes there are some new media/digital integrations happening, but not quite on the level we are seeing in South Africa, yet this is okay, because the key element of each business strategy that would be executed in the media was the same – know your market, understand what they want and how they want it delivered to them, then execute, knowing these insights.The reason for our trip to Abidjan was to live stream the Aegis Media Thought Leadership Digibate – to a broader African audience. Whilst we have done many of these over the past year in SA it was an amazing experience to have a truly global panel and an audience that were literally “gob-smacked” that this sort of new media platform existed in Africa and what was more that the concept was the brain child of a woman on top of it. Dawn Rowlands, CEO Aegis Media Sub-Saharan Africa realized a while back that the way to grow business in Africa was to create a platform of true sharing and insights into the media/marketing world through a live and interactive platform that could engage right there and then, but also be available post the live stream to a global audience via a downloadable podcast, thus the collaboration between Aegis Media and BizRadio.co.za was born. The Digibates have opened up a door to Africa where anyone can share information and gain insights into how things are done in Africa and why this continent is fast becoming the creative hub for the world’s media/marketing sectors.
Whilst many things still need to change in many African regions – like seeing more woman in top level positions, state controlled media in some regions to an over proliferation of more than 400 independent radio stations in another – the common thread is that Africa is the place to be from a creative/strategic and business perspective in the media/marketing sectors.
Ingrid von Stein has a background in journalism and is an award-winning communications and marketing specialist. A business entrepreneur, she created Indigo Zebra Communications and NGO Marketing, respected for its exceptional contribution to the positioning of not-for-profit organizations in the market place. She brings her life-long love for radio which began with a childhood career on Springbok Radio, the precursor to SAFM, to the business development of pioneering on-line digital radio in Africa.