Be it financial inclusion, education, healthcare or social reform, mobile was the key word associated with discussions around these topics at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2013, held in Cape Town this past week.
Mobile is perhaps a distinctly African opportunity. The fact is that more people have mobile phones in Africa than they have bank accounts. Africa has more than 650 million mobile phone subscribers, which is more than the US or the European Union. And it’s a market that has grown exponentially. According to the World Bank, since 2000 the mobile phone market in Africa has grown 40-fold, from 16.5 million.
The debate around the penetration of women into executive positions across public and private sector remains a healthy one, and one that it would seem no concrete solution has yet to be found.
Attending the ‘Working Women: from Talent to Leadership’ session at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2013 last week I was struck by two initial thoughts. Firstly, just how few men there were in the audience – the brave few in this session made up about 10%. Secondly, by just how passionate, vibrant and inspiring the women were. There was a diverse grouping of political and business leaders, entrepreneurs and civil society who contributed to a lively discussion.
It appears the days of plundering Africa’s natural mineral for the benefit of foreign multinationals and enrichment of a few local powerful elites, while the vast majority of the continent’s people wallow in poverty, are numbered.
A lot has been said in recent times about how Africa is pregnant with possibility, a view influenced largely by the rapid growth the continent has enjoyed over the past decade, fuelled by exploitation of its abundant natural – including gold, platinum, oil and natural gas.
Poor economic integration and the low levels of trade and cooperation among its countries have, once again, been identified as the biggest impediments to Africa’s growth and ability to become the prosperous economic giant it could.
Speaking at the launch of the Africa Competitiveness Report 2013, at the World Economic Forum on Africa being held in Cape Town yesterday (9 May), WEF chief economist Jennifer Blanke, and her fellow panellists, had a simple message: Africa must integrate if it is to be competitive, diversify its economic base and create enough jobs for its young population, fast-urbanizing population.
Shaping norms and values in Social Media – Democracy is messy, certainly in the media space
On May 8, I was asked to participate in a panel discussion around ‘Shaping Norms and Values of Social Media’, I was to share the World Economic Forum stage with Minister of Communications Dina Pule, the Executive Chairman of MultiChoice, Nolo Letele and two highly regarded representatives from Africa.
FleishmanHillard Unveils Newly Refreshed Brand;
Showcases Evolution of Leading Public Relations Firm into the World’s Most Complete, Fully Integrated Communications Company
ST. LOUIS, May 1, 2013 — FleishmanHillard today unveiled a newly refreshed corporate brand and associated digital media property. The new branding reflects the evolution of the leading public relations firm into a fully integrated communications company that provides clients with the world’s most complete communications solutions. Long recognized around the world for excellence in public relations, public affairs, and digital and social media communications, FleishmanHillard has redefined the boundaries of traditional public relations by becoming channel agnostic. Able to solve client business problems by working across paid, earned, shared and owned (PESO) media channels.
In a time of war, whether declared or not, how much access do you, as a citizen, have to critical information? After the recent debacle in the Central African Republic there was an outcry from the general public that they should have had greater access to sensitive information relating to the SANDF operations in the CAR. But where is the line. How much information can you share with the general public to keep them happy while still ensuring the safety of the troops on the ground?
This is a question that has been asked many times but at the beginning of the twentieth century it wasn’t too much of a focus, but as technology advances so does our thirst for knowledge.
One of the challenges that all communicators experience during a crisis is balancing transparency and the need for authentic responses with the requirements of legal teams protecting a business’s liability when trouble comes knocking.
Recently we saw a crisis explode on Twitter pertaining to a large global brand. The legal team took too long to approve the recommended responses to those defaming the brand on this most public of forums. The result was that the issue escalated, with key influencers weighing in on the conversation while the brand remained silent at the crucial time when they could have filled the void with facts and an authentic message.
South Africa’s controversial Protection of State Information Bill, so-called the Secrecy Bill by its detractors, was finally passed by Parliament yesterday. It now awaits President Jacob Zuma’s signature to become law.
The main objective of the bill, according to State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, is to protect state security. He says it is needed to enable government to better regulate the handling of sensitive state information, combat the peddling of such information and counter espionage.
Ah, life used to be so much easier for companies in the good old days before The Digital Revolution came and took over the world. They controlled the world: they could tell people what they did, and what they should think about them.
How times have changed. Radically. Irrevocably. Suddenly, people buy stuff based on what they think of a company as much as the product itself – and those perceptions are being shaped by a vast network of fellow-consumers, partners and communities.