Global Africa Forum On Communications

GAFCOMM 2019

Global Africa Forum on
Communications

Speak For Africa: New Communication Frontiers For Africa’s Global Growth Story

The nexus between strategic communications and economic development of regions around the world cannot be overemphasized. Some of the world’s most ambitious countries and regions have over time integrated communications variables into economic models leading to a more positive outlook, good reputation and attractiveness to investments. Same cannot be said of most of Africa.

In 2019, the Global Africa Forum on Communications will bring together thousands of professionals, company and country representatives to look at communications in an entirely new light, putting into context the critical role communications will play in driving Africa’s growth, shape the future of African economies and companies operating within Africa. The event will also be unique in that it will bring together institutional partners formulating policies capable of accelerating national and regional business growth.

It will be the most diverse conference audience; made up of country communication managers, communication leaders from multinational corporations, CEOs, technology leaders, media owners, journalists, as well as reputable PR, brand and marketing agencies from across the continent.

The sessions are designed to offer participants the most thought-provoking conversations, case studies, global best practices and challenging takeaways.

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Event Speakers

Speak For Africa: New Frontiers For Africa’s Global Growth Story

When some economies in Africa experienced declines in growth rate, naysayers were quick to predict an end to the ‘African Rising’ narrative and question the continent’s growth story. However, that period of poor growth or lack of it, strengthened African economies and helped us see growth beyond commodities. Today, several African economies have improved in resilience to external shocks. The believe that Africa may be the last frontier of growth remains valid. No other continent offers the same growth potential as much as Africa, a continent that boasts of tremendous mineral wealth, holds more than half of the world’s uncultivated arable land and home to the largest working population for years to come.

We have a duty; to expand the channels through which project Africa’s growth story. We must lead discussions about our economies, the opportunities and the future we want for Africa. Can we start representing #BrandAfrica?

The Subsequent sessions below are the conversations to be held based on the Speak for Africa theme.

Perspectives on Strategic Corporate Communications, Reputation Management and Stakeholder Relations

Corporate communication reaches its full potential in building corporate reputation, when it does more than just influencing public perception of an organization, but also shapes organizational reality by engaging stakeholders as the main drivers of the organization’s reputation.

Thus, communication managers in Africa have a major role to play in managing corporate reputation, even as stakeholder engagement managers and also as part of an organization’s strategic management team. Having a seat at the table where corporate decision-making happens will make it easier to generate a trustworthy corporate reputation, with communications practitioners serving as liaison between the organization and the public. It is important to always note the ever-increasing contribution of reputation to the economic value and continued existence of a company.

Multinational Corporation: Marketing & Communications in The Context of Africa’s Growth Story

As African economies grow, so is the commercial importance of the continent to multinational corporations (MNCs), with many of them enjoying sustained profitability from their African operations. One thing MNCs doing well in Africa have gotten right is speaking to different African markets where they operate in a way each understands and appreciates, whilst retaining one voice across board.

CEOs on the Frontline: How Executives Can Help Drive and Shape Corporate Narrative and Reputation

Research has shown that nearly half of the overall reputation of a company is tied to that of the company’s CEO. Global executives estimate that 44% of a company’s market value is attributable to CEO reputation, according to a research by Public Relations firm Weber Shandwick and public opinion research consultancy KRC Research.

CEOs with strong personal brands rub off positively on the reputation of their companies. Can CEOs lead from the front in the public sphere, helping to drive corporate narrative and bottom line? A CEO with a strong personal brand may be the best bet to success in an oversaturated marketplace with limitless options.

New Horizons For Country Branding: Soft Power, Competitive Identity And Positioning

Some countries in Africa have successfully improved their economies through branding. Using tested corporate branding techniques, these countries have been able to record impressive growth in tourism, increase investor interest and general appeal. For communications and branding professionals, nation branding has grown to become an important business, helping nations in portraying competitive identities. Countries can claim a distinct brand positioning in the minds of its citizens, international stakeholders and the global customer. It’s not only good for the country, it’s also good for its companies, as the companies feed off the country’s image. Think of Italian fashion, Swiss watches, French wine, etc.

Truth, Power & Politics: Managing State/political Communications in a Post-truth Era

Political communication isn’t what it used to be. Today, propaganda travel far and it has become extremely difficult to sieve out the truth from the cacophony of voices on social media. The role of communication in political life, both nationally and internationally, cannot be overemphasized. The focus has expanded now, with changes, including image-based politics, the increasing importance of ‘spin doctors’, the 24-hour news cycle and the globalisation of media, shaping politics.

Country Reputation and Impact on Local, Global Business and Investment Attractiveness

Just like a good nation brand will rub off on the companies in the country, countries with bad reputation makes it more difficult for local companies to compete globally, attract foreign investment or external credit. Understanding how far-reaching the global perception of our countries can be on business and the economy at large makes a case for communications professionals to start thinking more about reputation management for African countries.

Managing Communications in Crisis

Bad news travel fast and far. In today’s age of instant news, every organization must be prepared for the negative impacts of a crisis and devise the best communication strategy for such period. A well-managed crisis can increase brand loyalty, among other things, but a badly-managed crisis can signal the end of the organization. There are so many ideas on how to communicate in crisis, but how best can an organization communicate in crisis? Can one strategy work perfectly for everyone?

Speak To Africa: Perspectives And Views On Africa’s Global Image

A unique interactive session designed to bring together key representatives of global media brands to offer perspectives and views on Africa’s global image and coverage in international press. Conversations will center around Africa in the eye of the audiences of these outlets.

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Perspectives: News Coverage in Africa, By Who? To Who?

What most part of the world (including some Africans) know about Africa is what media publishers have served them. Sadly, news about Africa is hardly ever covered with the same professionalism and keen interest in details with which reportage of the West is presented. Who should be controlling the narrative? How about more Africans start playing active roles in telling other Africans and the world at large about Africa? How can we help foreign reporters improve their understanding of Africa?

THE WEST VS CHINA CONVERSATIONS: Africa As A Media Battleground

For everything reported about Africa by some foreign media organisations, there is something everyone agrees on; Africa is the next frontier of growth. Africa is blessed with both human and natural resources and will enter an era of much more importance to the rest of the world. China recognizes this, so does the West. Hence, Africa has become a battleground of some sort, as both China and the West, especially the United States, try to grow their influence on the continent. The most-preferred turf for the battle has been the media. How can Africa use these conversations to its own advantage?

MEDIA DEVELOPMENT: Issues in Investment, Development & Management of Local Media  

The independence of the media in many African countries is threatened due to lack of private investments. The thriving media organizations in most parts of Africa, are funded directly (owned) or indirectly (Government PR & Advertising) by the state. While this is no excuse to drop standards, it has affected professionalism and quality of work by local media. With many media practitioners poorly paid due to paucity of funds, there is hardly enough to even invest in training. How can we do better?

Media Relations Manual: The PR Professional’s guide to effective media relations in Africa.

Media placements have always been the holy grail of PR success. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult for media relations campaigns to get desired placement due to increasing pitches despite shrinking newsrooms. Also, poor remuneration of journalists has made many see PR as a way to augment their low incomes. Hence, good pitches sometimes end up in the trash.

How does a PR professional remain effective in this age? Relationships or Pitches? PR-y or Resourceful? Newspaper clips or key stakeholder survey? How do you successfully execute cross border and multi/lingual media campaigns across Africa? What secrets are in the box to help African companies get global media coverage?

Power Learning Session:

These learning sessions are designed to empower and tool industry professionals with contemporary issues, global best practices, techniques and technology and its impact in shaping the practice of communications in Africa.

THE R(AGE) OF SOCIAL MEDIA: Corporate Communication & Reputation in The Era of Fake News

Fake news is not new; however, the social media has provided a swift travel channel for people to spread unfounded allegations and false stories about organsiations. Once a displeased customer/client stokes a fire on social media, it may spread like wildfire if not carefully contained. How can people working in corporate communications group of organizations manage the rage of social media to keep their brands safe?

ADVERTISING & MARKETING IN AFRICA: Local Nuances, Cultural Hotspots, Global Relevance

Markets world over are becoming heterogeneous. With the internet, a tweet can give even local brands global exposure. Hence, all brands must start thinking globally but none should lose sight of the importance of localization. Messaging sometimes have to be localized in a way that connects with the audience and motivates them to engage with the brand. Brands must respect local nuances and speak to consumers in ways they understand.

CONTENDING WITH CONTENT: Storytelling And Driving Engagement Through Immersive Content Marketing

Advertising doesn’t always get through to consumers, especially when brands are trying to build loyalty and increase sales. In contrast, content is helping brands grow on consumers and increasing share of their wallet. Immersive content has even increased the impact of content, with technology such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and 360 video drawing consumers in, as brand subtly sell using valuable content.

Special Conversations

Gendered Frontlines: Advancing Equality through Women on the Frontlines of Media & Communications

Advancing Equality Through Women On The Frontlines Of Media & Communications Discussions about equality has been on for decades. While we have recorded some progress, some shocking acts of discrimination still occur, especially in Africa. Women on the frontlines of media and communications have been able to grow an audience they can influence. Through them, we can advance the message of equality and achieve equal representation both on the corporate front and the society at large.

 

Tim Morris

Tim has had a long career as a British diplomat, specialising in Africa, international organisations, and trade and investment promotion. Tim has been Ambassador to Morocco and Mauritania, temporary Head of Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan during the conflict in that country. He has worked as Coordinator on the Sahel and Special Representative on South Sudan and most recently was Senior Trade Advisor for Africa in the FCO.

Terhas Asefaw Berhe

Terhas Asefaw Berhe has a more compelling background than most agency leaders, having grown up in war-torn Eritrea before moving to Canada and then the UK. In 2003 she launched Brand Communications, and has since built it into one of the UK’s foremost diversity consultancies, with a particularly strong focus on African companies that are looking to grow beyond their borders

Mark Eddo

Mark Eddo is the founder of Mark Eddo Media, a communications and events consultancy that serves major corporate and government and non-governmental clients across Africa. He is the former Business and Economics senior correspondent for ITV News in the UK. Mark also spent several years presenting business news for the BBC TV, where he regularly hosted World Business Report. Mark has also reported for Al Jazeera, CNBC, MSNBC, NBC and The Wall Street Journal TV.

Mark is one of Africa's leading conference moderators who has led major international events for the clients such as the African Union, The UN, the Africa Finance Corporation, The Economist Group and the African Development Bank.

Patricia Obozuwa

Marcus Ryder

Gomolemo Lolo Madikgetla

James Barty

Hannah Wanjie Ryder

Hannah Wanjie Ryder is the CEO of Development Reimagined, the first Kenyan wholly foreign owned enterprise in Beijing. She is also International Development Director for the Made in Africa Initiative and China Representative of China Africa Advisory.

Hannah is a former Kenyan and British diplomat and economist by training with over 16 years of experience. Over this period, Hannah spent 2 years leading a 20-plus UN team supporting Chinese foreign aid and cooperation; 6 years bolstering effective appraisal, design and evaluation of global development cooperation – including as UK Team Leader for the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC), another 2 years designing/evaluating UK aid private sector programmes in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Indonesia and Korea – and also as chair of an OECD DAC Task Force for 2 years; 6 years as a climate change negotiator including devising and managing the UK contribution to the World Bank Climate Investment Funds (CIFs); and she was also a co-author of the Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change.

Hannah is the recipient of numerous awards for her leadership in China and Africa and her contributions to gender/race diversity and is regularly invited to write for and appear on outlets such as Project Syndicate, the Guardian, CGTN and more. She is fluent in English, proficient in elementary Chinese, French and Swahili.

Brad Ross

Brad Ross is currently based in Nigeria, and works for The Coca-Cola Company in the West Africa Business Unit. Brad is the Marketing, Customer & Commercial Director and is responsible for thirty three (33) countries in the business unit which stretches across West and Mid Africa as well as the Indian Ocean Islands. In his role, Brad is responsible for developing & implementing the West Africa Business Unit’s End-2-End Growth agenda and he is accountable for both the Marketing and C&CL departments.

Brad started his career with Coca-Cola eleven years ago in South Africa before moving to the global headquarters in Atlanta. During his time in the USA, Brad worked on many global marketing campaigns across the brand, IMC and Sports & Entertainment teams. He recently led the FIFA World Cup Campaign which was the largest global marketing campaign for the company in 2018, with over 185 countries leveraging the work across the globe.

Brad holds a B.Com - Marketing Management, B.Com Honours - Strategic Management, and M.Com - Business Management all from the University of Johannesburg (UJ). Brand also recently earned his Executive MBA from the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University in Washington DC.

Claudine Moore

Based in New York City, Claudine Moore is an international award-winning PR and communications executive and board member of Social Media Week, Lagos. Claudine’s career spans over 15 years of working with brands including Grey, Hill & Knowlton Strategies, Coca-Cola, HSBC, Johnson & Johnson and Louis Vuitton. For a decade, she has also worked across Africa leading the communications for business leaders and organizations including Arik Air, former UN Sec. Gen Kofi Annan and the Africa Progress Panel, Tony O. Elumelu, Heirs Holdings, the Tony Elumelu Foundation. She has also worked with African start ups and SME’s leveraging global best practices.

An avid writer, Claudine has provided content to several media outlets including CNN, PR Week, International Public Relations Association, Huffington Post and more. Claudine is also an Adjunct Professor at New York University teaching Corporate Social Responsibility, Global Public Relations and Global Engagement.

Gabriel Opoku-Asare

Gabriel Opoku-Asare has strong experience as a senior corporate affairs professional, ranging from handling major public policy advocacy, internal change and media relations, combined with a strong track record as a team leader with a reputation for making things happen in complex operating environments.
In his current role, Gabriel leads Diageo’s Sustainability and Responsibility strategy across the beverage giants’ 13 priority markets, comprising 4 business units which are Africa Emerging Markets, East Africa, Southern Africa and Nigeria.
Previously, he was the Corporate Relations Director at Guinness Ghana Breweries Plc (GGBPLC), a subsidiary of Diageo Plc, where as a member of the executive management team, he strategically positioned the company’s communications and sustainability agenda to be recognized among its peers as a leading, trusted and respected consumer brands company in Ghana.
Under his leadership the GGGBPLC brand was recognized on various awards platforms including the CSR Company of the Year, CSR Manufacturing Company of the Year, among others at the Ghana CSR Excellence Awards, Best Practices in Sustainable Manufacturing at the AGI Ghana Industry Awards,
Recently, he was adjudged CSR Practitioner of the year at the 2018 Ghana CSR Excellence Awards for his strategic leadership and relentless efforts to drive and execute the company’s sustainability agenda.
Previously, he was the Head of Corporate Affairs at Unilever Ghana, a member of Unilever Ghana Leadership Team and a member of Unilever Africa Region Sustainable Business and Communications Leadership Team.
In this role, he delivered public policy wins in tax, identified and embed sustainability as a growth and thought leadership driver which led to the company winning two Corporate Social Responsibility awards, last year.
Prior to working at Unilever, Gabriel was the Group Corporate Affairs Manager for the Mohinani Group. He was instrumental in the setting up of the Mohinani. He was instrumental in the setting up of the Mohinani Foundation which focuses its activities in the area of education, water and sanitation programs.
Gabriel is holds a BSc in Land Economy from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, Graduate Certificate in Public Relations from Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration and MA in International Relations from Leicester University and Executive Education Certificate in Shared Value Strategy from Harvard Business School.
In his free time, he enjoys volunteering to speak and mentor as part of his personal social responsibility.

Gina Din-Kariuki

Gina Din-Kariuki is a mentor, respected businesswoman, philanthropist and the Founder and Executive Chair of the Gina Din Group (GDG). ​Since its inception, the firm has evolved into a leading African brand serving under the tagline “Shaping African conversations”. It is currently the most awarded communications agency on the continent.

With over 30 years of management service and experience providing state of the art media and communication strategy to corporates, governments and NGOs both in Africa and abroad, Gina has built a reputation as a leading authority in the communications field in Africa and has been named one of Africa's 100 Most Influential People by New African magazine.

As a philanthropist, Gina serves as a Goodwill Ambassador for the Kenya Red Cross and runs her foundation, the Gina Din Foundation. The Foundation was established to empower youth and women with high potential by connecting them to global resources and mentors.

In 2016 Gina was appointed honorary ambassador for UNFPA with a specific mandate for women issues, with a focus on lending her voice to the gender agenda of the United Nations.

Steve Babaeko

Steve Babaeko is the founder and CEO of X3M Ideas, one of Nigeria's most successful advertising agencies with brands such as Etisalat, Diamond Bank, Multichoice and Oanda as clients. Steve Babaeko is no mean name in Nigeria's $500m advertising industry. In a 2016 editorial and business profiling done by TheNerveAfrica.com on Babaeko, TheNerveAfrica alluded that “The advertising landscape in Nigeria has changed and Steve is one of the people who spearheaded the change.

Eloïne Barry

Eloïne Barry is the Founder and CEO of African Media Agency. With more than 15 years of experience in the communications industry, Eloïne co-created and launched the first-ever press release wire distribution service dedicated to the African continent. She subsequently founded African Media Agency (AMA) as a response to the growing need from multinational companies, NGOs, international organizations and government entities to reach a much broader audience across Africa, and to demonstrably measure the impact of this reach on their business growth and strategic goals. Eloïne has lived and worked in France, Germany, England, Dubai and currently resides in New York with her husband and two sons. She has been nominated in 2016 and 2017 as African Woman of the year in the media category, sits on the board of Africa Communications Week and has been nominated one of the Most Influential People of African Descent in the Culture and Media category.

Jonathan Chapman

Jonathan Chapman is the BBC Africa bureaux editor based in Nairobi and responsible for the delivery of news from sub-Saharan Africa in English on TV, radio and online to audiences in Africa, internationally and the UK. He has previously been based in Brussels, Washington and London. The BBC is about to invest heavily in further vernacular language service coverage in Africa, including three new languages for Nigeria to supplement their long-standing Hausa service.

Bob Pickard

More Speakers to be Announced

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Venue Details

Conference Venue

August 21-23, 2019
Kigali Convention Center, KG 2 Roundabout, Kigali, Rwanda.

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