Cape Town, South Africa: Media, business, government, technology, and community leaders from across Africa and internationally have gathered today in Cape Town, South Africa for this year’s annual Africa Business Media Innovators (ABMI) forum. The convening brings together a cross section of leaders to explore innovative approaches to fostering a vibrant media sector in Africa.
Co-hosted by M. Scott Havens, CEO, Bloomberg Media, Matthew Winkler, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, Bloomberg News, and Erana Stennett, Corporate Philanthropy Middle East and Africa, Bloomberg, the ABMI forum runs from October 30 – November 1.
Focusing on the ideas and business solutions that can contribute to the future of media and journalism in Africa, the forum has brought together a range of speakers including media owners, Senior Editors, Business leaders, government offices, community leaders and philanthropic organizations from over 10 countries. Participants will hear from speakers on a range of topics from the influence of AI and digital technologies on media in Africa, to the future of work in the newsroom and the sustainability of legacy publications across the continent.
Day one concluded with a Gala Dinner at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town, followed by a private tour of Mary Evans’ exhibition ‘GILT’, led by Koyo Kouoh, Executive Director, and Chief Curator, Zeitz MOCAA.
Speaking at ABMI, participants commented;
“LinkedIn’s vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce — and the possibilities opening up in Africa are extraordinary. Forums such as Africa Business Media Innovators are a vital way of building connections and fostering progress in areas that range from educating and informing new audiences to supporting more Africans into jobs,” George Anders, Top Writing Voice, LinkedIn said.
LaSharah Bunting, CEO, Online News Association, said:
“Media continues to evolve with the needs and development of our readers, watchers, and listeners. As our viewers have changed, so too have our ways of working. I look forward to discussing how newsrooms harness the opportunities of our evolving media landscape, while also tackling some of the most pressing challenges, such as misinformation and fake news.”
Thembisa Fakude, CEO, Mail & Guardian, said: “While technological innovation is providing huge opportunities for African media to open its reporting to a wider audience, we must be mindful of the risks that come with this, particularly around misinformation. Given the pace of this technological revolution, it’s crucial that the news industry comes together to discuss how we continue creating a vibrant and responsible news industry that informs the public while supporting economic growth right across the continent.”
Danai Gurira, Actress, Playwright, Activist, Artistic Director of Almasi Collaborative Arts, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, said:
“Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools for changing perception of Africa and allowing a complex, rich self exploration of its history and unique culture. It’s boundless possibilities to give Africa it’s own voice is what brought me to writing and acting, and I seek to connect with other innovators to share ideas and discuss solutions for taking Africa’s creative industry to the next level.”
Dr. Acha Leke, Senior Partner and Chairman of McKinsey & Company, Africa, commented:
Africa is on the brink of an economic revolution. But to realise our potential we need true collaboration across sectors and industries. Convenings like this are essential to unlocking our potential and propelling Africa forward into this new economic era.”
“Victoria Falls wasn’t discovered, it was there already. Likewise African creativity and creatives have always been here. The difference is that now, our cultural influence is being recognized globally. It’s the platform from which a whole new generation is experiencing Africa. The magic is in our music, film, fashion, food and art …and we need to continue to use these assets to craft fresh, compelling narratives that capture Africa’s unique offering to the world,” Moky Makura, Executive Director, Africa No Filter commented.
Nobel Laureate Maria Ressa and Co-Founder and CEO of Rappler said; “We can’t have democracy without a free press. Journalists hold power to account. A free press is the one of the most powerful tools we have to ensure we can hold those in power to account. I look forward to the forum to discuss how we continue building a fair and transparent media ecosystem that delivers reliable news, enabling consumers and businesses alike to make better informed decisions.”
“Africa continues to have great potential for commercial investment in the digital space. With 70% of its population under 30 years of age and as the world’s fastest growing economic region, there are relevant opportunities for impactful fintech, greentech and other innovations originating from here. I’m excited to engage with investors and operators wanting to do more on the continent,” Leonard Stiegeler, Investor and founder, Pulse noted.
“Infrastructure investments and new technologies are driving change in our region at an unprecedented pace. Bloomberg’s Africa Business Media Innovators Forum will tackle some of the most relevant and intriguing policy issues that affect Ethiopia and the continent. I look forward to discussing and listening to panelists how the industry can find actionable solutions to our most pressing problems,” Dr. Brook Taye, the Director General of the Ethiopian Capital Market Authority said:
The annual event forms part of the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa (BMIA), a pan-African program launched by Michael R. Bloomberg in 2014. The initiative is designed to advance business journalism in Africa and accelerate development of a globally competitive media and financial reporting industry. The program delivers cross-disciplinary educational programs and mid-career fellowships to increase the number of highly trained business and financial journalists, as well as supporting research to stimulate new media innovations. It is also designed to convene leaders to promote interactive dialogue and build strong relationships to enhance the quality of financial coverage and the availability of reliable and timely data on the continent.
Earlier this month, Bloomberg expanded its executive education program in business and financial journalism, BMIA Financial Journalism Training (FJT), to Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal. Offering the program in French for the first time, more than 100 delegates joined the new training cohorts. This follows the successful implementation of the program in Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. To date, the FJT program has reached 800 participants from 16 countries across the Continent.