Browse > Home / Archive: August 2009

| Subcribe via RSS

Designer Ozwald Boateng on dressing President Obama and his Made in Africa wealth initiative

August 31st, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted in Art, Business, Charity, Events, Fashion, Film/Television, Politics, Travel

In this three part series fashion designer Ozwald Boateng talks with CNN about outfitting President Obama for his recent Ghana visit and the designer’s new initiative “Made in Africa”.

Part 1: Tailoring for the President
CNN’s Monita Rajpal talks British-Ghanaian tailor Ozwald Boateng about his rise to fame and tailoring for President Obama’s Ghanaian visit.

Part 2: Made in Africa Ozwald Boateng talks about ‘Made in Africa.’ An organization designed to promote wealth and self sufficiency in Africa

Part 3: Designer to role model
British-Ghanaian tailor Ozwald Boateng explains his plans to help tailor Africa’s image problems.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Maker Faire Africa edition 2009 (video)

August 28th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted in Art, Business, Events, General, Technology, Travel

Below is an excellent video documenting the recent inaugural Maker Faire Africa event held in Accra, Ghana. The event was organized as a a celebration of African ingenuity, innovation and invention, with strong participation by local makers. Find out more about the event and the upcoming 2010 Kenya edition at the official website here. A job well done by the organizers.

via whiteafrican

Tags: , , , , , ,

Growing middle class and Africa’s demographic opportunity

August 27th, 2009 | 4 Comments | Posted in Business, General, Politics, Travel

The Economist writes an insightful article about the direct relationship between Africa’s lowering birth-rate, it’s growing middle class, and the continent’s economic growth.

Africa is still something of a demographic outlier compared with the rest of the developing world. …Its population has grown from 110m in 1850 to 1 billion today. …To get a sense of this kind of increase, consider that in 1950 there were two Europeans for every African; by 2050, on present trends, there will be two Africans for every European.

…Yet Africa is also starting out, a little late, on a demographic transition that others have already traced: as people get richer, they have fewer children. …It is surely no coincidence that the past 15 years have seen Africa’s fastest-ever period of economic growth. Africa, exceptional in so many ways, does not seem to be an exception to the rule that, as countries get richer, they experience a demographic transition.

…The result is a “demographic dividend”, which can be cashed in to produce a virtuous cycle of growth. A fast-growing, economically active population provides the initial impetus to industrial production; then a supply of new workers coming from villages can, if handled properly, enable a country to become more productive. China and East Asia are the models. On some calculations, demography accounted for about a third of East Asia’s phenomenal growth over the past 30 years.

africa_europe_population_forecast

The article presents an interesting view. Africa is going through a renaissance of sorts as the demographics of influencers have shifted tremendously in the past 10-15 years. It’ll be interesting to see the shape the continent and it’s cultures takes in the next few years.

More about the growing African middle class in the videos below:

The Nigerian middle class profiled

Ghana on the rise

Middle class life in Nairobi, Kenya

Tags: , , , , , ,

Djimon Hounsou narrates How Not to Write About Africa by Binyavanga Wainaina (video)

Tags: , ,

District 9 success and 19 Emmy nominations boost Africa as emerging TV & Film production locale

August 21st, 2009 | No Comments | Posted in Business, Film/Television, General, Travel

_1Ladies%E2%80%99Detective%20Agency.jpg

With the recently released South Africa-based filmed District 9 heating up conversations online and smashing box-office numbers Southern Africa is strongly maintaining it's role as a popular destination for Hollywood motion picture production. Not one to forgo the cost-profit benefits of filming in Africa, television networks are following suit, ramping up their hiring of crews in Southern Africa for program production. The results are a record 19 Emmy nominations for Africa-produced programs this year. I predict that the trend will continue rapidly as media companies struggle for new ways to generate revenue, and Africa nations learn to take advantage of marketing opportunities such as the upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Southern Africa is emerging as a destination for runaway TV production, as the 19 Primetime Emmy nominations for shows shot in the region prove. HBO's "Generation Kill" miniseries about U.S. troops in Baghdad filmed in South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique via Out of Africa Entertainment; Fox's "24: Redemption" shot in South Africa with Moonlighting; while "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency," the BBC adaptation of Alexander McCall Smith's bestselling novels, filmed in Botswana with Film Afrika. Approximately 90% of the cast and crew on all three productions were South African — indeed, four Emmy noms are for local crews…

And with Cape Town Film Studios scheduled to open a Hollywood-style studio on the tip of Africa early next year, the volume of TV projects coming to South Africa is only going to increase.

More at variety.com

Tags: , , ,

African Presidents need Blackberries

August 19th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted in General
How might African leaders react to its [technology-enabled] active and reflexive citizenry? One option is to befriend the technology and use its potential to improve lives….The choice a government makes between allowing the technology to enable, and using it to control will depend somewhat on how familiar the head of state is with the technology. In the interests of free self-expression, they should all get Blackberries.

While I agree with the assertion that African governments should embrace technology, there needs to also be the right checks and balances. Citizens are already finding innovative ways to use technology to supplement infrastructure gaps and get access to opportunities. By tapping into the informal processes of citizens, governments can better understand where the major gaps are, if they don’t already.

African Presidents need Blackberries

August 19th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted in Business, Politics, Technology, Travel

How might African leaders react to its [technology-enabled] active and reflexive citizenry? One option is to befriend the technology and use its potential to improve lives….The choice a government makes between allowing the technology to enable, and using it to control will depend somewhat on how familiar the head of state is with the technology. In the interests of free self-expression, they should all get Blackberries.

via monitor.co.ug

While I agree with the assertion that African governments should embrace technology, there needs to also be the right checks and balances. Citizens are already finding innovative ways to use technology to supplement infrastructure gaps and get access to opportunities. By tapping into the informal processes of citizens, governments can better understand where the major gaps are, if they don’t already.

Tags: , , ,

Obama and Hillary Clinton visits a boom or bust for African business

August 17th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted in Business, Charity, Events, General, Politics, Technology

hillary_clinton_congo_africa

As President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both prepared to make visits to Africa recently there was a sense of excitement and anticipation. While the excitement was primarily within the African diaspora, other communities around the globe also began to share in the excitement. But as Obama and Clinton have come and left the continent, many have questioned if the “historic event” had a big enough effect on investment and perception the African continent. It may be too soon to tell but if the statistics are any indication, heightened global interest in Africa may already be starting to wane. So might African countries have missed an opportunity to move the continent’s re-brand efforts to another level and capture global attention in a BIG way?
africa_tv_mentions

According to Snapstream.com’s TV trends tracking service, between October 2008 and the months up to Obama’s visit to Ghana, the average mention of the word Africa on the primary American television networks was about 20 to 30 mentions per day with mentions reaching the highest of 169 in any one day. In the first two days of Obama’s arrival in Ghana, mentions of Africa on US television jumped to about 719 mentions on July 11th, the day Obama gave his speech in Ghana. Also Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recently concluded tour of Africa and the momentary controversy in Congo, has kept Africa in the news for the second month straight in 2009.

By all standards, and considering the context, these are enormous global opportunities where African countries could heighten awareness and promote any partnership opportunities they have. While some might say that the attention was only regulated to political forums, an analysis of the overall mentions of Africa across social media media platforms shows the contrary.

An analysis of Google search trends shows that global search for terms associated with Africa have begun to climb as the continent stays in the news. As both President Obama and Sec. of State Clinton went on tour in Africa, the countries they visited have seen an increase of search activity, another great opportunity to the tourism industries.

obama clinton africa trends

But with all the possibilities of global business, I still wonder how much sustained business opportunities are really being made available for African entrepreneurs and non-governmental businesses.

In their reflection of Obama’s visit to Ghana the Daily Kos writes

In Cape Coast where the Obamas visited the slave fort – Cape Coast Castle, and the palace of the Oguaa Chief (of Cape Coast), the crowds were similarly excited yet disappointed that they had no opportunity to see President Obama’s remarks given while there. Nevertheless, the mood remained upbeat with local residents stating that they understood the need for all the souped up security arrangements for this particular US President. At the airport later in the early evening, prior to departure, the crowd that gathered there did finally get the chance to see and hear Pres. Obama. Everybody else simply stayed glued to their teevee sets all day. My other beef was that not a single local Ghanaian journalist was granted an interview with President Obama, yet Anderson Cooper of CNN gets one. Yes, Obama had an interview with AllAfrica.com prior to his arrival in Ghana, but a local interview would have helped cut through the physical security cordon and enabled the US president to directly hear from the local media that he praised so much in his speech for their critical work in advancing democracy in Ghana.

Certainly tourism to Ghana and possibly Africa in general is going to rise as many in the west will associate the country with a presidential visit, stability, and democracy, but will that be the end result? Could the Ghanaian government have done more to secure long term more widespread attention to Ghana? Could Secretary Clinton’s visit have been more impactful to everyday Liberians or Kenyan’s beyond the prestige factor? Neither Obama’s or Clinton’s trips were merely for entertainment and there are policies in the works, but if Africa is to truly benefit from them the attention and information exchange must be sustained by Africans over a longer period of time. Only through synchronized planning between African entrepreneurs and governments, could such high profile events truly be maximized for the rapid growth of African countries.

What do you think? Were the President Obama and Secretary Clinton visits a boom or bust for African business?

According to Snapstream.com’s TV trends tracking service between October 2008 and the months up to Obama’s visit to Ghana, the average mention of the word Africa on the primary American television networks was about 20 to 30 mentions per day with mentions reaching the highest of 169 in any one day. In the first two days of Obama’s arrival in Ghana, mentions of Africa on US television jumped to about 719 mentions on July 11th, the day Obama touched down in Ghana. Also Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recently concluded tour of Africa and the momentary controversy in Congo, has kept Africa in the news for the second month straight in 2009.
By all standards, and considering the context, these are enormous global attention opportunities where African countries could heighten awareness and promote any partnership opportunities they have. While some might say that the attention was only regulated to political forums, an analysis of the overall mentions of Africa across social media media platforms shows the contrary.
An analysis of Google search trends shows that global search for terms associated with Africa have begun to climb as the continent stays in the news. As both President Obama and Sec. of State Clinton went on tour in Africa, the countries they visited have seen an increase of search activity, another great opportunity to the tourism industries.
Tags: , , , , , ,

Trending Africa Aug. 12, 2009: Tony Hawk & Zulu skateboarders, World’s 1st solar-power phone, H. Clinton tours Africa

• Tony Hawk meets "fearless" Zulu skateboarders on South Africa trip

If a mosquito bites in Sub-Saharan Africa, grab your cell phone

Could Ghana be Africa's premier outsourcing destination?

African businesses to invest in sustainability

Hillary Clinton says "We're committed to Africa's future" during her Africa tour

Kenya’s Safaricom releases world’s first solar-powered phone

Ghana invests $150m in nationwide broadband infrastructure

Kenya to build Africa's biggest windfarm

Google announces G-Africa Initiative, a series of events in Sub-Saharan Africa for software developers

African markets in top 20 as mobile advertising continues strong growth in Q2 2009

August 5th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted in Business, General, Technology

3406271971_5be0771984.jpg
(photo by uzimagazine on flickr)

With traditional advertising revenue continuing it's downward spiral, mobile advertising continues to dominate advertising growth areas globally. BuzzCity, a global provider of wireless communities and consumer services, recently released it's Global Mobile Advertising Index report for the second quarter of 2009, showing some good numbers and areas of interest. Among the top 10 ranking countries for ad banners served in the companies mobile internet advertising network, South Africa holds the #4 spot behind Indonesia, India, and the United States (numbers 1 – 3). Egypt comes in at #7, followed by Kenya (#10), Nigeria (#14), Libya (#17), and Tanzania (#18). These numbers support what many analysts have been saying for years, mobile phones and their use in Africa and other emerging markets are the growth areas of the 21st century.

Full list of the top 20 countries by the number of paid advertising banners delivered in each (compared to Q1 2009 results):

  1. Indonesia: 3.78 billion (-14%)
  2. India: 1.07 billion (+28%)
  3. United States: 487 million (-8%)
  4. South Africa: 461 million (+8%)
  5. United Kingdom: 133 million (+17%)
  6. Philippines: 124 million (-1%)
  7. Egypt: 108 million (-34%)
  8. China: 95 million (-27%)
  9. Saudi Arabia: 92 million (+63%)
  10. Kenya: 92 million (+15%)
  11. Malaysia: 81 million (2%)
  12. Canada: 79 million (5%)
  13. Thailand: 73 million (11%)
  14. Nigeria: 60 million (-34%)
  15. Bangladesh: 57 million (-49%)
  16. France: 50 million (26%)
  17. Libya: 48 million (-44%)
  18. Tanzania: 48 million (-42%)
  19. Italy 43 million (23%)
  20. Brunei 42 million (-42%)

(via BizCommunity)

Tags: , , ,
  • Afrimonitor - Market Research for Emerging Markets



  • SUBSCRIBE TO POSTS

  • Get blog updates by email
    Enter your email address:



  • NEWSLETTER

    Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter for in-depth reportage on African market trends and consumer research


  • CONNECT

  • RELATED NEWS