The Africa Business Media Innovators resumes with an in-person convening October 30 – November 1 in Cape Town, South Africa. This year’s convening will examine the rapidly shifting and transformative trends, new media models and innovative financing solutions re-shaping the future of media and journalism in Africa and globally.
Across Africa, media owners and operators face common and extraordinary challenges locally and globally: an acceleration to digital, remote and online technologies, the increasing rise of global competitors, particularly social media, the loss of advertising revenue driving the need for new business models —coupled with dramatic changes in the structure of African and global economies.
With a focus on accelerating development of a globally competitive media and financial reporting industry and fostering more dynamic new media businesses in Africa, the annual convening — Africa Business Media Innovators is designed to assist media leaders to better understand, adapt to and address this unprecedented period in journalism and media in Africa, and globally.
Recent convenings have examined topics such as:
– Developing business strategies for the new African media landscape
* The power of data
* Harnessing new digital technologies to sustain and drive successful media companies
* Media infrastructure and enabling regulatory environment
* Capitalizing on the globalization of the media
* Understanding artificial intelligence and augmented reporting
* Preventing misinformation and protecting journalistic integrity
* The impact of COVID-19 on the media industry in Africa and globally
Invited guests include media executives, cross-industry CEOs, public policy makers, technology founders, business innovators, investors and civil society leaders from around the world. Conferences have been held in South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia and Senegal.
The Africa Business Media Innovators is hosted by Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith, Bloomberg News Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief, Emeritus, Matthew Winker, and BMIA Director, Erana Stennett.
* Launch of ABMI in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2015
* Five convenings held in South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia, Senegal
* 710 leaders from Media, Business, Technology, Government attend
* 61 countries represented
* Honorable Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana addresses the audience in Accra in 2018
* Senegal Minister of State, Honorable Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dionne addresses audience in Dakar in 2019
* Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, ABMI held virtually in 2020. Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank, gives keynote address
“Africa will build back faster by harnessing and better managing its natural resources, including minerals, metals, biodiversity, blue economy, forests, resources, agriculture or gas in order to boost domestic savings…More transparent governance must form a key component of financing Africa’s growth,” Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank
“We have an obligation to ensure that truth prevails and that we have responsible journalism, because all these falsehoods actually a danger to society,” Pamella Sittoni, Executive Editor, Nation Media Group
“I’m optimistic about the fact that (the media) was declared an essential service. And we’ve seen that people turn to us for quality, trusted information in this time and we’ve managed to hold on to a lot of those readers,” – Styli Charalambous, Publisher and CEO, The Daily Maverick
“Covid-19 has helped us accelerate the movement from the hard copy to the digital platform…we are so excited of the movement in terms of technology…the pace was very slow in Ghana, COVID-19 helped us to move to digital paid subscriptions,” – Dr. Edith Dankwa, CEO, Business and Financial Times Limited
“It is the most dynamic I have seen the media business…as hard as this year has been, it has been one of the most dynamic, challenging in a good way, stimulating and innovative time for our business and media as a whole….we are living in an era of change,” – Almar Latour, CEO, Dow Jones and Company
“The pandemic has fast-tracked technological innovation, which will be a key driver of South Africa’s and the continent’s economic recovery. As Africans we have to begin to look into being able to the use the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to become innovative, to invest into developing our own technology and trade among ourselves,” – Honorable Pinky Kekana, Deputy Minister of Communications, South Africa
“We have an obligation to ensure that truth prevails and that we have responsible journalism, because all these falsehoods actually a danger to society,” – Pamella Sittoni, Executive Editor, Nation Media Group
This big event is making a comeback in person for the first time since 2019, returning to its inaugural host location of South Africa. The forum’s main topic is the future of media and journalism in Africa and all around the globe.
Leaders will explore new business ideas that are changing and adding value to these sectors. This event will be a special platform where leaders can talk about the future, share ideas, and learn from each other, especially focusing on journalism in the digital age.
Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa’s Role
This annual meeting is a part of the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa (BMIA), a program that began in 2014 by Michael R. Bloomberg. BMIA’s goal is to improve business journalism in Africa and to speed up the growth of a media industry that can compete globally in media and financial reporting.
BMIA not only gives educational programs and fellowships to grow the number of skilled business and financial journalists but also supports research that sparks new media ideas. It also works to bring leaders together to talk, build strong connections, and improve the quality of financial coverage and the availability of reliable, current data in Africa.
Moreover, Bloomberg has also expanded its executive education program in business and financial journalism to Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal, marking the first time the program is offered in French. Following successes in other African countries, the program continues to grow, touching 800 participants across 16 countries on the continent to date.
In sum, the ABMI forum 2023 is set to be a vibrant space for dialogues that could pave the way for the future of media and journalism in Africa and potentially around the world. All eyes will be on Cape Town at the end of October as these critical discussions unfold. Source: Bloomberg.