Fifty Africa focused communications experts share their vision for transformative change in Africa through strategic communications. The Africa Communications Leadership Report 2018 features the expert opinion of professionals from different countries, institutions, sectors and disciplines, on the role of communications in the socio-economic development of the African continent. The report is published by Africa Communications Week.
Speaking on the raison d’etre for the report, co-founder Annie Mutamba said, “there are too many communication professionals working in isolation, trying to challenge the current narratives about Africa. Africa Communications Week and this report seek to build bridges, bringing communication professionals across the continent and in the diaspora together.”
Powered by a virtual international team of multi-talented communications professionals, Africa Communications Week aims to convene leading communications professionals from various backgrounds across the world, to critically assess the role of communications in Africa’s socio-economic development.
“Africa focused communications professionals have a strategic role to play, in taking ownership of the African narrative and shaping the conversations, stories, and policies of their organisations, governments and culture,” says Eniola Harrison, co-founder ACW.
Narratives surrounding Africa have an impact on the socio-economic development of the continent, Africa focused communicators must therefore be strategic about shaping a narrative that is so vital to the transformation of the continent.
Meet some of the 54 Communications Experts featured in the AFRICA COMMUNICATIONS LEADERSHIP REPORT
VENICIA GUINOT, Media Entrepreneur, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief at TROPICS MAGAZINE (South Africa / The Congo).
Vénicia Guinot is certainly one of the most inspiring young Media personalities from Africa who started their companies with next to nothing. Starting from scratch at the age of 23 with a single wish, to keep her late parents’ legacies alive (Mr. Marcel Bavouéza-Guinot, her Father ad top Congolese Venture Capitalist of his generation; and Mrs. Julienne Mankassa, her Mother, UNESCO/UNICEF cadre and one of the Most Influential Philanthropist from Brazzaville). And she has, since 2009, worked hard to be recognized as a Multimedia Journalist holding the titles of Publisher, Media Entrepreneur, Executive Producer, Radio Host and Business Influencer.
This 4-time Awarded Media Entrepreneur in London and Johannesburg has been curate, since October 2017, the TROPICS BUSINESS SUMMIT, the first-of-its-kind multi-platforms and multilingual business summit to ever be hosted in South Africa with the goal of helping CEOs, Young Entrepreneurs with Startups scale their businesses and arming private investors with the best insights available to make better informed investment decisions by providing cutting edge insight into the African and the Caribbean’s investment landscape. Guinot boasts a formidable 8-year career as a Business Leader which has earned her accolades, trophies and international recognition.
Vénicia Guinot leadership style is primarily visionary and consistent with her entrepreneurial background. Currently, she has been serving as the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of TROPICS MAGAZINE fr the past 8 years, and the magazine is known to its readership as the first bilingual magazine from Africa published in both English and French and which serves a 700,000+ worldwide readership on four (4) continents: Africa, Europe, America and South Asia. She oversees the publication and also holds all its worldwide licenses. As one of the 2015 Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF 2015) Alumni, Guinot has grown tremendously both as a Media Entrepreneur and a Mentor, impacting the world, one project at a time. According to her, the vital importance and positive contribution of Media Entrepreneurship and an entrepreneurial culture in economic and social development cannot be overstated:
“Media Entrepreneurs create and bring to life new trends, technologies, medium and services and create new markets and jobs along the way. Media entrepreneurs, especially females, are smart risk takers, implementers, rule-breakers. And like any emerging economy aiming to move ahead on the African continent, we need
lots of them to develop the industry,” Guinot often shares.
Finally, she thinks that, “Transforming ideas into economic opportunities is the crux of entrepreneurship. For many developing countries, private sector development has been a powerful engine of economic growth and wealth creation, and crucial for improving the quality, number and variety of employment opportunities for the poor. Therefore, entrepreneurship will continue to invigorate markets economically and the formation of new business will lead to extensive job creation and will have a multiplying effect on the continent’s economy.”
As one of the strong voices pushing the Media Entrepreneurship for the African continent, she strongly believes in the power of media in empowering citizens, generating innovation and changing the mindsets socially. All these changes, according to her, have the potential to successfully integrate developing countries into the global economy.
Khadijah ‘Aja’ TAMBAJANG, Founder and Lead Consultant of MakalliMatta Consulting (The Gambia)
A dynamic young leader; a communication and entrepreneurial role model; women and girls’ activist; and social writer effectively contributing to shaping the world gender agenda for social equity. French born, Gambia and US raised; the abrupt change of environment at the age of 14 due to a political threat became the shift in her life that propelled her into the strong self-belief and drastic shift that became the catalyst for the deep love for her country, The Gambia and African continent as a whole. She is focused on highlighting the great possibilities the Gambia holds for serious investors and created this firm in order to be a key ambassador for her country.
Ms. Tambajang has a Public Relations / Africana Studies first degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and a Masters in Global Communications from L’ISCOM, Institute Supérieure de Communication et Publicité in Paris. She is also a former member of Gambia Investment Brand counsel, a re-brand Gambia initiative spearheaded by the Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GEIPA). She has worked in the U.S, France and Nigeria and understands the needs of investors in such dynamic markets.
Her philosophy : “Creating in The Gambia all the fundamental comforts we love about another country.”
Mimi KALINDA, MD of AfriCommunications Group (The Congo/South Africa)
Shaping the African continent’s positive narrative and opening up the minds of others around the globe to see its full potential, requires making connections with people at a human level. And, there is no better way of achieving this than through the sharing of stories and experiences. Entrepreneur Mimi Kalinda and her company Africommunications Group are both on a mission to harness the power of storytelling to change perceptions of this amazing continent.
« Africommunications Group (ACG) is a pan-African public relations and communications agency based in Johannesburg, South Africa. At ACG we understand the requirements of the local and pan-African client, and those of global clients, and can service both with the highest regard for international best practices, with a deep understanding of stakeholder sensibilities. We offer complete and culturally attuned communications services to private, public and non-profit sector clients in the African market, with a focus on Francophone and Anglophone Africa. »
As a communications professional, she believes her responsibility is to empower Africans to tell their own stories, cultivate thought leadership to be able to counter the stereotypical narrative and images of Africa, and eventually contribute not only to the shift but also to the ownership of Africa’s reputation by Africans themselves.
« I regularly write and speak about how shaping Africa’s narrative positively is vital for the continent to fulfill its potential. I have always been interested in testing the media’s ability to shape narrative. In particular, while living abroad, I became increasingly intrigued by the idea that Africans not only could and had to reshape Africa’s external image, but that Africa’s transformation could only start with Africans revisiting the stories they tell themselves about who they are. I am exploring and testing the concept through PR and communications. » (Source: Lioness Of Africa)
Ronke LAWAL, Founder of ARIATU PR (Nigeria)
Ariatu PR founder Ronke Lawal (@ronkelawal) was born in Hackney, East London of Nigerian parentage. Having graduated with honours from Lancaster University and the University of Richmond Virginia (USA) with a degree in International Business (Economics), she started her own business in 2004.
In January 2010, Ronke became the Chief Executive of the Islington Chamber of Commerce where she remained until the end of 2012 and became a non-executive director of The Hoxton Apprentice in 2011. She joined the board of Trustees of Voluntary Action Islington in 2012 where she is also a Director of The Voluntary Action Academy and is currently on The Employers Panel for the National Employment Savings Trust.
Ronke is a Mentor for The Cherie Blair Foundation and for The Elevation Networks Start Ups Initiative and in 2011 she received a Precious Award for Inspirational Leadership. In 2015 she launched the RONKE LAWAL MEANS BUSINESS YouTube Channel which provides PR and marketing advice as well as small business tips for start-ups and entrepreneurs. Apart from her active and involved business interests, her varied passions outside the business world include food (Founder of Food Blog www.whosfordinner.co.uk), travel, music, literature and most importantly living a life she loves.
Ariatu PR is geared towards many different business sectors and currently represents clients in many industries including the entertainment, fashion, lifestyle & beauty, food and luxury goods sectors.
For additional information, please get in touch with the team: