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, of 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.
George Anders, Top Writing Voice, LinkedIn, 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.”
LaSharah Bunting, CEO, of 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, of 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, the news industry must come 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, and 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. Its boundless possibilities to give Africa its 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.”
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 the 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 support 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.