Bizcommunity – 29 May 2013

The story of economic growth in Africa has been topical globally, with some of the most disappointing reports coming from leading publications. However for us Africans, the glass is definitely half full, with inspiring stories coming from the most ordinary of people. Ornico and Mark.Lives present 2013’s first – The Africa Annual, a compilation of some of Africa’s remarkable stories and resources for businesses; and media, marketing and branding enthusiasts.

The Africa Annual 2013 is the first research resource from Ornico in collaboration with Mark.Lives, a leading online journalism-driven media, advertising and design news source. This resource documents our own African stories on innovation, game changers, marketing and media. Very importantly, the Africa Annual embodies the fact that Africa is not a country, but a 54 market strong continent, with great potential for global and local businesses that want to expand.

In The Africa Annual 2013 you’ll find:

  • 5 countries to watch
  • Africa’s mobile economy
  • The new African consumer
  • Media Trends in Africa
  • Get Jay Naidoo’s thoughts on Media and Development
  • Nigeria’s broadcasting industry
  • The influential, must-follow Twitter list

The main challenge has been to tell our own story our way, and get the world to understand it. One cannot express enough the need for credible and uniform data sets and research in telling our story. Credible, standardised research is the universal vehicle through which we will tell the story of growth in Africa. Ornico CEO, Oresti Patricios, alludes to this, and says of Africa’s story, that we must “ensure that the data and numbers we use to tell this story, our own story, are impeachable.”

Mark.Lives Editor, Herman Manson, says that “the African continent isn’t quite the growth honeypot agencies hoped for… [but]… it’s certainly a growth market.” And this rings true for many businesses that have set up shop here. The steady growth trajectory that Africa is taking will continue to be topical not only in the media, but also in businesses seeking to expand their operations into African countries. Africa presents long-term investment opportunities for brands that are serious about growing, innovating differently, and tapping into exciting and new market segments.

Armed with the right know-how and appropriate strategies, brands seeking to venture into Africa will succeed. The first step for this though, is to understand the African markets, and substantial research is the one way of ensuring this. And in this same spirit, the Africa Annual 2013 gives a window into different African markets, through sharing their stories.

The resource is available for download here.