90 Media Leaders attend the “Bloomberg Africa Business Media Innovators” Forum 2023


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 of Bloomberg News, and Erana Stennett, Corporate Philanthropy Middle East and Africa at Bloomberg, the ABMI forum is scheduled from October 30 to November 1.

The forum’s focus lies on generating ideas and business solutions that can shape the future of media and journalism across Africa. It has drawn a diverse lineup of speakers, including media owners, senior editors, business leaders, government officials, community influencers, and philanthropic organizations from over 10 countries. Participants will engage in discussions on a wide range of topics, including the impact of AI and digital technologies on African media, the evolution of newsroom dynamics, and the sustainability of traditional publications throughout the continent.

The first day of the event 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,’ guided by Koyo Kouoh, Executive Director, and Chief Curator of Zeitz MOCAA.

Several participants shared their perspectives on the ABMI forum:

  • George Anders, Top Writing Voice at LinkedIn, highlighted the exceptional opportunities emerging in Africa and emphasized the importance of forums like ABMI for fostering connections and progress, from educating new audiences to boosting employment opportunities.
  • LaSharah Bunting, CEO of the Online News Association, looked forward to discussing how newsrooms can adapt to the evolving media landscape, address challenges such as misinformation, and cater to the changing needs of their audiences.
  • Thembisa Fakude, CEO of Mail & Guardian, stressed the need to balance the opportunities presented by technological innovation with the risks, especially concerning misinformation, and emphasized the importance of a responsible and vibrant news industry in Africa.
  • Danai Gurira, Actress, Playwright, and Artistic Director of Almasi Collaborative Arts, discussed the power of storytelling to reshape perceptions of Africa and sought to connect with fellow innovators to elevate Africa’s creative industry.
  • Dr. Acha Leke, Senior Partner and Chairman of McKinsey & Company, Africa, emphasized the necessity of collaboration across sectors and industries to unlock Africa’s economic potential.
  • Moky Makura, Executive Director of Africa No Filter, highlighted the global recognition of African creativity and the importance of crafting narratives that showcase Africa’s unique cultural offerings.
  • Nobel Laureate Maria Ressa, Co-Founder and CEO of Rappler, emphasized the critical role of a free press in democracy and looked forward to discussing ways to build a fair and transparent media ecosystem.
  • Leonard Stiegeler, Investor and founder of Pulse, saw great potential for digital investment in Africa, particularly in fintech and greentech, and was eager to engage with others interested in the continent’s opportunities.
  • Dr. Brook Taye, Director General of the Ethiopian Capital Market Authority, anticipated discussions on policy issues affecting Ethiopia and the continent, driven by infrastructure investments and new technologies.

The annual ABMI forum is a part of the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa (BMIA), launched by Michael R. Bloomberg in 2014. The initiative’s mission is to advance business journalism in Africa, promote a globally competitive media and financial reporting industry, offer educational programs and fellowships for business journalists, and support research to stimulate media innovation. It also serves as a platform for leaders to foster dialogue and enhance the quality of financial reporting and data availability in Africa.

In recent developments, Bloomberg expanded its BMIA Financial Journalism Training (FJT) program to Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal, offering it in French for the first time. Over 100 delegates have joined the program in these countries, following its success in Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. To date, the FJT program has reached 800 participants from 16 countries across the continent.

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