#AfricaCom: 'Don't die with your idea'

The Africa Video Forum at #AfricaCom 2018, this year grappled with funding models for original content on the continent and the disruption that mobile brings. Africa Video Forum, AfricaCom 2018. AfricaCom is Africa’s largest technology, media and telecommunications conference and exhibition. The conference programme covered the most strategic issues affecting companies in Africa’s digital market: services, efficiency, profitability, customer experience, partnerships, policy and more.

This 21 st edition of AfricaCom held in Cape Town 13–15 November 2018, attracted close to 14 000 record-breaking attendees this year with a diverse and informed audience. It also featured several co-located events: 5G Africa, Africa Video Forum, The AI Summit Cape Town, IoT World Africa and Mission Critical Technologies Africa.

Collaboration seemed to be the buzzword du jour at AfricaCom 2018, particularly in the broadcast and streaming content industry, where everyone is chasing the same diminishing pool of revenue.

Content hubs

In a discussion about how content producers need to be more adventurous and “break the mould”, Biola Alabi, the CEO BiolaAlabi Media based in Lagos, Nigeria, said it was imperative that content producers in Africa nurtured talent and provided a pipeline of global talent to change opportunities for all.

“We are storytellers, orators by nature, it is our culture, we don’t have to worry about that. We are working with writers from the whole continent. Content is coming from everywhere.

“We need to develop creative writing hubs across the continent… like we are developing tech hubs,” Alabi urged. “Writing is a global skill and if we are not able to retain that skill, it will leave us.”

The kind of ecosystem where there is a free flow of talent moving between broadcasters and independent producers accelerates trust and creates braver ideas, pointed out Duncan Irvine, founder and CEO of Rapid Blue.

#AfricaCom 2018 (L-R): Biola Alabi, CEO BiolaAlabi Media and Duncan Irvine, founder & CEO of Rapid Blue.