Media, technology, business, government and community leaders from across Africa and beyond gathered in Dakar, Senegal, on Monday for the fifth annual Bloomberg Africa Business Media Innovators Forum (ABMI).
The “Bloomberg Philanthropies”, in a statement in Lagos, said the forum was taken to Dakar, following the 2019 expansion of the Bloomberg Financial Journalism training programme to five new markets, including Senegal.
Under the theme of ‘Business Strategies for African Media’, the forum will explore some of the most promising approaches to fostering a vibrant and competitive media sector on the continent.
“At a time when media companies around the world are facing challenges such as competition utilising new technologies, the spread of misinformation and, in some countries, decreasing press freedom, ABMI will explore how African media can navigate and adapt to the changing landscape.
“Co-hosted by Justin B. Smith, CEO, Bloomberg Media Group, and Matthew Winkler, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, Bloomberg News, the forum will also address the contribution media organisations make toward enabling economic growth by providing accurate, data-driven reporting and analysis to citizens, business leaders, investors and public officials.
“The economy in Senegal is becoming increasingly diversified, so it is important that journalism and the media sector continue to develop accordingly,’’ said Mr Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dionne, Minister of State and Secretary-General of the Presidency of the Republic of Senegal, who opened today’s forum.
“I am confident that the conversation taking place at the summit will help us continue to drive this growth forward.’’
Speakers at this year’s forum include media owners, senior editors, investors, business leaders, government officials and community leaders from 20 countries across the continent and beyond.
They include Mr Amadou Mahtar Ba, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, AllAfrica Global Media; Mr James Bennet, Editor, New York Times; Dr Phillip Clay, Former Chancellor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ms Kelly Conniff, Executive Editor, TIME and Mr Sachin Kamdar, CEO, Parse.ly.
Others are Dr Retha Langa, Deputy CEO, Africa Check; Mr Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and Chairman, APO Group; Ms Thabile Ngwato, CEO, Newsroom Afrika and Ms Louise Stuart, Mergers and Acquisitions Executive, Naspers Limited, among others.
“Advancements in technology, new competitors, growth of social media and the increasing use of mobile devices are requiring media organisations across the globe to explore innovative strategies and build new business models,’’ Justin Smith, CEO, Bloomberg Media Group, said.
“Africa is home to countries with some of the highest expected growth rates in the global media and entertainment industries.
“I look forward to discussing the future of media with this community gathered at the forum.’’
The latest edition of ABMI follows successful gatherings in Zambia, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa.
The annual event is a component of the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa (BMIA), a pan-African programme launched by Michael R. Bloomberg in 2014 to strengthen media capacity, promote innovation in the sector and improve access to high-quality data and information on the continent.
In January 2019, BMIA announced the expansion of its Financial Journalism Training (FJT) programme to five new markets: Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Ghana and Zambia.
These markets follow Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, where 652 delegates from 13 countries have graduated to date.
This unique educational offering supports the advancement of financial journalism and contributes to economic development on the continent.