To all our dearest readers and stakeholders.
Welcome to Jambo Africa Online, your first truly authentic pan-African news portal. This platform is aimed at celebrating economic success stories from African countries. We will be promoting packaged investment opportunities. We will also promote Africa’s service and product brands as we continue to reap the benefits of the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which will transform the entire continent into a free trade area.
We are a news portal created by Brandhill Africa (Pty) Ltd – a nation brand and public diplomacy agency. As an agency, this is about us:
- We BRAND products / companies / individuals (by conducting market research; developing & implementing brand strategies)
- We OPEN GLOBAL MARKET ACCESS for these brands (e.g. exporting)
- We RE/ENGINEER THE REPUTATION of
- brands (products / companies/ countries/ individuals) that have gone through turbulent times
- We BRAND POSITION city regions / countries as viable destinations for tourism and investments.
Yes, we provide service offerings and not tangible products like “atjaar” and “amagwinya” as our detractors want us to believe that’s all Africa’s small and medium enterprises have to do. Yes, perhaps we should add, we do provide services to appropriately and effectively brand position “magwinya” and “atjaar” produced by our clients by differentiating them from the run-of-the-mill.
Unlike Bidvest, South Africa’s international services, trading and distribution company now with a presence in four countries, that like many of us government procure services from, they are saved from derogatory label of “tenderpreneurship” with which we are painted black (no pun intended!). These naysayers forget that the name, Bidvest, is a portmanteau probably formulated from the words: Bid/Bidding and Investments/Investor. I may be wrong, but how does one explain the conceptualisation of this name without making sense of this?
Yes, we don’t have the unqualified financial capital injection from the commercial banks that continued pouring billions of dollars into the loss making Google for nine years, without closing the tap. This financial support was consistently sustained until the company broke even and, furthermore, the capital injection continued to build it into one of today’s most profitable behemoth it was made to become.
Here’s the paradox about the celebration of Google’s success. They glorify it while vilifying us for using Google’s second known service: a gmail.com email. When our less brand conscious clients employ this service, it creates doubt in their brand’s reliability and the quality of their services and products. In short, it knocks their brand equity!
Yes these naysayers have selective memory. They conveniently forget Apple, the company which today is world’s most valuable, and many prominent Silicon Valley resident companies started operating in garages.
So what is the capital resource at our disposal as Brandhill Africa (Pty) Ltd? THE HUMAN CAPITAL! The company is blessed with exceptionally talented professionals who are geared to make a difference. To this exceptional talent, one plus one don’t equal two, BUT three.
Thomas Sankara referred to this kind of crop as endowed with the kind of “madness” that’s driven by “non-conformity… the courage to invent the future!”. The militant Egyptian goddess of the written word, Nawaal el Sadaawi, declared their “creativity starts with disobedience”.
Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder, concurred by calling this special crop of people as “the crazy ones” who “have no respect for the status quo” as “they push the human race forward”. Harvard Business Review called such “a rebel talent!”
Jambo Africa Online will challenge ancient colonialist nuances about Africa and in a “new normal” put this continent where it belongs: the top! This was even acknowled by the Time magazine as it declared in its cover headline: “Africa is rising!”
This team, dear readers, is inspired by, and embodies, these revolutionary texts! The impulse driving this team is that Brand Africa must go to New places physically and imaginatively.
The passion is fired by an insatiable desire to rewrite the long held colonial script on Africa. Brand Africa has always been under siege from the 1885 Berlin conference on the “scramble for Africa”. This was even compounded by Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” that dubbed Africa a dark continent and most recently in 2018, President Donald Trump labelled African countries and Haiti as “s**thole countries”. This, sadly, means the onslaught persists.
According to Simon Anholt, who conceptualised the “Nation Brand Index” and now the “Good Country Index”, brand Africa is under siege. He argues that people have known for centuries that a “Made in… ” is just as powerful as a “Made by…”. In line with this, Germany is known for its engineering, France for chic, Japan for miniturisation; Italy for flair; Sweden for design; Britain for class; Switzerland for precision; and Africa for famine, disease and terror.
This has to change, argues the Jambo Africa Online team, and they are the crusaders for such a strategic intervention. The team therefore invited you to join this progressive movement.
This piece doesn’t only launch this news portal, but it’s the first in a series of articles which will propagate the brand re-engineering of Africa, her products and services, by increasing their affinity among her people and the global community of nations. Fellow Africans, Jambo Africa Online has a duty to provide narratives that are informative, explorative and unavoidable. Exploring Africa with us is, therefore (without being instructive), your duty.
We are inspired by Pliny the Elder’s prophetic quote: “Ex Africa semper aliquid novi.” Indeed, out of Africa, something refreshing always comes out. We hope, dear reader, you will find this news portal intellectually refreshing and engaging.
We don’t pretend to compete with anyone already in the media industry since our brand is differentiated from all as we’re the first news portal dedicated solely to promoting Africa as a free trade area. So we envisage ourselves complementing and advancing what they’re already doing.
It’s for this reason that we are forging strategic partnerships with a number of companies – a such as Len Kalane’s PIE Digital Media (Pty) Ltd.
Words aren’t adequate to express how grateful we are to you, our reader and potential advertisers – the life blood of this news portal – to have set aside some time from your busy schedule, to join us on this journey.
Enjoy the ride.
Follow me on Twitter: @saulmolobi