Across the African continent, media owners and operators face common and extraordinary challenges locally and globally. These include adaptation to new technologies, the increasing rise of global competitors, particularly social media, the loss of revenue, driving the need for new revenue models, all occurring within the backdrop of a pandemic, dramatic changes in the structure of African and global economies, and an acceleration to digital, remote and online technologies.
The Africa Business Media Innovators is an annual convening launched by the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa (BMIA) to assist media leaders on the continent to better understand, adapt, and address this unprecedented period in journalism and media. The convening focuses on accelerating development of a globally competitive media and financial reporting industry and creating more dynamic new media businesses in Africa.
Each year, invited guests include media executives, cross-industry CEOs, public policymakers, technology founders, business innovators, investors, and civil society leaders from around the world. It is a unique and intimate space where guests can exchange ideas, identify opportunities to collaborate and develop actionable strategies to help the media sector flourish. These conferences have been held in South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia and Senegal, attracting more than 500 leaders from across Africa and around the world.
The conference sessions are informal and interactive, drawing extensively on the knowledge of participants, as well as the eminent speakers attracted from around the world.
Recent convenings have examined topics such as:
- developing business strategies for the new African media landscape
- harnessing new digital technologies to sustain successful media companies
- building new media infrastructure and updating public policy impacting the media sector
- capitalizing on the globalization of the media
- understanding artificial intelligence and augmented reporting
- preventing misinformation and protecting journalistic integrity and,
- preparing the media workforce of the future, and
- the impact of Covid-19 on the media industry in Africa and globally.
The Africa Business Media Innovators is hosted by Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith, Bloomberg News Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief, Emeritus, Matthew Winker, and BMIA Director, Erana Stennett.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, BMIA has provided past forum attendees with valuable information from Africa and globally to help them understand, report on and provide public education about COVID-19.
Due to pandemic, the in-person ABMI 2020 was replaced by a series of virtual, “Innovator Chats”, or conversations, with leading media, technology and business executives.
ABMI is generously supported by Bloomberg, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the Ford Foundation.