I began 2016 working in Tamale, a remote town in northern Ghana. Painted above a rickety door in my office were the words: A worthy cause is worth pursuing to the end.
Looking back over recent months in the London office of Brand Communications, it has indeed been a period of worthy causes. From digital innovation facilitating financial inclusion across Africa, to global health developments seeking an end to AIDS, TB and malaria; Brand Communications has forged an authentic agenda in contemporary Africa. With that said, here are my top ventures of 2016:
1) Move on Up – Brand Communications launched Ecobank’s new campaign in Togo and across the continent on a scale that was the first of its kind in Africa. Working late into the night, I provided live digital coverage and finalised last minute content as we synchronised the launch in London and Lomé.
2) The Off the Grid Gig – Closing the Africa Energy Forum’s annual conference, Brand Communications and Genesis Energy hosted industry executives for an explosive night of dance music. Platinum selling Fuse ODG left the stage behind as he jumped into the crowd getting down to his Afrobeats beside the River Thames, as the sun set across Canary Wharf.
3) African Nations Cup UK – After two weeks of competitive football matches, bringing together African communities from across the UK, the 2016 final saw rival teams Kenya and Uganda chasing the winners’ trophy. Holding my breath in a tense penalty shoot out in East London’s Hackney Marshes, in the end it was Uganda who were victorious.
4) Brand Communications joins #EndItForGood – In July we joined The Global Fund’s online movement to end AIDS, TB and malaria for good. Harnessing the power of digital I joined the global call to action, creating campaigns across social media to accelerate change and bring an end to these epidemics in Africa.
5) The Global Fund’s 5th Replenishment Conference – I flew into Montreal, Canada, and took action with governments, businesses, NGOs and health advocates against AIDS, TB and malaria. We launched the Ecobank Foundation amid the official pledging ceremony that raised nearly $13 billion to fight these diseases. I was fortunate enough to find myself four rows back, listening to the inspiring words of Bill Gates. As he spoke he echoed the importance of this global cause and the part we all have to play. No matter how small.
6) Sibos – Brand Communications helped Ecobank and its partner Nedbank stand out at one of the world’s biggest annual banking conferences in Geneva. An event attended by over 8,000 bankers, investors and financial service providers.
7) Africa Tech Summit – We supported Digital Afrique Telecom as the only Francophone company presenting at this tech conference in London. I listened intently as speakers highlighted the unquestionable role of technology in unlocking Africa’s full potential.
8) Transforming Africa with Angélique Kidjo – “We cannot get Africa out of poverty without education.” A reminder from Grammy award winner and founder of the Batonga Foundation, Angélique Kidjo, that education will be the facilitator of growth across the continent.
9) Ecobank Mobile App Launch, Nigeria – The trailblazing launch of the Ecobank Mobile App materialised in October as weeks of production including video reels, speeches and branding were unveiled. Providing live event coverage on digital platforms from the London office I posted, tweeted and ‘liked’ into the early hours of the morning. My Brand Communications colleagues and I felt proud as we left the building having helped take another step for digital banking in Africa.
10) Ecobank Mobile App Launch, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso – Nigeria was just the beginning. I continue to support our client across Africa in its rollout of the Ecobank Mobile App in French and English. Rwanda and Kenya are next on the list.
With the door of 2016 firmly shut, the year ahead brings with it the chance to build higher goals on what has already been achieved and frame new ways of working across the continent.
As Brand Communications remains on the frontline of Africa’s complex and ever changing horizon, I think back to my modest office in Tamale and the words written on the wall. Assured as I am, in the value of the work ahead.