12 Oct 2012

2012 Africa Com Awards Shortlist: See who’s making waves in the African Digi-sphere…

Africa Com Awards

We are pleased to announce the eagerly anticipated shortlist of contenders for the 2012 Africa Com Awards.

With a record number of entries, this year has seen stiff competition resulting in a larger field of nominees than ever before..

AfricaCom Awards’ Emily Martyr commented that competition was fierce this year with a record number of entries, up 60% on last year, which itself was a bumper year.
“The quality and number of entries into these awards is testament to the importance of this sector across Africa” she says.

South African judge, Bradley Shaw, the editor of Africa Telecoms magazine, also confirmed that
the tech economy and digi-sphere on the African continent is an exciting space to play in.  All of this year’s entries were outstanding and it has been a difficult task to select only a few per category.”

Looking at the shortlist, digital music has made a significant breakthrough and mobile money applications and solutions continue to dominate the arena as does the Orange Group who are a force to be recognised on the continent as can be seen from the number of nominations in the list below.  The expansion of the categories which cover a diverse array of technological touchpoints, is a reminder of just how fast the digital communications landscape is growing and its impact on our every-day lives.

This year also sees the prestigious new Industry Personality of the Year Award – an accolade that will see the best of the best compete shoulder to shoulder and rise as the star of Africa’s telecoms & media industry for 2012. One definitely not to miss – so watch this space.

Judging of the entries is conducted via a panel of international judges who assess the entries independently of one another, ensuring the process is equitable and fair.

Very many congratulations and good luck ! to all the nominees below:

Best Network Improvement
Airtel Nigeria – Airtel Nigeria
Helios Towers Africa – Shared Telecoms Infrastructure
Liquid Telecom – FTTH in Zimbabwe
Orange Group – Orange Cote d’Ivoire
Orange Group – Internet for All
ZTE – Network & Services

Most Innovative Service
Afrique Telecom – VSAT Services
BWired – Open Access Fibre Based ICT Network
Comviva – Airtel MVAS
Econet Wireless – EcoCash
Emerging Market Communications (EMC)
Intersec – Loyalty Management Suite
Orange Group – Deezer
Orange Group – Internet for All
Safaricom – M-PESA Retail Distribution Service
Spice VAS Africa – Music Scorer

Best Quality User Experience sponsored by MTN
Airtel – Airtel MVAS
Orange Group – Enhanced Mobile Browser
Orange Group – Orange Voices
Prezence Digital – Ster Kinekor Smart-Phone App
Sicap – Mobile Money ATM
Safaricom – USSD Self Service Internet Kiosk

Best Cost Efficiency Initiative
ACME / Reime – Energy Management Unit
AfriGIS – Census Progress Watch
Airtel Nigeria – Airtel Nigeria
Conduct Telecom – Last Mile Open Access Fibre Optic Infrastructure
IHS – Cost Efficiency Technology
Orange Group – Low Cost WiFi Hotspots
Safaricom Business – Safaricom Business
ZTE – ZTE Solution

Rural Telecoms Award
Gateway Communication – Mauritius Island Connectivity through CellDirect
Orange Group – Internet for All
Rorotika – SIM Swap
Safaricom – Webbox & USSD Internet Self-Service
Orange Group – Birth Registration
Viettel – Movitel Rural Network

Best Backhaul Solution for Africa
BWired – High Speed Fibre Based Network
Comtech EF Data – Mobile Mackhaul Solution
Dark Fibre Africa – Open Access Infrastructure Provider
Isocel Telecom – Benin Backhaul Network

Best Marketing Campaign
Etisalat Misr – Etisalat Misr Marketing
Mobitainment – Monsta Pops Mega Music Giveaway
MTC – NetMan 4G
Orange Group – Deezer
Prezence Digital – #Mandelastory
Warid Telecom – Kiyitridde

Best Smart-Device for Africasponsored by Gateway
Etisalat Misr – Smart Device
Orange Group – Internet on TV

Best Pan African Initiative
Gateway Communications – SADC Terrestrial Rollout
Helios Towers Africa – Infrastructure Sharing Energy Storage System
Sky Vision – Skyvision
Orange Group – West African Cluster Architecture
WIOCC – Seamless, High-Capacity International Connectivity Ring around Africa

The 2012 Mobile Data and Social Media Award
biNu – biNu Social Content Platform
Bozza Mobile – The Bozza.mobi App
Eskimi – Eskimi Mobile Social Network
Motribe – Motribe Mobile Social Networks
Mxit – Mxit
Prezence Digital – #Mandelastory

Industry Personality of the Year
Adiel Akplogan, AFRINIC
Alan Knott-Craig, Cell C
Andile Ngcaba, Convergence Partners
Karel Pienaar, MTN
Ben Sira, Sky Vision
Cheikh Tidiane Mbaye, Orange Group

Changing Lives Award sponsored by Comviva
Etisalat Misr – CSR Initiative ‘Origin’
Orange Group – Mobile Birth Declaration
Orange Group – Tele Diagnostics
Praekelt Foundation – YoungAfricaLive
Safaricom – DAKTARI-1525
Safaricom – Safaricom Business KimMNCHip Project

About AfricaCom Awards
The AfricaCom Awards celebrate and reward excellence in the African Telcoms, Media and ICT Market.  Now in its 5th year, the Awards ceremony is the high-point of the AfricaCom conference and exhibition.  www.africacomawards.com
For more information on how to enter or any other aspect please contact Louisa Rogers, Marketing Director on Louisa.rogers@informa.com or +44 (0) 207 017 5157

Official Charity

With thanks to our 2012 Africa Com Awards Sponsors:

About AfricaCom 2012
AfricaCom is Africa’s largest communications conference & exhibition.  Now in its 15th year, this trailblazing event gathers together 7,000 senior decision-makers from the telecoms, media and ICT industries.  This year a record 200+ speakers will share their vision of Africa’s future communications landscape and the agenda has expanded to incorporate 14 co-located events which will attract new audiences from the apps development, broadcast and business sectors. For more info see: www.comworldseries.com/africa

For further information or to request an interview with any of the shortlisted nominees, please contact:

Elize Engel or Kaz Henderson at Wired Communications
elize@wiredcommunications.co.za Kaz@wiredcommunications.co.za
Tel: +27 21 461 6764

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10 Oct 2012

Fox International: “Africa is our key growth point going forwards”

Alessandro Tucci, SVP at Fox International
Alessandro Tuci,
SVP & General Manager Africa,
Fox International

Alessandro Tucci, SVP & General Manager Africa at Fox International, on how to successfully launch new channels and balanced bouquets in small emerging markets, and the unique potential he sees in Africa.

Can you give us a brief overview of which emerging markets Fox is involved in?
Fox has been actively working in emerging markets for the past 20 years. We started the business in Latin America with one channel, and today we are the leading pay-TV channel operator on the continent with 21 channels presently in market.
We have also had great success in Asia – our operation started in Japan but quickly moved into markets such as India, where we have very successfully learnt how to localise international TV brands to ensure that they have resonance within the market.
Eastern Europe and Africa have been our key focus over the last number of years, with Africa being our key growth point going forward. In both these regions we provide smart innovative programmes that entertain and educate audiences across all demographics and on all platforms.
Understanding our local markets and what their individual content requirements are is key to creating successful channel bouquets.

What are some of the key lessons you have taken away with regards to developing pay-TV channels in such markets?
Our strategy is very clear. Be opportunistic in even smaller emerging markets creating channels that are relevant for audiences and platforms: a mix of international brands and content with locally sourced relevant content.
We always leverage from our global Hubs to launch new channels, but the clear intention to move into local offices as soon as possible and to create bespoke channels for each region.
We believe in localisation and not in corporate central offices. In order to make good channels we need to be close and be relevant to our platforms, our audiences and our advertisers

What unique attributes do you think Africa possesses in this regard?
Africa leap-frogs when it comes to technology – the continent is a late market compared to the rest of the world (in terms of penetration of pay-TV, number of platforms, advertising and data measurement) but is surfing the technology divide to decrease the gap.
This means that as a company we need to be aware of the manner in which African audiences engage with content, and consistently ensure that our distribution methods are relevant for the market.
Further to this, the continent is also culturally very diverse, and we believe that we have the ability to localise our premium international brands and content to ensure that they satisfy local tastes and resonate with our viewers here.
An example of this is the creation of a new National Geographic channel brand, called Nat Geo Gold, which is bespoke to Africa and structured for an African audience.
As Africa is very often starved of positive content about its people and places, one of our core lessons from other emerging markets that we will use here is to ensure that we editorially deliver content that audiences see as culturally relevant and positive.

How do you plan to create balanced bouquets for the local market?
We have internationally developed a full bouquet, so key would be duplicate this bouquet ensuring that we deliver entertainment channels with our Fox-branded channels, factual programming delivered through the National Geographic portfolio of channels and lastly lifestyle content through 24 Kitchen. These content tentpoles serve to deliver a complete holistic offering for new platforms targeting African audiences.
In various markets such as LatAm we have also been cognisant of content requirements that are very specifically localised. We have created local channels with largely local content that speak specifically to these markets and serve to enhance our international bouquet.
Understanding that each territory is different is key to our business ethos – this means that even though we introduce international TV brands into the market, we ensure localisation through our programming strategies, our on-air communications and where feasible through the acquisition of local content.

Alessandro will be speaking at the AfricaCast 2012 event (co-located with AfricaCom the continent's largest telecoms, media & ICT event), taking place in Cape Town on 14th-15th November. For more information and to register please visit http://africacast-event.com/ or http://www.comworldseries.com/africa