Africa must sap up the digital space, ‘or have its lunch eaten’

According to the CEO of General Entertainment at MultiChoice, Yolisa Phahle, Africa has the ability to reach audiences at a global level

In the midst of the ongoing digital revolution across the globe, Africa has the opportunity to not only tell stories that inform African audiences, but put the continent in a position to take African stories to the world.

According to the CEO of General Entertainment at MultiChoice, Yolisa Phahle, Africa has the ability to reach audiences at a global level.

She pointed at the success of companies like Iroko TV, artists like Davido, actresses like Lupita Nyong’o and the movie Black Panther as confirmation that the world is ready to consume African stories, celebrate African culture and embrace African languages.

“This will take incredible focus and increasingly, as we look to the future of news and media organizations, the conversation is focused on three words: content, technology and the customer which we believe will continue to be essential for any news or media organization that wants to survive and grow in the future,” Phahle said at the start of the 5th edition of the Digital Dialogue Conference in Dubai on Wednesday.

The thought-leadership platform established in 2012 and facilitated by MultiChoice, seeks to address various issues facing the video entertainment industry on the continent and share industry best-practice.

She told participants that to survive and grow, Africa has to find new ways of engaging more effectively with viewers when there are more choices and more free content than ever.

She contends that people today consume more news and entertainment than ever and believes this trend will continue.  “The delivery mechanisms will change, and in many ways digital is just another route to market, but the producers of the most relevant and resonant content will survive.”

She explained that MultiChoice plans to start production on a number of epic African stories and use new digital platforms to create a stage for Africa to shine. This will involve working with the best African talent to tell Africa’s stories to deliver the incredible economic benefits to Africa’s creative industries.

“Let’s undertake to bring this kind of prosperity to our continent and aim to use digital technology to entertain and inform the world,” Phahle said, while making reference to the millions of pounds Game of Thrones has brought to Northern Ireland through tourism.

Speaking separately in Nairobi, MultiChoice Kenya Managing Director Eric Odipo reaffirmed Phahle’s sentiments by saying MultiChoice’s commitment was to deliver value to DStv and GOtv customers by making great entertainment more accessible.

MultiChoice Kenya Managing Director Eric Odipo (C) awards a DStv Explora decoder to acclaimed Kenyan referee Aden Marwa (R) who will officiate at the 2018 World Cup. 

“We find and develop the right mix of content and deliver it to consumers. Whether it is local telenovelas, the excitement of world-class sport like the much anticipated FIFA World Cup 2018 or the latest global block busters, our investment in leading-edge content and technology systems delivers the shows that people love into their hands and living rooms.” 

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