A new survey of over 10,000 communication professionals in Africa will shed more light on the most critical problems facing the sector and the continent. This is according to BHM Research and Intelligence, which is producing the first-ever Africa PR and Communications Report in partnership with leading global bodies like the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (UK), Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA), Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria), and over 18 others.
In 2021 alone, the market capitalisation of Africa’s top companies increased by 69% to nearly $710 billion. With an estimated population of 1.3 billion people – more than 60% under the age of 25 – it has become critical to understand the role the communications industry plays within these figures, the industry’s impact over the years, and what to expect as the world’s perception of, and relationship with, Africa continues to evolve.
The research, spanning eight countries across five geographic zones, and incorporating surveys, focus group discussions (FGDs), qualitative analysis, and essay contributions from professionals across the continent, kicked off in April 2022.
BHM founder and research committee chair Ayeni Adekunle says, “Insufficient research and feedback is a major concern for most, if not all, African industries. We understand this challenge, and the APCR committee, in partnership with consultants across the continent, have an onus to fill this gap.”
BHM, one of Africa’s leading communications consultancies, spearheads this research with support from committee members – Stephen Waddington, Eniola Harrison, Moliehi Molekoa and Femi Falodun.
C2M Solutions, an African research company, is the sole researcher on the project. The company combines its research capabilities and in-depth knowledge of the African ecosystem with the APCR committee’s expertise.
The survey includes six groups of 31 questions – gleaned from insights from FGDs and in-depth interviews in four African countries – specifically designed to identify and address some of the most important global and continental issues affecting the practice of PR and Communications on the continent.
With responses expected from all 54 African countries, the report will serve as a guide to the African PR and Communications landscape. It will highlight opportunities and challenges in the market, assess the impact of social and digital media channels, and predict the industry’s future. It will also provide insight for businesses looking to expand into or enter the African market.
One of the APCR’s goals for this survey is to provide valuable insights into how mass migration will affect the growth of the communications industry and the general business landscape in Africa in the coming years. The report also seeks to provide significant insights into the other issues related to talent in PR and Communications in Africa.
Africa’s technology ecosystem is currently experiencing a brain drain. According to the 2021 Africa Developer Ecosystem report by Google, about 38 per cent of African developers work in Africa for a company with its headquarters outside the continent. Software engineers are also migrating due to low pay and limited opportunities.
Data from the Africa Center for Strategic Studies shows that since 2010, almost 20 million Africans have migrated out of the continent, with 11 million Africans migrating to Europe, five million to the Middle East and three million to North America.
As expected, the emigration of more young people from the continent will impact several industries, including marketing and communications. With increased emigration, the PR and communications industry is likely to lose more talent that could revolutionise the sector.
APCR is in partnership with 21 associations, schools and companies across ten countries – the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), CIPR International, Association of Advertising Agencies Of Nigeria (AAAN), Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA), Africa Communications Week (ACW), International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO), Women In PR Ghana (WIPRG), Magna Carta Reputation Management Consultants, Wadds Inc., African Public Relations Association (APRA), Associaçã de Profissionais de Relaçoes Públicas de Moçambique (APRPM), Global Mind Consulting, Nigerian Women in PR, Uganda Marketers Society, Cameroon Association Of Women In Media (AFMEC), Rwanda Communications Network, Uganda Advertising Association, Central University Ghana, BHM UK, BHM, ID Africa and Plaqad.Inc.
According to APCR Committee Adviser Eniola Harrison, the Africa PR and Communications Report “will provide the industry with the right insights and data that will equip business owners, government officials, PR and communications professionals and practitioners to make better-informed decisions. Invariably leading to better opportunities and outcomes.”