Africa in focus at MultiChoice Digital Dialogue in Dubai

It was two days of brain storming and knowledge transfer for select African nations, in the first week on May, as MultiChoice African hosted the 2018 Digital Dialogue conference in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate (UAE).

In attendance at the conference, which was the 5th in the series, were delegates from Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya, who listened and exchanged knowledge with experts on the digitalisation as it affects Africa.

The 2018 Digital Dialogue Conference is a platform facilitated by MultiChoice Africa to foster a better understanding of the future direction of the video entertainment industry in Africa.

Established in 2012 to create a better understanding of Digital migration and its impact on Africa’s digital landscape, the Digital Dialogue conference has become an independent and growing platform towards “fostering a better understanding and building knowledge on video entertainment and digital terrestrial markets, while creating necessary conversations with thought leaders about various industry-related issues,” according to the organisers.

Setting the ball rolling at the dialogue, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Video Entertainment, MultiChoice African, Yolisa Phahle, said the rapid advances in digital technology in Africa had created new opportunities, while charging Africans to embrace digital technology as it will “change how people consume our products.”

Phahle said Africa should use the opportunity of digital technology to tell its story using content. “In the midst of the ongoing digital revolution, we collectively have the opportunity to not only tell stories that educate and inform African audiences,” she said, adding: “We are in a position to take African stories to the world, and create a global market for what we do.”

The MultiChoice chief said by using the internet and leveraging technology, Africans “have the ability to reach audiences at a global level and the success of companies like Iroko TV, artistes like Davido, actresses like Lupita Nyong’o and the movie, Black Panther, are confirmation that the world is ready to consume African stories, celebrate African culture and embrace Africa.”

The CEO said as the world looks to the future of news and media organisations, “the conversation is focused on three words: content, technology and customer, which we believe will continue to be essential for any news or media organisation that wants to survive and grow in the future.”

Femi Odugbemi, CEO of Zuri24 Media Limited, in his presentation, told a story of how the Nigerian film industry, Nollywood, “rose from ordinary passion to multi-billion dollar industry.”

Underlining the impact Nollywood has made in the global entertainment industry, the filmmaker said: “If there has ever been an industry that created digital dialogue from the word go, it would be Nollywood.”

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