Namibia fifth on media index

28 May 2019 | International

Namibia has been ranked fifth in the just-launched Africa Media Index, which aims to provide insights on trends and knowledge of the media sector and how it affects investment, governance, local business and economies.

The study on the media landscape in Africa was conducted by advertising media company GroupM.

The index comprises data from 14 African countries such as the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Mozambique, Botswana, Angola and Ethiopia.

It identifies trends that are relevant to industry investors looking to increase their footprint and reach multiple audiences in a meaningful way across the continent.

The report focuses on five key categories - economy and business, media landscape, media consumers, technology and governance and legislation.

South Africa came out top in each of the five categories, putting the country first in the overall rankings.

Ghana was ranked second, even though it underperformed in the media consumers and government and legislation categories, ranking fifth in both.

Botswana is in third place, with consistent third-placed rankings in four of the five categories, but disappointing in the media landscape category in which it was ranked fifth. Kenya came in fourth, as it struggled in the technology and governance and legislation categories, ranking sixth in both.

Namibia rounded out the top five countries, scoring well in the category for media consumers (third) and government and legislation (second).

In the technology category Namibia was ranked seventh, for media landscape ninth and economy and business category 12th.

Zimbabwe, Angola and Mozambique were the bottom three nations in the overall rankings in the index.

“Many companies - both those already on the continent and those wishing to reach consumers and businesses across Africa - often struggle to find consistent and reliable information which gives a clear understanding of the media landscape. The intention of the Africa Media Index is to bridge that gap,” said the CEO at GroupM sub-Saharan Africa, Federico De Nardis.

According to the study sub-Saharan Africa hosts 17% of the world's population today, but only represents 2% of world GDP, and even less when advertising investment is taken into account, which is US$2.6 billion or 0.47% of global investments.

However, due to mobile and internet expansion, strong urbanisation and a booming middle class, the next 30 years should tell a very different story, according to the study.

“While the African middle class population is growing impressively, so is their access to technology and media consumption. This is demonstrated through the rising sales of televisions, which now replace radio as a preferred purchase option in places where electricity supply is increasingly available,” the report said.

The study notes that access to the internet also accounts for a large growth in the media landscape. However, internet use is restricted by high data prices in various regions. More than 83% of respondents believe online media is growing significantly, while 75% of them think radio, through internet broadcasting, is on a high trajectory. However, the same respondents are also bullish about television, with nearly 62% of positive growth.

In addition it says that print media in Africa is experiencing positive growth, contrary to what is happening in the rest of the world. For example, in Kenya newspaper consumption has grown by 14% in 2018 compared to the previous year, and 12% in Nigeria.

Of the surveyed respondents, 49% of East Africans and over 36% of Southern Africans think media corruption is “highly prevalent”, while 41% West Africans say the media is hopelessly corrupt. Corrupt state media, bribe taking journalists and self-censorship by the independent press were cited as examples of corruption.

As a result, the risk impact of changes in legislation and regulation have increased considerably, as many African governments continue to implement laws governing information and ethical operations of businesses.

ELLANIE SMIT

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