APRA Urges PR Practitioners to Promote Creative Industry in Africa

TECHDIGEST – President of the African Public Relations Association, APRA, Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, said that Africa is blessed with enormous potential to attain economic growth and development, being the world’s fastest-growing continent.

He however, stressed that Public Relations professionals in the continent must harness “this potential and use it to promote Africa’s growth and development on the world stage”.

Badejo-Okusanya, disclosed this in a remark at the 34th APRA Annual Conference, holding in Lusaka, capital of Zambia.

“Creative Africa: Exploring the PR Potential of Africa as an Emerging Economic and Reputation Powerhouse,” is the theme of the conference, PRNigeria reports.

“In today’s rapidly changing world, public relations has never been more important. We are living in a time of unprecedented challenges: climate change, economic uncertainty, and social and political upheaval.

“In this context, effective public relations has a vital role to play in helping individuals, organizations, and governments to communicate effectively, build trust, and navigate complex issues,” he said.

According to the APRA President, the creative industry is one of Africa’s fastest-growing sectors, and it makes a significant contribution to the continent’s economy. He added that the African creative industry is vast and diverse, encompassing music, film, television, fashion, art, and other disciplines.

The APRA President said a report by UNCTAD reported that Africa’s creative industry generated $49 billion in revenue in 2018, with an annual growth rate of 14.2%”.

According to him, the creative industry employs millions of Africans, with an estimated 2.4 million people working in the industry in South Africa alone.

Badejo said: “One of the most significant contributors to the African creative industry is the music industry. According to a PwC report, the African music industry was worth $68 million in 2018 and $83 million in 2022. This expansion can be attributed to the growing global popularity of African music, as well as the rise of digital streaming platforms, which have made it easier for artists to distribute their music and reach a wider audience. As the industry expands, more job opportunities and economic growth for the continent are expected.

“The Nigerian film industry, commonly referred to as Nollywood, is the second-largest film industry in the world in terms of output, behind only Bollywood in India. The industry is estimated to be worth over $3 billion. In 2018, the African television market was valued at $11 billion, with Nigeria accounting for more than half of the market share. Nollywood produces over 2,500 films annually and employs more than a million people, directly or indirectly. The industry has also contributed significantly to Nigeria’s economy and cultural identity.

“The African fashion industry is also rapidly expanding, with a market value of $31 billion expected by the middle of 2023. A growing interest in African fashion on the global stage has boosted the industry, with designers from the continent showcasing their work at major fashion events around the world.”

Badejo-Okusanya, explained that the theme of this year’s APRA conference, “Creative Africa,” reflects their belief in the power of creativity and innovation to drive progress and change.

“Through our work as public relations professionals, we have a unique opportunity to showcase the many strengths of Africa, from its dynamic business environment to its rich cultural heritage.

“This, I believe, can be achieved by highlighting Africa’s strengths, collaborating with stakeholders, developing partnerships, leveraging digital media, and organizing events that showcase Africa’s potential,” he said.

The APRA President commended the Zambian Minister of Information and Media, Cushi Kasanda for supporting the hosting and for declaring the Conference open.

Other speakers at the Opening Ceremony included President International Public Relations Association (IPRA), Anne-Gret Hurriaga Abarzua; President Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication, Justin Green; President Zambia Institute Institute of Public Relations and Communication (ZIPRC).

APRA is the leading professional body for public relations practitioners across the African continent. Its mission is to advance the profession of public relations in Africa by promoting excellence, developing skills, and providing a platform for networking and collaboration.

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