2010 will unite Africa

Yvonne Johnston, CEO of the International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC) candidly confessed that what keeps her awake at night is concern about the next World Cup hosts. ”They’ll find it very hard to beat the standard that we are going to set.”

Johnston was discussing the positive outcomes she was expecting for South Africa and the continent in the run-up to, and beyond, the 2010 FIFA World Cup at the second 2010 National Communication Partnership Conference at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg yesterday.

Johnston said that the 2006 World Cup had positive outcomes for the German economy – investment and tourism, and thus employment were boosted. The same will undoubtedly happen in Africa.

Very important is the “global airtime Africa takes up in people’s headspace over a concentrated period of time”. If we have clear, consistent messaging, this will lead to a change in perceptions and mobilise people behind a common cause.

And that common cause will create unity.

This year’s Communication Partnership Conference, themed “Africa’s time has come”, brought together over 350 marketers, communicators and other interested stakeholders from across Africa to discuss how to create a new and lasting impression of Africa that will encourage foreign investment and a global mind-change about the continent.

The Partnership includes communicators from government, business and civil society working together to take advantage of the marketing opportunity presented by the 2010 World Cup for the country and the continent.

Johnston stressed the need for an alignment of messaging which will assist in creating a greater marketing impact. In particular, she urged African communicators to use the world spotlight on South Africa and Africa to profile the “majesty, spirit, energy and successes of Africa”.

She concluded by saying:” We must contextualise and balance the African story. We must take control of our narrative. We must all entrench one message.”

Download Yvonne Johnston’s full presentation…[PDF: 2 MB]


Issued by: Meropa Communications
On behalf of: International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC)

For more information, please contact:
Claire Taylor: 011 772 1000/ 072 341 3898

Pamela Dlamini: 011 772 1000// 082 686 2198

Lauretta Theys: 083 444 4755