Ghana is set to host the maiden edition of the Africa Image Conference from May 25 to 27, 2023 to develop strategies and projects that would rebrand the image of Africa for development.
The three-day event would be on the theme: “Rebranding Africa-Changing the Narratives,” and would be attended by Pan Africans, Brand Consultants, Africa Image Ambassadors and Content Producers around the world.”
A statement issued by the African Chamber of Content Producers office at Oyarifa in the Greater Accra Region said: “Despite having a long and storied history, the image of Africa in the public imagination remains largely shaped by stereotypes, that paint it as an impoverished continent.”
It said these misconceptions were further reinforced by negative portrayals in mainstream media outlets – a reality that makes it difficult to overcome outdated ideas about what African nations have to offer.
The statement said despite these negative narratives surrounding Africa, content could still be used effectively to change the perception and rebrand the continent’s narrative through well-crafted stories on its diverse range of cultures, societies, economies and success stories.
“By creating compelling materials that capture these aspects with nuance, African Content Producers can use content marketing strategies to build awareness around different elements of life in Africa and foster appreciation for its wide variety of achievements – something sorely needed when one considers how much denial there is surrounding certain realities on the ground,” it stated.
The statement said the conference would serve as an opportunity for Pan Africans around the world to come together and collaborate to improve the lives of African people around the world, to rebrand the image of Africa and to change the negative narratives surrounding Africa.
“Attendees will have the opportunity to gain invaluable insights and knowledge about the region, network with Pan Africans, be trained on Pan-Africanism Communication by Pan African Institutions of higher learning, and have the chance to be part of active dialogue on the challenges faced by Africans today,” it said.
According to the organisers of the conference, long-term rebranding projects would be initiated and implemented by delegates.
Nana Dwomoh-Doyen, Benjamin, an Executive Director of the African Chamber of Content Producers in an interview with the Ghana News Agency stated that for those who are interested in African issues, the conference would serve as an invaluable opportunity.
“It is a chance to gain knowledge and expertise on the African continent, network with influential Pan-Africans, and be part of a dialogue that could have a positive impact on the African continent,” he said.
Nana Dwomoh-Doyen stated: “When you think of Africa, what comes to mind? War-torn landscapes and child soldiers often seem to be the most widely accepted image. But for one of the world’s largest continents with over 50 countries, this generalization hardly does it justice – which is why it’s time that we rebrand this ancient land using content.”
He added: “Within a single continent lies great diversity in terms of geography, culture, and language. Most people are unaware of its vast technical savvy infrastructure or the fact that ancient Egypt was one of the oldest and long-lasting civilizations in world history.
“This is where cleverly crafted content can provide an alternative lens through which African countries are seen: A place full of opportunity and change instead of a place constantly requiring aid from outside forces.”
Dr Prince Kwame Darko, an Image Ambassador for the African Chamber of Content Producers, said the Chamber planned to use content to highlight success stories from ordinary Africans doing extraordinary things.
“Those creating apps addressing needed solutions; innovators utilizing technology to better life on earth, entrepreneurs risking everything including their lives at times just to get ahead, African consumers devoting their time and resources to consume made in Africa products, and a host of others.”
Phil Efe Benard, the President of the Nigeria Chamber of Content Producers, said content marketing offered a viable solution to rebranding Africa’s image; shining light onto untold narratives rooted firmly within Africa’s history awaiting discovery.
“In addition to informing readers and viewers about topics such as infrastructure development or technological advances taking place across regions like Sub Saharan Africa or North Africa respectively; persuasive contents outlining ways investors could benefit from putting money into nascent markets are useful too due to their potential impact towards convincing businesses seeking opportunities elsewhere.
“That’s why the conference would also host the ‘Model AfCFTA Pan African Trade Exhibition’ to show the world that indeed Africans can come together and trade among themselves. There are a lot of positive things that we can throw light on in Africa. The telling signs exist hidden away just needing someone knowledgeable enough about local conversations to usher them out” he stated.
The Africa Chamber of Content Producers’ modus operandi is in accordance with the principles and objectives of the African Charter on cultural renaissance on the use of media in promoting culture and guided by the constitutive act of the Africa Union. The Chamber currently has about 1,000 members across 50 countries in Africa.