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African Marketing Confederation launch takes marketing beyond borders

South Africa's Institute of Marketing Management (IMM) has joined forces with Zambia's Institute of Marketing (ZIM), Marketers Association of Zimbabwe (MAZ) and Marketing Society of Kenya (MSK) to launch the African Marketing Confederation (AMC) in the aim of promoting and maintaining standards of professional skills, ability, ethics and integrity among marketers through the various African marketing bodies.
"We are thankful to our partners with whom we have worked for the past three years to bring this baby to the world," AMC elected president Helen McIntee said, speaking last night, Thursday, 8 September 2011, at the Balalaika Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg.

The newly launched organisation's objectives include providing a career development and recruitment opportunities across Africa, being a central platform for dissemination of new thinking, research and knowledge-sharing, and acting as a central hub for networking and discussion groups.

Pan-African marketing institution

The Pan-African marketing institution will also offer training, certification and skills development for African markets.

AMC's launch comes at a crucial time, when the continent's consistent economic growth and higher returns on investments have become the main attraction for foreign investors, who are trekking in droves to the so-called Dark Continent as Europe, the US and other developed markets stall.

And McIntee said these fantastic times, coupled with the continent's fast Internet growth, present interesting opportunities for African marketers.

"Marketing is business and business is marketing"

"Marketing is business and business is marketing, and Africa is going to be a great place for marketing. I'm glad that we can finally be able to speak the same language - the language of marketing," she said.

AMC's head office will be located in Johannesburg, and the organisation will have the following hierarchical structure:
  • president
  • executive secretary general
  • four regional vice-presidents, and
  • four deputy secretary generals
The AMC project has cost up to R1 million, IMM director Nigel Tattersall told, adding that the AMC is expecting more members to join in the future.

"We are hoping to increase the number of members from four to 10 by the end of this year, and to 20 by this time next year," he said.

"No longer viewed as an adjunct to sales"

Furthermore, McIntee said marketing as a profession has come a long way in the past decade. "It is no longer viewed as an adjunct to sales and advertising or an easy option to get a degree. It is now a fully-fledged business management function that incorporates a wide range of disciplines."

The newly launched body is also planning to introduce an AMC qualification which it set to be defined by high standards and marketing excellence.

Seen as a leader in marketing excellence in Africa, SA has seen an increase of requests from a number of countries to lecture and train their people.

"Africa has become a very special place"

"Africa has become a very special place; its status of a dark continent have been replaced by renewed hope and passion. The African consumer is going places, so if you are a marketer you must know what the market wants. Use Africans to market to Africans," MultiChoice marketing and director Graham Pfuhl said.

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About Issa Sikiti da Silva: @sikitimedia

Issa Sikiti da Silva is a winner of the 2010 SADC Media Awards (print category). He freelances for various media outlets, local and foreign, and has travelled extensively across Africa. His work has been published both in French and English. He used to contribute to as a senior news writer.