Africa Outlook

Signing off on 2019

- Tom Wadlow Editorial Director, Outlook Publishing

A s 2020 rapidly approaches, businesses around the world are evaluating their successes this year and looking ahead to start of the next decade. In South Africa, constructi­on and property developmen­t firms are by and large expecting another tough year. A sector that has long been under the spotlight and subject to difficulty, it is those companies operating within it that have been able to adapt that have emerged. New ideas are also being embraced. Take our cover feature company FWJK and its concept of co-developmen­t at cost. An elementary way of enabling smaller property investors to co-invest in a pipeline of new prime property developmen­ts in any category that they would not ordinarily be able to execute on their own, the firm has carved its own niche in South Africa. “Think about buying a brand-new car,” explains FWJK CEO David WilliamsJo­nes. “Often, you’d have to purchase it from a plush showroom, where 25 percent premiums are added. Now imagine that you could buy directly from the factory and save on paying these premiums by stripping away these additional costs. This is essentiall­y what we’re offering in the property segment.” To discover more about the company’s unique way of working, see the interview in full in our company profiles section, which contains exclusive comment and insight from a variety of industries spanning food and drink, mining and water. Before this you will find a Q&A with Bruno Mettling, President of Orange Africa and the Middle East. An industry veteran, Mettling tells us why Africa is such an exciting market for the French tech giant and how it is helping to combat epidemics such as AIDS and TB. Staying in the technology sphere, we explore the story of South African garage-born data marketing brand Everlytic. “Every business is a data business and every data business competes against others in the attention economy,” JD Engelbrech­t tell us. “Consumers suffer from messaging fatigue and there really is no place for ‘ordinary’ in the market. “This demands the extraordin­ary from marketers in every instance, risking irrelevanc­e or not earning into the attention sphere of their customers. Data and marketing technology have become an extension of a marketing team. Without quality data, transforme­d into useful insights, today’s marketing generally lacks precision and context.” Last but not least is a look at foreign direct investment into the continent, statistics which show how Africa is bucking the global trend.

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