How social media is powering Africa’s small businesses
Organisation: Business Daily/Nation Media Group
Organisation size: Big
Publication date: 10/09/2021
I am a Ugandan journalist with close to 27 years of professional experience in news reporting with various local and international media houses based in Kampala.
At The EastAfrican newspaper owned by the Nation Media Group (NMG), where I have worked since 2003, I mainly write feature stories on African history, heritage, arts and the cultural and the creative industries (CCIs) in general. I also write feature stories on education, health, ICTs, agriculture, and business. I also write for other NMG publications which include Daily Monitor, Daily Nation and Business Daily. My feature stories emphasize the achievements and challenges of third world development.
This news feature is about the findings of a study conducted by Genesis Analytics in eight African that explored the impact of the digital economy and social media on small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The report revealed that social media platforms are accelerating economic growth and opportunity across the continent.
According to the results of the study titled “Unlocking Africa’s Potential: How social media is powering small business in Africa,” SMBs are the vehicle to achieve youth employment, gender parity and intra-regional trade in Africa.
The report comes at the time as many countries across the continent have embarked on their digital transformation. It shows that surveyed SMBs that use the Facebook apps have younger employees with an average share of 45 percent of employees under 30. Additionally, SMBs using Facebook apps reported a higher frequency of being owned by women, while SMBs in the manufacturing sector ranked the ability to access new foreign markets as the most beneficial advantage of the apps.
Surveyed SMBs using the Facebook apps report a higher frequency of being owned by women (36 percent) compared with SMBs not using the apps (30 percent). Those using the apps also report having a slightly higher proportion of female employees, higher annual revenues, and are more optimistic about future revenues than non-users.
This news feature should have proved to policymakers that the digital economy can led to economic development.
Besides analyzing the findings of the report I mainly relied on the internet to research and enrich on this subject. I also interviewed experts in this field to give this news feature a better perspective.
What was the hardest part of this project?
I did not encounter any challenges in putting this news feature together.
I would like the jury to consider this news feature in relation to what would happen to the digital economy in Africa if the respective countries addressed all the barriers to the Internet in order to bring about economic growth.
What can others learn from this project?
Other journalists can learn from this news feature by how I treated the findings, interviews and research.