WASHINGTON. D.C.—Marcus Courage, former head of international government relations at Weber Shandwick, has been hired to create a new global consultancy focused on African communications issues. The firm has signed up affiliates around the world, including Strategic Solutions, a public affairs and political strategies firm in Washington, D.C.
Courage will work with Hubert Danso, former senior adviser for African affairs at the International Chamber of Commerce, to grow a network for africapractice, a public affairs firm established under the auspices of the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC). The CBC was established in 1997 to involve the private sector in the promotion of international trade and investment.
Courage will report to Mohan Kaul, a former advisor to South African president Nelson Mandela and director general of the Commonwealth Business Council, who serves as non-executive chairman of africapractice and is director general of the CBC.
According to Kaul, “Few can doubt Africa’s economic potential. In terms of resources, both human and natural, is it quite simply the richest continent in the world. But for Africa to realise its full potential, I believe we need to communicate effectively. Poor communications continue to hold back Africa’s economic and social development.
“The outside world, and most importantly the investor community, needs to hear about the ongoing liberalisation of our markets, the improved investor climate and the burgeoning new business opportunities African economies now offer.”
The consultancy will develop programs in London, and will work through local hubs in Johannesburg, Lagos, and Nairobi.
“What we are creating is unique in its scope and vision,” says Danso. “We are delivering a new, African-driven communications vehicle to tackle the information challenge, profile the best of the continent’s development, and enable Africa institutions to get across their message in a competitive and complex information environment.”
As well as delivering a wide range of public affairs services, from investor relations to destination marketing, africapractice will provide media training courses for clients and aspiring communications professionals in Africa.