LISTEN: Talking Media And Entrepreneurship With Eloïne Barry Of African Media Agency

“No idea is ever too small to start something big. Nothing is impossible; it’s just a matter of hard work and identifying the right opportunities.”

Owning a business can be challenging, but once a business firmly establishes itself, entrepreneurship becomes rewarding.

I had an opportunity to chat with Eloïne Barry, a multi-skilled, multilingual communications and business professional with a proven track record in building and managing PR businesses all around the world and founder of African Media Agency. In this interview she tells us more about this cut-throat industry.

What does Africa mean to you?

Africa is the continent that defines my roots. Africa to me is the land of wisdom and endless possibilities. It’s where I feel I am the most connected to myself and nature. The continent has given me such amazing opportunities in terms of business.

African Media Agency (AMA) is dedicated to helping African companies grow their share of voice on a pan-African scale in the media industry. What was the primary objective for setting up African Media Agency?

I have always wanted to work in the communication industry and develop the continent’s communication space. AMA’s objective is to be the strong media base that helps to educate the public in a balanced and transparent manner.

Running a multi-faceted media business like AMA gives you a real ‘whole of market’ view. In your opinion, what are the key areas of growth within media in Africa right now?

We are presently experiencing a lot more of pan-Africanism in media. In the past, African countries used to be very isolated, but that’s changing. Social media is also playing a significant role on the continent in that it’s shaping discourse and giving the media landscape a fresh feel.

What are your views on the negative reporting on Africa that we see in African publications?

There is a disruption between people’s perceptions abroad about the continent and what is really happening on the continent. There is such a strong need for home grown narrative on what the continent is all about, and what projects and innovations are taking place. Of course, there are issues in Africa but that is not what defines us as a continent. It’s our job as media professionals to make sure that when we speak about the continent, we talk about the positive things because they do exist.

You’ve worked in the media industry for years now. What would you say was your biggest inspiration for choosing to work as a media practitioner?

The communications industry has never been put to task as strongly as it is today as it touches every aspect of our lives. We are living in an era where the world is turning to nationalism and the media can build bridges and help us reach out to each other.

How can young Africans in the diaspora contribute to Africa’s rise and general development?

Young Africans in the diaspora acquire skills that they use on the African continent. I see a lot of young Africans in the diaspora struggling to get employment in other countries while having these wonderful ideas. I keep advising them to go back home and implement those ideas and make changes in African people’s lives.

What are the Top 10 publications that you read daily?

  1. The New York Times
  2. Mail & Guardian
  3. The Daily Nation – Kenya
  4. New Vision – Uganda
  5. The Citizen – Tanzania
  6. The Guardian – Nigeria
  7. – South Africa
  8. IC Publications (New African business & New African women)
  9. Wall Street Journal
  10. CNN

What other projects are you involved in?

I have been involved with an NGO focused on public health called ‘Speak up Africa.’ They roll out big health campaigns and I have been very happy helping them with their communications. I also give talks in different events on entrepreneurship and issues affecting women.

What final thoughts would you like to share with our readers?

No idea is ever too small to start something big. Nothing is impossible; it’s just a matter of hard work and identifying the right opportunities.

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