IOA Position Papers

Africa Media Index (AMI)

The GroupM Africa Media Index (AMI), produced in collaboration with In On Africa (IOA), focuses on 14 of East, Southern and West Africa’s largest media markets. The index is designed to inform media investors and advertisers about opportunities, while also highlighting problems that stand in the way of profitable investment and effective advertising. Balancing raw data with the media sector are surveys conducted with experts in the field. Their perceptions provide depth to the report’s data structure and capture the enthusiasm or pessimism relating to particular aspects of the media environment. From these voices, businesses can hear direction on where to grow their brands.

One conclusion stands out in this report: Africans are diverse as individuals but tend to have uniform tastes in what they wish to receive from their media services. Enabled by the latest technology, investors can meet consumer needs and advertisers can tap into consumer desires.

What is the future of work in South Africa?

Examining the ‘Side Hustle’ economy

With the current challenges in economic climate South Africans are increasingly looking to broaden their horizons into additional work opportunities. The advent of working on the side is becoming increasingly prevalent, whether it’s driven by a need to generate additional income, or in search of more engaging and stimulating work. But what is the prevalence of side hustling, and what are the likely impacts on the broader economy?

IOA in collaboration with Henley Business School has looked to assess the nature and proliferation of work on the side in the context of South Africa. The research aimed to delve into various drivers of side-hustling, the hourly commitments to pursuing a side venture, as well as the views coming from both employees and employers on the topic.

The 4th industrial revolution in Africa: The next great frontier

By Jacques du Preez

Analysis in brief: The Fourth Industrial Revolution is now underway and is set to forever change the way in which economies relate to each other in the global market. This is a vital opportunity for the rapidly developing African economies to assert themselves as vital hubs in the international manufacturing sector.

What is the fourth industrial revolution?

The 4th industrial revolution, otherwise known as the ‘Digital Industrial revolution’ or ‘Industry 4.0’, or simply ‘4IR’ is a broad term used to describe the ongoing global conversion of labour-intensive manufacturing processes toward incorporating robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, customer service personalisation and other forms of digital innovation, pointing to a future where the knowledge economy and the manufacturing sector are in effect, inseparable. Like earlier industrial revolutions, those quickest to utilise these new technologies will reap the most benefit. Some estimates place the profits reaped by early adopting firms at almost 120%, with a measly 10% for those who only adopt these new technologies later on. Far from being at a disadvantage, Africa’s lack of legacy infrastructure might prove to be a key ingredient in securing its industries’ positions in the new global economy that the 4IR will bring about. Industrial growth in this context can be viewed through two key focus areas: the conventional development of an industrial base and the fostering of a local knowledge economy.

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In On Africa (IOA) Press Release – June 2019




In On Africa (IOA) and African Business Magazine announce partnership for the 2019 edition of the Africa Country Benchmark Report (ACBR) 

In On Africa (IOA) and African Business Magazine, two leading African business information providers, have announced a partnership to produce and deliver the third edition of the Africa Country Benchmark Report (ACBR). The ACBR is a ground-breaking 500+ page publication, which provides a comprehensive assessment of 54 African countries, to deliver an all-encompassing picture of the African continent.


The report scores, ranks and insightfully assesses each African country holistically, as well as across ACBR’s four ‘quadrants’: Business, Economics, Politics and Society. Hundreds of infographics, more than 25,000 data points, and critical insights make the ACBR an essential tool to better understand Africa.



In describing the key objectives of the ACBR, Jonathan Mundell, CEO of In On Africa, states that: “Having a deep, all-encompassing understanding of African markets is essential for any business, institution, non-profit or government working on the continent. The ACBR aims to facilitate data-driven decision-making in Africa through the most comprehensive analysis of African countries, guiding our readers in their work on the continent and hopefully playing a central role in Africa’s development.”

Pedro Besugo, Business Development and Strategy at African Business adds, “There has never been a greater need to collate and analyse accurate data on Africa’s economic performance and the activities of the continent’s dynamic business community. African Business Magazine’s partnership with In On Africa to produce the Africa Country Benchmark Report will give readers access to a comprehensive data set for 54 countries, helping them to make better informed business decisions.”


The two organisations are finalising work on the 2019 edition, which has involved the re-engineering and expansion of the report’s assessment models. The report is scheduled to be launched at the end of July and there is currently a limited offer of early-bird access in addition to discounted rates for pre-orders of the report.

You can access the ACBR Info pack or pre-order the publication by clicking the links below:







About In On Africa

IOA was established in South Africa in 2007 with the goal of becoming the definitive source of expert research and analysis in Africa, focused on Africa. IOA’s mission is to guide and inform decision-making to accelerate growth and development in Africa – connecting Africa’s potential. 

IOA has conducted research and advisory projects for private and public sector clients across the entire African continent. These projects span key industries and markets, and range from multi-country market attractiveness studies and landscape assessments through to impact assessments, political risk analyses and social research. 

With headquarters in South Africa and consultants spread across the African continent, IOA combines in-country presence and expertise with a holistic understanding of our local and international clientele, making IOA a definitive strategic partner in Africa.

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About African Business

African Business is published by IC Publications, a pan-African media and communication group with over 50 years’ experience in publishing magazines, country supplements, industry reports and market intelligence on Africa, reaching +2.6 million loyal readers in more than 100 countries.

African Business and its award-winning team is widely respected for its editorial excellence. We provide the all-important tools enabling you to maintain a critical edge in a continent that is changing the world. Our special reports profile a wide range of sectors and industries including Energy, Oil and Gas, Aviation, Agriculture to name but a few.

With our vast experience in the field of communications, public relations and contract publishing, IC Publications offers a one-stop shop solution to serve all its clients’ needs both for those wishing to expand into Africa or for African entities seeking international exposure.

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Who to vote for? Examining the top contenders in South Africa’s 2019 elections

By Tertius Mynhardt Jacobs

Analysis in brief: With 19 of Africa’s 55 countries hosting national elections, 2019 promises to be an interesting year filled with hope and change. Among these elections, there are a few that stand out. South Africa’s election, in particular, is of great significance to the Southern African region and the continent more broadly. By relating the proposed policies of major political contenders to key challenges confronting South African democracy, this analysis seeks to inform readers of dominant voting options and the content of dominant parties’ manifestos.

NOTE TO READER: This paper does not intend to specify which political party is the overall ‘best party’. Instead, it has drawn from the manifestos of each party to gauge the stance of South Africa’s top 12, assessing how they differ and how well prepared they are to tackle the issues that are dividing South Africans. With this in mind, the reader is urged to explore the manifestos in which they express interest to truly understand who their preferred party is and how they intend to remedy South Africa’s array of challenges. Only then can one make an informed decision come election day.

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Africa’s disaster response: Continent-wide coordination required

By James Hall

Analysis in Brief: The destruction of a major port city and loss of life in one of Africa’s biggest recorded storms may be the impetus to create a continental authority to manage disasters that arrive with greater power and frequency as a result of climate change.

The destruction Cyclone Idai wrought on the Southern African countries Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe in March 2019 claimed over 700 lives, obliterated Mozambique’s port city, Beira, and flooded 138,000 km²of crop land. Cholera became the immediate threat and diminished harvests are a mid-term eventuality. The response of the 13-state regional body, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), was very little given the scope of the calamity and when compared with the work and contributions of overseas aid organisations who immediately rushed in to assist. A SADC representative said the body was surprised by the cyclone’s power and was not prepared for the devastation unleashed.

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Towards Africa taking joint ownership of Artificial Intelligence

By Dr. Mary Carman[1] and Dr. Benjamin Rosman[2]

Analysis in brief: Africa has the potential to be an active agent in the development of emerging technologies around artificial intelligence (AI) and not simply a place where these technologies are implemented. But in order to do so, it is necessary to think critically about where research attention in Africa should be focused, as well as how to guide the various aspects of research in a way that is sensitive to capabilities and interests specific to African peoples.

Research and development into emerging technologies around artificial intelligence (AI) is thriving the world over. African countries too are developing the capacity to contribute to this growing field. Indeed, Africa has the potential to take joint ownership of AI and not just be a playground where these technologies from elsewhere are implemented. For instance, the first major international machine learning conference in Africa – the International Conference of Learning Representations (ICLR) – will be held in Ethiopia in 2020, representing the first major opportunity for African researchers to attend a large conference on home soil and dramatically increase interaction between African and international researchers. But in order to take ownership and maximise a role for Africa, we need to think critically about how to guide the various aspects of research in a way that is sensitive to African capabilities and interests.

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Health (in)security and migration: African lessons for a world in transition

By Annamarie Bindenagel Šehović

Analysis in Brief: Global health security lies at the intersection of Europe and Africa, between inherited state-based intervention and a new regional, global approach. Given this, it is vital to redefine health security and it is imperative that this new definition include cross-border populations. Likewise, knowledge exchange in both definitional scope and political and experimental approaches across Africa and beyond is an important contributor to health security in a globalised world.
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Assessment of South Africa’s SME landscape

Challenges, Opportunities, Risks and Next Steps

The South African government has prioritised small business development with the objective of creating 11 million jobs by 2030 to reduce the country’s chronic and high unemployment rate, and looking to SMEs to create these jobs and stimulate economic growth. This objective can only be achieved through the establishment of a supportive and enabling environment for the growth of small businesses.

SME SA in collaboration with In On Africa (IOA) has endeavored to assess the current environment in which SMEs operate through executing nationwide research on the sector. The aim of the research was to shed light on the challenges, opportunities and risks that need to be considered in the development of the SME sector to ensure the much needed growth and new employment opportunities in the country.

African stock exchanges hold the key to unlocking the continent’s economic growth and development

By Jacqueléne Coetzer

Analysis in brief:  Due to increased economic growth and development, largely as a result of improved political stability, African exchanges offer great investment value for both African and foreign investors.  Although there are still some difficulties to overcome to make African Exchanges more attractive to international investors, with the political will and dedicated efforts by governments and exchanges, these difficulties can be overcome.

Few people are aware of the business, economic and IT successes being achieved in Africa.  Mauritius is poised to become Africa’s first high-income economy within the next 10 years and there are a number of other African countries that are working actively to achieve the same.  The former-President of Botswana, Ian Khama, has famously remarked that Africa has the ability to solve its own problems and he was right.
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Shake up in African aviation stresses profitability

By James Hall

The following article is based on information obtained by the author while undertaking a comparative study on African nations’ competitive statuses for clients of IOA. Other IOA research is also referenced.

Economic liberalisation, giving African consumers wider choices and cheaper goods and services through greater competition, is taking its time in the commercial aviation sector. Most African nations are signatories to Open Skies treaties that, if implemented, will allow African airlines to pass through African air spaces and land at African airports without having to pay heavy taxes for the privilege. This would make inter-Africa flying cheaper for passengers and increase passenger and freight volumes, also giving a boost to the tourism sector. However, African governments are rather fond of their tax revenues and are not implementing these agreements.
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