Côte Ouest: new senior staff and the opening of a new regional sales office

Côte Ouest, Africa's leader in the distribution of content, has reported a 30% year-on-year growth in sales activity for the first 6 months of the 2013 fiscal year, following on from a successful 2012. In order to consolidate its position and build on this growth, the company announces recruitment and placement of new senior staff and the opening of a new regional sales office as it gears up for DISCOP Africa and MIPCOM. The company has also signed a catalogue deal with VIACOM for exclusive sales representation across the African continent, excluding South Africa.
Under the leadership of SVP Mike Dearham, working closely with CEO and founder Bernard Azria, the company has exceeded sales targets and grown its customer base so that it now services up to 311 TV stations across Africa and beyond.
In addition to Côte Ouest’s established offices in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Casablanca (Morocco) and Ebene (Mauritius), it has now opened a new regional sales office in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo), in a continuation of the company’s strategy to best service its diverse customer base through local proximity. Patrick Akushie, previously Commercial Manager for Agence France-Presse across Nigeria, Ghana & Cameroon, has been appointed as Regional Sales Manager - Lagos. Akushie will be developing the commercial and sales relationships with current clients throughout the region, while also identifying and securing new business opportunities.

Côte Ouest has bolstered its digital profile and capabilities with the appointment of Olivia Dadie as Digital Communication Specialist to drive the company’s digital and social communication strategies across online and social media channels. Dadie joins from digital agency Revolver 3, where she was an interactive marketing strategist.

Mike Dearham, SVP, Côte Ouest, says: “The secret of our success had been the cultivation of a strong team of highly committed people, strong leadership and great content offering.”
Bernard Azria, CEO, Côte Ouest, adds: "Moving forward we are very confident in our business model and firm in our belief that we offer the industry the most comprehensive vision for superb content that spans across cultural and language barriers. In short, what we offer to our customers is a ‘must have’ content solution that has proven highly successful in terms of audience appreciation and an association with leading content brands."

Côte Ouest secures exclusive distribution partnerships with leading global media content companies seeking access to the African continent, and has continued this strategy with a deal with VIACOM for exclusive sales representation in Africa, with the exception of South Africa. The five-year deal includes such leading titles as Real Husbands of Hollywood, Let’s Stay Together, Reed Between the Lines, to name but a few.
Dearham says about the deal: “Côte Ouest is the premier gateway to the Anglophone and Francophone Africa markets for the world’s leading content owners and providers. We pride ourselves on offering the best global programming for our clients across Africa and the Diaspora, and so we are always looking to partner with the best from the rest of the world. We are delighted to be bringing VIACOM’s content to our network of clients..”
Côte Ouest adds VIACOM to a range of other US companies it has distribution deals with, for TV and film content, such as Disney, CBS, and Warner. It also has an exclusive partnership with Brazil’s Globo TV for a portfolio that includes the latest hit telenovelas, as well as feature films and docs.

Jason Njoko, CEO, iRoko, Nigeria at AfricaCast

On 12-14 November, Cape Town will see the return of Africa's premium show on the future of broadcasting.

New for 2013, will see a brand new special focus day, looking specifically at the multiplatform opportunity, that multiscreen entertainment can bring to innovators. Global brands from the OTT and Social TV ecosystems will bring their knowledge and experiences to Africa to discuss the future monetizing opportunities of multiscreen entertainment, including Jason Njoko, CEO, iRoko, Nigeria.

Speaking at 12:50pm on Tuesday, 12th November, Jason will give a Keynote address on How iRoko are Evolving in a Multiplatform Eco-system. During his presentation he will talk about:

•    Partnering with the key industry players to keep iRoko at the centre of the industry
•    Understanding the integration between iRoko and gaming platforms
•    Creating a developed platform for broadcast to embrace
•    Engaging with the user on a global level through local content

Taking place at the CTICC in Cape Town and co-located with AfricaCom, Africa's leading telecoms event, you will have the opportunity to network with over 8,000 attendees and learn from over 300 speakers from the entire telecoms ecosystem.
Source: Informa, Sept 2013.

Africa's Top Business Leaders were honoured during the UN General Assembly Week in NYC, in September 2013. The Award for Innovation was given to the newly launched Kenyan project, Mawingu, which leverages innovative new wireless technologies utilising unused TV band spectrum (“TV white spaces”) and solar powered base stations to deliver nationwide broadband access. Leaders received accolades at the African Business Awards 2013