The Chairman and World President of the International Advertising Association (IAA), Srinivasan K Swamy, has pointed out the crucial role of advertising as a key driver of economic growth and sustainable development. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 3rd Africa Rising Leadership Conference in Accra, Ghana, he described advertising as the engine of economic growth and the means through which businesses and the global economy thrives.
“Advertising is very important and an industry that is indispensable. In the United States, the advertising to GDP ratio is one per cent. In Ghana, it is 1.5 per cent. If we are able to increase this, the economy will grow exponentially. It is in the best interest of every economy to promote advertising,” he said.
The Africa Rising Leadership Conference is organised by the IAA in partnership with the Advertising Association of Ghana (AAG). The event seeks to provide a platform for business leaders, brand executives, marketing communicators and policy makers to interact, share ideas and provide solutions on how to build and sustain businesses through innovative advertising campaigns.
The two-day conference is on the theme: “Technology Trends versus Consumer Choice – who’s determining the future?” The conference was officially opened by the Vice President, of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. In his address, he acknowledged the key role IAA continues to play in Africa’s development through enhancing partnerships, building capacity of business leaders and driving business growth. Dr. Bawumia lauded IAA for the “African Rising” Conference initiative and for choosing Ghana as host country for the event.
In his welcome address, the President of the AAG acknowledged participants and speakers from across the globe, from Asia, Europe and America apart from delegates from the host continent mainly South Africa, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire. Other speakers for the day included the IAA’s Vice President and Africa Area Director; Norkor Duah, Facebook’s Africa Regional Marketing Manager; Elizma Nolte and Bharat Avalani; CEO, Connecting Dots Consultancy, Malaysia.
The rest were Mathe Okaba; CEO , Association of Communications and Advertising, South Africa, Ikechi Odigbo; President, Association of Advertising Agencies Nigeria, Matt Angus- Hammond; West Africa Director of Geopoll, Angela Kyeremanten-Jimoh; Country General Manager of IBM, Eyitayo Olayemi; Programme Director Advertising Week Africa and Yaw Nsarkoh; Executive Vice President Unilever, Ghana & Nigeria.