Researchers and businesses moguls recently engaged in fresh marketing and social research conversations with a transformative agenda to promote the African brand to the rest of the world.
Speaking at the third yearly Africa Forum of the African Market Research Association (AMRA) in Lagos, speakers took turns to proffer best approaches to telling impactful African stories through research.
The event, themed, 'Building Tomorrow, Africa Leading' had participants from across Africa. AMRA Chairman, Sami Ghabrial, stressed that AMRA was the agent of growth in Africa, hence the need to be African.
"We need to have a big and collective voice. We can achieve this through credible and professional market research within Africa, support the formation and growth of national associations, engage businesses with market research commodity in Africa," he said. He further highlighted that AMRA provides businesses, learning and connection for members.
Joseph Ogeto of Global Research Insights, Kenya, said research could be used to get information for governments to review policies on how to counter secondary effects of disease outbreaks, terrorism and so on as was used to counter the secondary effects of Ebola virus in three African countries.
According to him, "AMRA can use this platform to sway policies and government policies on countering emergencies."
Director Western Africa, AMRA, Joy Uyanwune said AMRA's unique stands in the development of Africa, the force behind businesses, brands, products and services could not be overemphasised.
She said, "we need to be careful how we gather information and ensure international standard. Those want our information to impact positively."
Lagos State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Hakeem Fahm, stressed the need to leverage on technology, digital platforms for marketing and research to strengthen the ethical participation of young men and women in the country and enhance the understanding of the African consumers' wallet in a market of complexities.
Fahm said research emphasises the need for self-regulation and adherence to ethical standards with respect to market research, social research and opinion polling.
He said the forum was apt in identifying the challenges and making appropriate recommendations that would make possible the desired contribution of marketing and social research to the country's GDP in the future.
He, however, said the emergence of digital platforms had disrupted various sectors with the research sector being one of them. "However, Market research agencies can actually thrive due to big data because market research organisations focus on the 'why', as they have an understanding of the context of why something is happening. In a world of big data, while the algorithms generate information automatically, members of an organisation can use the analyses and visualizations made by the big data tools to understand the context of why something is happening," he noted.
The commissioner noted that the application of ICT would stimulate growth in other sectors and create job opportunities. Saying, "The positive impact of Marketing and Social Research on the financial and communications sectors in particular, are good examples of the kind of support these initiatives can give to other sectors to grow and be globally competitive."
Nigeria's foremost researcher, Kareem Tejumola urged government to key into research as way to amplify growth by partnering with groups such as AMRA,
For Ndeye Diagne of Kantar, Cote d'ivoire, AMRA's role is to reveal and unlock Africanity. Our culture is a growth enabler that fosters creativity, innovation and overall growth.