Note from the publisher: Taking stock of an interesting and highly successful year

This year has been the biggest yet for How we made it in Africa as we work towards our goal of being the continent’s smartest and most interesting business publication.

Over the past 12 months the How we made it in Africa website has been visited more than 1.2 million times with over 2.2 million pages opened; we have attracted advertising from some of the biggest companies operating in the continent today; our industry has acknowledged us as one of the best in the business; and even university students are now learning from our insight with one of our articles included in a business management textbook.

Bookmarks Award

How we made it in Africa was recognised as one of the top South African-based publications with a Bronze Award in the Specialist Publisher category of The Bookmarks Awards.

The sixth annual Bookmarks Awards were held at the famous Artscape Theatre in Cape Town, South Africa. The awards, which recognise and reward excellence in digital media and publishing, saw radio personality Gareth Cliff as MC to an audience of over 600 of industry professionals.

Considering that long-established South African media brands Sarie and Huisgenoot were also shortlisted in our category, the award is indeed something to be proud of.

DHL partnership

During the year DHL Express came on board as How we made it in Africa’s main partner in a multi-year agreement. It has been very exciting to have a mutually beneficial partnership with one of the world’s most well-known and respected brands.

Although it has been active in the continent for decades, DHL is aggressively boosting its network of service points on the continent. The logistics operator has identified small to medium enterprises (SMEs) as a big growth market for its business. It is also benefiting from increased commerce between the continent and global partners.

Helping clients to grow their businesses in Africa

General advertiser interest was strong throughout the year as an increasing number of companies seek to grow their respective businesses on the African continent.

In 2013, the following companies, organisations and brands associated themselves with How we made it in Africa:

The Anzisha Prize, EY, Stanbic Bank Ghana, Vodacom Tanzania, KPMG, Phatisa, Frontier Market Network, University of Stellenbosch Business School, Senter 360, Gordon Institute of Business Science, Real Estate Unite, Folio Online,, Africa Property Investment Summit, Analysis Institute of Management (Mauritius), BiD Network, Madison Footwear, Waterstone Wines and, Omega Investment Research, to name a few!

Going mobile

How we made it in Africa has reported extensively on the continent’s mobile phone revolution. With the rise of internet-enabled phones across the continent, it has become essential to offer our readers a first-class experience when accessing How we made it in Africa on their mobile devices. We are therefore proud of our new mobile friendly site that went live in October.

New contributors

During the year we also attracted exciting new writers from across the world. South African-based Menno Gazendam shared his unique insights into starting and growing a business; Ian Dean and Hennie du Plessis wrote a series of six articles on leadership; EY’s Charlie Pistorius discussed foreign investment on the continent; Ghana-based Billie McTernan looked at Prince Kofi Amoabeng’s journey from an army officer to the CEO of UT Bank; Olaolu Olusina interviewed the founders of Nigerian online retailer Jumia; Frontier Strategy Group’s Anna Rosenberg shared her observations about Angola’s business environment; and Tielman Nieuwoudt wrote about supply chain trends on the continent.

Looking ahead to 2014

Despite all our achievements during the year, we are in no way complacent, recognising there is a lot of work to be done to reach our goals.

In 2014 we plan to attract new contributors, roll out innovative advertising solutions, and introduce additional sections to the website.

Thank you to all our staff, service providers and clients for their excellent work and support during the year.

Jaco Maritz

Please note that although the website will continue to be updated, we will not send out the daily newsletter between 23 December 2013 and 3 January 2014.