Former UK Minister for Africa joins Brand Communications as Advisor

Brand Communications is boosting its team with the hire of former Minister for Africa, James Duddridge MP, as an Advisor. The hire will strengthen Brand Communications’ ambition to become the foremost communications’ partner of choice for and foreign businesses wishing to enter or grow their business in Africa.

James will bring his deep knowledge of Africa, experience of operating at the highest levels of government and extensive networks to Brand Communications. James will advise on Brexit-related issues and the financial services sector. James will continue in his role as MP for Rochford and Southend East.

Terhas Asefaw Berhe, Managing Director and Founder of Brand Communications said, “We are delighted that James Duddridge has joined us at this crucial time. There is no question that Brexit has caused ripples of uncertainty and opportunity right across Africa and we hope that having James on board will offer our existing clients the confidence they need to stay ahead of the curve on Brexit. James will allow us to offer prospective clients extra insight into how to develop their investments and projects on the continent, at a time when Africa’s emerging markets are actively searching for fresh business.”

Mark Sabah, Director of Public Affairs, who announced the launch of a ‘Brexit Advisory Service’ for African clients in 2016, will work closely with James Duddridge and co-ordinate actions with his colleagues in the African offices of Brand Communications.

Mark Sabah said, “The Public Affairs offering at Brand Communications is growing rapidly, his appointment will greatly enhance our ability to advise our clients in real time on Brexit developments. James also brings great experience working on financial and regulatory issues in Africa and the UK, which will be a vital asset to us.

James Duddridge MP was the UK’s Minister for Africa from 2014 to 2016. He has been Chairman of the All Party Group on Africa, a member of the International Development Committee and a Member of Parliament since 2005.

James said: “I am looking forward to working with Brand Communications. We share a passion for growing and developing the African economy. Africa will be a big growth area over the next 20 years, particularly for the UK government given its post Brexit drive for trade.”

Prior to becoming an MP, James Duddridge held senior positions in banks and asset management in Swaziland, Côte D’Ivoire, and Botswana. He was also a senior trustee of a charity which offered business coaching to entrepreneurs in Malawi, Rwanda and Uganda. He helped set up the UK’s first internet market research firm YouGov which is now listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Brand Communications currently represent some of the biggest brands in Africa including: Ecobank, Afreximbank, Continental Reinsurance, Djondo Fellowship, Royal Air Maroc, Petro Ivoire and the Government of Benin.

Brand Communications operates as a fully integrated, brand-led team offering brand design and strategy, corporate communications, public relations, public affairs, advertising and digital. In June 2016, it opened a new, full service, communications office in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, to deal with the increasing number of projects and clients in the Francophone region. Brand Communications also have representatives in Rwanda, Egypt and Cameroon.

Author: Dylan Jones

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