“This is the man with the golden touch,” Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo excitedly told a guest in full glare of jubilant supporters and an observing press. “Anything he touches turns to gold.”
He is talking about Adebola Williams, chief executive officer of StateCraft Inc, the communication agency that helped power Ghana’s three-time presidential aspirant to a victory this time, becoming President in January.
He is not exaggerating. Williams, only 30 this year, has turned out to be the continent’s leading authority on winning elections, running a governance communication company that won the presidential elections in Nigeria in 2015 and then won the presidential elections in Ghana in 2016.
Both elections are eerily similar. Both incumbents, as Vice-Presidents had stumbled into public office based on the deaths of their principals. Both entered into office on a wave of wild popularity. Their opponents had run at least twice each before (three in the case of Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari) – and both had won in the years that they brought in StateCraft Inc to manage their political communication. Both campaigns ran on a ‘Change’ message.
“Because the conditions were so similar, it was easy to replicate a message of ‘Change’,” Williams says during an interview. “Not every election and every context will require a message of change, even though it’s a global movement. “But many countries in West Africa and across Africa are ripe, even desperate for change.”
Williams is co-founder of RED, which is the 11-year-old parent company that houses StateCraft Inc. It’s a network of four media companies focused on Africa’s youth: Red Media Africa, a Public Relations company working in West Africa for Facebook, Uber, Union Bank and Heineken; Generation Y!, a TV and online content company with one of Nigeria’s most popular online newspapers and The Future Project, a social enterprise that hosts Africa’s biggest youth social change event, The Future Awards Africa.
His career began first in film 16 years ago and then in the media began 13 years ago, working for a youth counseling company and soon co-presenting two shows on Nigeria’s National Television Authority. He parleyed that into a thriving career as a TV producer, working for Nigeria International, a syndicated TV show in three continents; and Living it on South Africa’s Mnet.
Culled from Forbes
Monday March 13, 2017