Thousands of African designers, both male and female are working hard to make their mark in the industry. However, there are still some cultural barriers that are holding some of these designers back from achieving their full potential. Are there cultural barriers that reflect in the low numbers of women who work as designers or work in design-related fields?
In this presentation, we will try to understand if there is indeed a gender gap we need to worry about. In order to act, we need to understand why it exists and what can be done about it. What role should the women already in the industry play?
Sharon is a versatile creative communications professional with certified skills and a wealth of experience in creative services management, creative strategy, brand management, copywriting, advertising production and graphic design. Since 2005, Sharon has worked in various teams in some of the notable ad agencies in Ghana including Origin 8 Saatchi & Saatchi, ZK Advertising and Publicis West Africa, with award winning work to show for. Some of the brands & clients that have indulged her expertise through the agencies she worked with and some directly, include Spacefon, Areeba, MTN, Databank, Nestle, Amalbank, GSMF, MET Insurance, SG-SSB, Gold Field’s LCA Ghana, CLUB Beer, CalBank, Zain, Tigo, Vodafone, Rlg, Beta Malt, Inesfly, Voltic, Venture Capital, Tasty Tom, Shell and CalBank.
As a seasoned creative professional, Sharon works in diverse ways to see to the result of truly compelling campaigns and illustrious projects that deliver on promise. Sharon is the Lead Creative Consultant at award winning SMC Consulting where she partners with clients and agencies, managing the creative affairs of some of Ghana’s biggest brands as well as emerging ones. Sharon lends some of her time to help nurture young creatives through speaking and training engagements with the goal of shaping the next generation for work in the creative industry. She also builds and facilitates training programs for corporates and individuals, through the virtual SMC Creative Academy, to empower anyone to reach their creative potential. Sharon likes to describe herself as “a Creative Director and Creative Consultant; a copywriter by passion, a designer by degree, a producer by practice and trainer on purpose”.
Sharon is determined to pioneer a creative consulting culture in Ghana that elevates the creative quality of brand communications and like-projects which Africa and the rest of the world will celebrate. With her interest in education, she has the honour of being a member of the Board of Governors of Ridge Church School, a premier private school in Accra and a member of the board of trustees of the Achimota School Endowment Trust Fund; she is a proud alumnus of both schools. Sharon holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Design from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and is a member of the 2022 graduating class of Masters in Marketing Strategy from the University of Ghana Business School.
Sharon is a Ghanaian and lives in the capital city, Accra. She is a Christian and loves to share her faith at every opportunity. Sharon would say among other things, that she is a sneakerhead, a foodie, a sports fan and enjoys Twitter as her go-to drug of social media.
How can Ghanaian creatives maintain their heritage while also participating in the global market?
This presentation explores how Ghanaian creatives are finding the cultural balance between themselves, clients and consumers. In Ghana, there are a lot of cultural differences between creators, clients and consumers based on their levels of exposure. These differences can be difficult to navigate when designing something that will be used by many people. It’s easy for designers in Ghana to lose sight of what’s important when they are working on projects for clients or consumers. The most successful designers are ones who can find their own balance. In this presentation, we will look at how to find that balance.
Aaron Yeboah Junior is a visual designer and founder of 2dots Space Creative Agency. Since 2010, Yeboah has constantly embarked on projects and endeavours that push creative boundaries and help the creative eco system in Africa and beyond.
Currently based in Accra, Yeboah has also lived and worked in the United States, South Africa, and continues to work on creative projects worldwide.
Using design as a tool to inspire, educate and inform, Yeboah’s primary mission is to deliver innovative cross-platform solutions and to be a creative force in Ghana, Africa and beyond. Based on a strong visual eye and experience in both analog and digital formats, Yeboah’s expertise ranges from creation and development of visual identities, interface designs, and creative direction.
Designing products that are a perfect fit for the African user is not a simple task. It requires a lot of research, insight and understanding of what is needed. The main factor to consider when designing for the African market is the culture.
The culture plays a big role in how people live their lives, what they do and how they interact with others. When designing products for the African market, it’s important to understand that user experience isn’t just about what you can see. It’s also about what you can’t see—the things that might be different because of where you are or who you are. This presentation will highlight what to look out for when designing products for an African.
Dela A. Kumahor has close to two decades of experience practicing, learning, teaching and mentoring user-centred design processes in contexts as diverse as luxury furniture-making in Italy to smallholder farming in Ghana. He began his career as a Web Developer and Designer, incorporating Graphic Design and Branding into his core skillset. His passion for Design – treated holistically and technically as a problem-solving pursuit – soon extended to further studies and practice in Product and Service Design. Necessitated by the need to understand customers more deeply, this in turn lead to extensive work in UX Research and Human-Centered Design. He now brings this catalog of skills to bear on the strategic areas of Customer Experience and Product Development.
In recent years, Dela has consulted for a variety of clients including Vodafone Ghana, MTN Ghana, PEG Solar, Star Oil, The Chocolonely Foundation, Fido Micro Credit, Petra Trust and TV3, and has served as the Head of Customer Experience and Digital Services at miLife Insurance. As an educator, he has spoken and run workshops on Design Thinking and design for inclusion, and is a former Lecturer at Ashesi University where he taught Design, e-Commerce and Human Computer Interaction.
Dela was most recently helping to build the next generation of agritech products across 7 countries in Africa and Asia by leading and coaching Product Design for the GSMA AgriTech Innovation Fund. He is currently building the future of energy access and electric mobility in Africa as the VIce President of Product Development at Kofa Technologies.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science (concentration in Digital Media Design) from the University of Pennsylvania in the USA and a Master’s in Product-Service Systems Design from the Politecnico di Milano in Italy.
When we look at where Africa as a continent is, it’s clear that we need some help with design. And this isn’t just about aesthetics—it’s about improving lives, too!
We need design so that we can communicate better with each other and people from outside our cultures. We need design so that we can understand each other and work together without getting confused by language barriers or cultural differences. We need design so that people who don’t live here can get a better idea of what life is like here (and vice versa). In this presentation, Dela will express the relevance of design in Ghana and the rest of Africa, featuring some of his work or projects he has worked on that support the topic.
Dela Avemega is an Artpreneur, Author, Designer and Producer currently based in Accra, Ghana. He runs Fish and Plankton Books, Harmattan Collectibles and The Brand Guy. After 15 years in the creative and advertising industry, he veered off to pursue passion-related projects. Dela is an avid jazz head, social commentator, minimalist, jungle lover, and seashore enthusiast with vegan and musical aspirations. He’s a Pan African at heart and a striving conformist who believes one way Africa can bridge the gap between herself and the West is through art and design.
Drawing from her experience, she’ll address questions like;
Nana Adwoa is a designer and creative director who develops dynamic, exciting and memorable brands. She has over 10 years experience working in advertising, design and branding in both the United States and Ghana. From packaging design for small start-ups to e-commerce website design for large corporations, her work has spanned a wide range of industries and clients.
Outside of design, her hobbies include baking, rewatching The Good Place, and obsessing over Formula 1.
The design industry is a competitive and demanding one, and it’s not always easy to get started. But as a beginner, one of the best ways to get your foot in the door is having the right cultural foundation.
That’s why we believe that laying down the right cultural foundation for early designers is just as important as laying down the right technical foundation—because it sets the tone for how they’ll see the world and interact with their users in the future. It’s not enough just to be good at what you do—you also have to know how to navigate the creative ecosystem. This presentation will serve as a guide for new designers.
Sydney Scott Sam is a renowned leader in Africa’s brand marketing space.
He leads a mission to help one million African entrepreneurs build a strong brand. Through the online platform, Workspace Global, Sydney and his team have built the go-to brand-services marketplace that connects hundreds of African businesses to remote creative talent across the continent. Workspace aims to create millions of remote work opportunities to curb Africa’s growing unemployment gap.
Sydney also drives brand marketing in emerging markets for global organizations. He has served as the Marketing Director at Africa Leadership Group’s The Room (in partnership with MasterCard) leading communications for various campaigns including The Pathway with President Kagame, ALX Africa, and building a million-person community of Africa’s top job-ready talent. He has also consulted for World Bank, MEST Africa, United Nations, C40 Cities, and ECOM.
Featured on Forbes, CNN, Billionaire Tomorrow, and CNBC Africa, Sydney is an active contributor to global conversations relating to entrepreneurship in Africa, personal development, and clarity of purpose in business leadership. Sydney is Ghanaian and a creative-at-heart.
Connect with Sydney via email@example.com and on social media at @sydneyscottsam
Ghanaians consume and respond to designs in ways that are unique to their culture. What does this mean? It means that if you’re trying to reach Ghanaian consumers, you need to understand that your brand needs to be much more than just aesthetically pleasing—it needs to speak to them on a level that fit into their lifestyles. In this discussion, we will attempt to address points like;
Muhammida El Muhajir is a global brand/digital marketing and media consultant, entrepreneur and filmmaker with extensive international travel/study/work experience throughout Europe, Asia, Latin America, The Caribbean, and Africa. She is the Director of Strategy at WaxPrint Media, a boutique digital marketing and communications agency based in Accra, Ghana where she develops strategies for international brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Land Rover, Nespresso, Air France, and Pernod Ricard.
One of the most important considerations for students and parents is whether to pursue a formal education in design. In Ghana, formal education still has an important place in our current cultural landscape. In the past, a lot of Ghanaians didn’t regard design hence the hesitation.
However, today, more and more people want to learn about design, but they don’t want to go through all the trouble of enrolling in a design school or taking classes at a university. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Is design school solving the problems of demand? What are the challenges and how do the possible solutions look like?
With a career spanning over a decade, Anthony Yeayi Kobina Jackson has played multiple roles in broadcast journalism, news anchoring, branding and programming communications, scriptwriting, and content producing. He has worked as the lead producer of TV3’s flagship morning show, Newday.
Yeayi Kobina has been in charge of developing news stories and documentaries for news bulletins and digital media, as well as delivering eye-catching multi-platform content for television, radio and online. With a plethora of jobs providing voice talent for adverts and documentaries as well as producing top political and current affairs talk shows.
In his field of work, Yeayi Kobina has served as a creative mind in rebranding news programs across the broadcasting field to increase viewership and engagement.
As an accomplished writer and a new generation tech enthusiast, AJ has brought to life some amazing content within the creative arts space including his latest podcast, 30 & Unachieved.
I am a design educator (advocate) and tech entrepreneur whose main goal is to use community-driven initiatives and education to develop amazing talents in Africa. Cofounding ADPList, I work primarily with other believers and enthusiasts to democratize world-class mentorship globally. I also have an interest in Web3.0 and how it can change the way we use the internet!
Paul Ninson is a photographer and filmmaker born in Kumasi, Ghana but currently in New York. He graduated from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Industrial Art. He started his photography career five years ago as a medium of expression and to solve problems.
Ninson has travelled across Africa, working on personal projects and for several Non-Profit organisations, Agencies in parts of Africa & USA, such as BBDO, NextDoor, Harvard Press, AstraZeneca, New York Times, various production companies, etc.
He also worked with Brandon Stanton as a producer & Photo editor for Humans of New York.
Paul Ninson studied Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism at the School of International Center of Photography (New York). He was awarded The Director’s Fellowship and the George Moss Merit Scholarship. Today, Paul Ninson is the Founder and Executive Director of Dikan Center, A visual education non-profit based in Ghana.