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Burson-Marsteller grows African footprint

Burson-Marsteller, a global strategic communications and public relations firm, last week announced the continued expansion of its presence in Africa with the launch of Blast Burson-Marsteller in the Indian Ocean Islands (Mauritius, Reunion, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comores) and MO Burson-Marsteller in Angola. The firm also extended its existing partnership with ICON Burson-Marsteller in Cameroon into two new territories – Congo-Brazzaville and Gabon. The Burson-Marsteller Africa network covers 53 of the 55 countries on the continent.
In Namibia, their affiliated partner is Parrot Communications headed by Gys Reitz.
“Today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to ensuring we have a strong presence in every region where our clients need strategic counsel and cutting-edge integrated communications services,” said Don Baer, Worldwide Chair and CEO. “Africa is one of the world’s most important emerging markets and a vital region for our clients’ global growth strategies. With the most highly developed and expansive footprint on the continent, we have the reach and depth of resources to serve clients currently operating in Africa as well as those planning expansion into the region.”
“Our African network has been in operation for more than 20 years and has been recognized both locally and internationally as the preeminent network across the continent,” said Jeremy Galbraith, CEO, Burson-Marsteller Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) and Global Chief Strategy Officer. “Our approach to Africa involves building relationships over time with partners that progress from being non-exclusive affiliates to exclusive affiliates and then to branded partner agencies. Each step in the process brings the partner agencies closer to us and provides them and our clients with even greater benefits. With these new partner relationships, Burson-Marsteller is now well-positioned in the Indian Ocean Islands, Angola, Congo and Gabon.”
“For 27 years our commitment to growing partnerships has underpinned Burson-Marsteller’s activities across Africa,” added Robyn de Villiers, Chair and CEO, Burson-Marsteller Africa. “Today’s announcement is evidence of our commitment to strengthening relationships with our existing partners in Africa.
This approach allows our partner agencies – each of which is a respected business in its own market – to share more fully in the benefits of being part of a global network through greater access to expertise and training, among many other things.
This addresses the requirement for skills transfer which is so important in Africa, and benefits both the staff in our network and our clients.”
The Burson-Marsteller Africa network is headquartered in Johannesburg and run by Robyn de Villiers, who founded the network over 25 years ago.

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