Mwananchi Communications Limited (MCL) has debuted a new corporate slogan – the first in its 23-year history – to communicate its purpose of empowering the communities it serves through superior content and services.
The tagline, aptly “Empowering the nation”, seeks to showcase the role that MCL continues to play in catalyzing development in Tanzania for Tanzanians, and in informing and empowering its various audiences both locally and across Africa. The slogan comes with a new internal motto, ‘Building together’, meant to rally MCL staff to deliver value for their various audiences and clients.
MCL, a subsidiary of Nation Media Group (NMG), is pursuing a vision of becoming a digital services juggernaut that offers tangible value to different audiences across various news products and spaces, and to clients in its other businesses, from events, innovation and technology incubation, to logistics, courier and contract printing verticals.
Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Information, Communications and Information Technology, Dr Jim Yonazi, said his ministry is impressed by MCL’s legacy in media, and heartened by the company’s continuing investment in digital content and services.
“We have all witnessed how (MCL) is at the forefront of educating the public through its various products: (they) are our partners in catalyzing our country’s development,” he said in his keynote during a dinner gala launch event at Serena Hotel in Dar es Salaam on Thursday, June 23.
The Tanzanian government wants to build a participatory digital economy, according to Dr Yonazi, and MCL is taking steps to get there. “We want a digital economy that allows everyone to take part and are happy to see (MCL) become more creative in the technology space (because) that is where the world is going.”
MCL Managing Director, Bakari Machumu, said the new slogan is designed to show the value that Mwananchi Communications Limited delivers for Tanzania. “This tagline is our promise to Tanzanians that we will continue to offer you solutions (in our reporting); not just questions and complaints. We will bring together experts who help you make sense of the challenges you face.”
Earlier in the day, MCL had also launched ‘Building together’ – a new rallying call for its employees – at a brief event held at company headquarters in Dar es Salaam graced by NMG Board Chairman Dr Wilfred Kiboro and the MCL board of directors.
‘Building Together’ is a key part of MCL’s digital transformation strategy. It seeks to motivate and empower staff across the company to cultivate opportunities and deliver exceptional value to their clients as the company evolves into a more complex, 21st century digital organization.
The global digital evolution, particularly among traditional print publishers, had led to soul-searching at MCL, according to Mr Machumu and “compelled the MCL leadership to initiate a change programme in August 2021 in a move that involved all our staff with a focus on redefining our purpose, and aligning our people, processes and products to deliver value to our clients.”
At Serena, Mr Machumu noted that both the motto and slogan work together to show how MCL seeks to serve its customers in Tanzania and beyond. “We came up with our motto (Building Together) and our slogan (Empowering the nation) to show that our purpose is to support the country and its people by giving them the right information to help them make informed decisions.”
NMG Board Chair Kiboro commended MCL for making major strides in its digital transformation journey, and reiterated NMG’s commitment to supporting it to become a fully-fledged digital services company.
In his address to MCL staff earlier in the day, Dr Kiboro acknowledged the challenge of declining circulation, pointing out that many young people no longer read newspapers because they get all the news they want online.
“To make sure they are not left behind, MCL and NMG as a group must create a strategy to engage young people in digital spaces, and (continue to) invest heaving in digital” he said, adding that MCL must learn to develop unique news products that cover every niche but remain a part of the same family of brands.
MCL is Tanzanian, and benefits Tanzanians, according to Dr Kiboro. Consequently, its employees must work hard to ensure it runs well. “Develop a plan for how you want to run this company. If you succeed, you would have succeeded in improving your own livelihoods.”
MCL Board Chairman Leonard Mususa pointed out digital is a massive opportunity for MCL, so investments in that area and in monetizing digital content must become a priority. “Digital audiences are used to free content (therefore) we must persuade our advertisers to buy (placement) on our digital platforms and pages because it benefits them,” he said.
MCL realizes if it wants to remain relevant in the community, it must take bold steps “from being a traditional media house in Tanzania to turning into the leading digital brand for all Tanzanians,” according to Mr Machumu.
‘Building together’ is meant to be the starting point for that transformation within MCL, while ‘Empowering the nation’ is how the company cements its value to the Tanzanian public and to its wider audiences and clients across an ever-growing roster of brands and products.