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Gillian Rightford takes over the reins at SA advertising industry body

By our African Marketing Confederation News Team | 2024

Well-known ad industry figure announced as Interim Executive Director of ACA following departure of its CEO.

The Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) in South Africa has announced that Mathe Okaba, who served as Chief Executive Officer for over five years, stepped down from her role at the end of last year. 

 

According to a statement issued by the ACA, “a smooth transition is underway” and the board has appointed well-known industry figure, Gillian Rightford, as Interim Executive Director on a fixed-term contract.

 

Rightford brings a wealth of expertise in marketing, strategy, advertising and leadership to the role. 

 

Prior to entering the creative world, she consulted on marketing strategy and later became a shareholder and Group Managing Director of two globally aligned agencies, Hercules DMB&B, and Lowe Bull. 

Gillian Rightford. Photo supplied

 

Later she founded Adtherapy, a communication and management consultancy catering to diverse clients globally – including marketers and advertising/communication agencies.  

 

Gratitude expressed to former CEO 

 

Commenting on the transition, Sharleen James, Deputy Chair of the ACA, has expressed gratitude to Okaba for her service. 

 

“We thank Mathe for her dedicated service to the ACA and the industry. Her contributions have been valued, and we wish her success in her future pursuits,” James says. 

 

“We are confident that Gillian Rightford’s expertise will be an invaluable asset to the organisation, ensuring continued excellence in serving our members and partners and bringing our vision to ‘promote a communications profession that is trusted, inclusive and measurable’ to life.” 

 

The ACA is the official representative body of South Africa’s advertising and communications profession. It is a voluntary organisation formed both by, and for, the profession.  

 

According to the ACA, its members “are committed to fostering trust between marketers and agencies, and transforming the advertising and communications industry at large. The aim is clear: to positively influence and impact the professional and operational standards of all South African agencies”. 

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.