Social Media players across Africa will converge on Lagos this weekend from Friday January 23 to Saturday January 24, 2014, for the annual Social Media Awards Africa initiative sponsored by Sterling Bank Plc.
This, according to a statement, followed the closure of the voting window for the continent-wide initiative on social media development, SMAA2015 across Africa last December.
With a summit scheduled for Friday, the award presentation to the winners will follow on Saturday.
The two-day event will bring together social media influencers; experts, enthusiasts and policy makers that would explore and forge new developmental paths for Africa.
SMAA is a premier continental initiative, which seeks to recognise and reward creativity, excellence and impact in the usage of social media across Africa.
The voting phase, which is part of the process led to the emergence of 45 finalists for the four categories.
A total of 923 nominations were received during the nomination period as follows: Personality Based (468), Platform Specific (266), Institutional (115) and indigenous (74). Also, during the window period, over 5.5 million connections, at least 821,886 Retweets and 29 million accounts were reached through all 22 social media platforms where the messages were promoted.
Each winner will take home cash prize of $1,000 and a SMAA Plaque. Other benefits include: Social Media training, access to memberships and attendance of Social Media events, publications on Social Media and complimentary advertising on Social Media Africa portal
In a review of the voting phase, which spanned 20 days; SMAA recorded impressive statistics. According to the conveners, “The highest day reach on Twitter was 13.8 million.
Apart from the Twitter, SMAA has active presence on 15 out of 22 social media platforms, reaching several millions of Africans.”
According to the Group Head, Strategy and Communications, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Shina Atilola: “The level of interest and participation has been very heart-warming. We at Sterling Bank would continue to provide the required support to aid the achievement of the objectives of the award.”
Project Lead, Femi Aderibigbe, expressed delight that the Social Media Awards Africa 2014, had since its launch on September 30, 2014 expanded both within and outside Africa. “The awards have trended globally and become the second most talked about subject on Twitter in Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, the United Kingdom and the United States. During the same period, the SMAA website has climbed to the 535th website in Kenya and 703rd in Nigeria amongst other statistics accrued on national virtual spaces,” he said.