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A great opportunity, for a great medium, on a great continent by Tom Goddard, President of the World Out of Home Organization


World Out of Home Organization

Tom Goddard

Tom Goddard

26 February . 2 min read . Opinion

Why we’re holding the World Out of Home Organization’s first in-person Regional Forum in Africa

The World Out of Home Organization is holding its first in-person Regional Forum in Africa for one very good reason: Africa is a great continent and represents a great opportunity for a great medium.

When FEPE International rebranded to the World Out of Home organization at its 60th anniversary Congress in Dubai 2019, it was about much more than changing the name.

We set out to be a truly global organization (FEPE has been focussed, although not exclusively, on Europe) and even in the depths of the following pandemic we decided to take our show on the road, to demonstrate that we were, truly, a global organization. Constrained by the pandemic we started with a number of virtual Forums – Europe, APAC and then Africa in February 2022 before returning to ‘in-person’ events with our Global Congress in Toronto in May 2022

Forums in Asia and the Middle East and a second Global Congress in Lisbon followed and now we’re delighted to turn to Africa. This year’s Global Congress will be held in Hong Kong in June, so that’s pretty global too.

Africa, for all its diversity in terms of countries and people, has a thriving OOH industry. OOH’s market share is higher than in most other countries and in a continent with so many different geographies, pretty well every geography in fact, the attractions of OOH are easy to see. 

But OOH now is much more than practicalities. Everywhere in the world it is establishing itself as the broadcast medium for advertisers of all shapes and sizes. What we now call linear TV (that is, non-streaming TV) is losing share globally to digital especially and, in any case a continent like Africa with so many languages is always going to pose particular problems for TV.

And there are a growing number of OOH entrepreneurs in Africa who are pioneering new ways to reach increasingly affluent audiences and to plan, buy and measure campaigns on the biggest of canvasses. Africa is once again the biggest global opportunity for growth but this time it’s growth for everyone, all the people in every country.

So that’s why we’re meeting in Cape Town from March 11-13 where we are fortunate to have lined up an impressive range of speakers including:

with more to be announced soon…

But our Forums are not just an opportunity to hear from industry experts. They’re an unmissable opportunity to meet each other, to share news and views and best practice. To learn from each other just as much as the experts on the podium. 

Out of Home, I would suggest, is unique among main advertising media in that innovation is coming from everywhere. Africa poses its own special challenges, but those challenges are also opportunities. By solving problems, we improve and enlarge the medium and the lessons we learn from Africa are also relevant to those working in mature markets such as North America and Europe and those hotbeds of technological innovation, Asia, including Australasia, and the Far East.

Ultimately OOH is about reaching audiences for advertisers and doing it better than other media. Audiences, of course, are people and it’s people who make the OOH industry what it is today and that includes its practitioners.

We hope to meet as many of you as is humanly possible in Cape Town on March 11-13. Put the date in your diaries.



The World Out of Home Organization is the only global Out of Home Association, working to promote and improve the OOH industry on behalf of our members. Board members include the major International companies – JCDecaux, Clear Channel and Global, as well as Ströer, Pikasso, and more recently OUTFRONT Media from the US, oOh!Media from Australia and Selvel One from India. Membership is open to all companies who operate in the OOH sector and as a non-profit Federation funds are reinvested in industry issues such as research and the annual international congress.

The World Out of Home Organization is a member of EASA and ESOMAR in Europe as well as a founding member of ICAS and also actively works to help the membership with legislation issues within their own countries as well. It also aims to lobby for Out of Home advertising with authorities, international organizations, opinion formers and other elements of the communication media.

More information is available at