Eloïne Barry: Creating Africa Value For Global Businesses
Eloïne Barry was born in Lyon, France, in 1981 to a Senegalese mother and a father who hails from Guinea-Bissau. When she was two, her parents separated and Eloïne’s father obtained full custody after proving that she could undergo female genital mutilation if she were to live in Senegal.
Her mother returned to Senegal. Her father remarried and she was brought up visiting her family in Ivory Coast during school holidays, where they had relocated when her father was 10 years old.
She always felt a deep connection to the continent and even if her life in France was happy, she felt a void. She was also acutely aware that being in France she would have more work opportunities than her cousins of the same age would have back home.
She graduated in 2003 with a BA in English Literature from Université Lyon 2 and a degree in Translation and International Relations, she then went on to obtain a Masters in Communications in 2015.
Her first job out of university was with PR Newswire as a Media Relations Executive in London.
Being fluent in French and German, she was responsible for promoting PR Newswire content and products to general media and trade publications in France and Germany in both French and German and acted as a point of contact for the French and German media.
In her role, Barry supported the French sales team by ensuring the presence of key media in any distribution offered to PR Newswire clients.
Eloïne got promoted to Media Relations Team Leader one year after joining PR Newswire and managed a team of eight Media Relations Executives both in-house and off-site, which were accountable for Europe, Middle East, Africa, and India (EMEAi) region.
In her capacity, she was responsible for increasing the value of PR Newswire distribution services by delivering superior results. She rapidly noticed a gap in the company’s reach in Africa and decided to act on it by building the first-ever pan-African press release distribution service.
She started to travel extensively across the continent, made friends with journalists, ensuring they were looked after, were trained, had access to events, and finally turned her passion into a company.
In 2015, Barry started African Media Agency (AMA) as a response to the growing need of companies operating in the African context for more engagements, guidance, and strategy.
She hired a team and opened offices in New York, Abidjan, Kampala, and recently set-up on the ground operations in the 14 Francophone countries of West and Central Africa. Eloïne is also working on expanding the business to Nigeria, the place she considers being one of the most important places in the world.
Within seven years, AMA has helped many of the largest, most-respected organisations and companies in the world grow their share of voice beyond mere headlines and make a significant difference to the impact of their work on the continent.
AMA has run projects in over 35 countries, has over 80 clients, speaks 14 languages, and has received over 30,000 pieces of coverage from the leading local, regional, and pan-African publications to the most important international media like CNN, the Economist, AlJazeera, the WSJ, the BBC, The Guardian, The Washington Post.
Eloïne Barry was recognised as one of the Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) in 2019. She also received the Prize of Excellence awards by ASCOM.
She was nominated for two consecutive years by New African Women, Women of the year in the media category. She sits on the board of Africa Communications Week and advises many organisations with operations in Africa.
She is described by her team as a humble leader who has a clear vision and shows an enormous amount of empathy towards others.