Tracy has from time to time secured top-level interviews and media coverage for APO Group’s clients with influential global media organizations like CNN, the BBC, Sky News, Voice of America, Bloomberg, Reuters, Forbes Africa, CNBC, The Africa Report, Financial Times, African Business Magazine, Channel Africa Radio…

To jointly source and disseminate positive narratives about Africa, she says journalists need to appreciate the role of PR professionals as both are working for a noble cause much needed for the continent’s growth

NAIROBI, Kenya: APO Group’s Founder and CEO Mr. Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard recently promoted Tracy Walakira N. as Account Director.

Smart Africa Media Founder and Managing Editor Elvis Mboya caught up with Ms. Walakira, who takes us through her background, career journey and new role as one of the youngest female executives at the leading pan-African communications consultancy and press release distribution service.

Congratulations on your recent promotion. Please tell us more about yourself.

Tracy Walakira: Thank you so much!

My name is Tracy Walakira Nabiteeko, an African from Uganda – born in Masaka. I am a journalist by profession and a Public Relations expert with over 7 years of communications and media relations management across Africa at APO Group – the leading Pan-African communications consultancy and press release distribution service.

Prior to joining APO Group, I was partly studying and at the same time part timing with the global White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood (WRA) – a global advocacy movement for maternal, reproductive, new-born health and rights. With WRA-Uganda, I coordinated youth and community activities for a period of 3 years.

Here we were working closely with various Civil Society organizations and the media to promote safe motherhood, to contribute towards the reduction of preventable maternal and new-born deaths which are still high in Uganda and in many African countries.

I also previously worked as a Radio Talk-Show host for a Ugandan Radio Station called Prime Radio, where I successfully hosted various experts to speak about societal issues affecting the youth, giving professional advice on how young people can be part of the solutions for their future’s sake. Currently, I am an Account Director following my recent promotion from Senior Public Relations Project manager.

Briefly take us through your career journey until your recent appointment.

Tracy Walakira: APO Group is my first full time employer right out of school.

I was initially hired to bring on board multinational online content partners ranging from international organizations operating across Africa, to government Ministries in all 54 African countries, together with all embassies both in Africa and African embassies across the globe. I was responsible for pitching to them to send all their press content to APO Group.

APO Group’s Founder and CEO Mr. Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard was at the same time training me and brought me up to speed where I quickly progressed into Project Management and Public Relations work – where we help global and multinational companies and organizations who have a footprint in Africa or planning to invest in the continent, as well as NGOs and governments, connect effectively with media across Africa.

Since then, I have spent more than 6 years helping various international, national, and regional organizations together with companies and businesspeople meet their strategic goals in Africa, the Middle East and some internationally.

My work involves various aspects of PR project management including organising media interviews on pertinent topics related to Africa, organising press conferences, press trips, Op-Eds and article placements, Thought Leadership placements, organizing media awards, press release distribution, video news release production and distribution, media partnerships management, book promotions and book review placements, among other media relations work.

I have worked across all key industries pan Africa-wide including Business & Entrepreneurship, Energy, Oil & Gas, Health, Agriculture, Tourism & hospitality, Telecoms, Education, ICT, Aviation, Transport, among many sectors.

My role has been evolving over the years, from Project Manager and PR Specialist to Senior PR Project Manager, Senior Account Manager and recently to Account Director.

I must say it has been great journey working across all key sectors pertinent to the growth of Africa with enormous global industry players who are helping write Africa’s future.

Africa is big and each country is unique, therefore media relations across the continent must be blended to suit into the culture and national media landscape across the 54 markets.

That’s something we do best at APO Group given our diverse team of PR experts who span across various countries and speak several local languages on top of English like French, Arabic, Portuguese, Kiswahili, Yoruba, Luganda, Afrikaans, etc.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity right out of school to exploring such a diverse scope.

Being at the pinnacle of Africas media relations community at such a young age, how impactful is this to the role of youth to shape Africas stories today and in the future?

Tracy Walakira: Well, Africa’s future must be written, and the continent’s youthfulness emphasizes the great role young people should play.

First, because they’re the majority, and secondly because a lot of opportunities are at their disposal, given globalization and digitalization among other things. This places youth in Africa at the forefront towards shaping Africa’s narratives.

According to the UN’s demographic projections almost 60% of Africa’s population is under the age of 25, making Africa the world’s youngest continent in relation to its population makeup. It is projected that by 2050, the continent’s 18-35 demographic will reach more than 800 million – that’s a lot of people key in making Africa better.  

As communicators we are passionate about spreading the positive stories of Africa for its faster development, but remember those stories need to be created. That’s why every sector matters in shaping Africa’s future – and each youth has an individual role to play in their respective sectors to contribute towards the future they want to see.

African youth are self-starters, highly talented and innovative, but they need more support especially in terms of training, mentoring and start-up capital. I therefore encourage youth across the continent to relentlessly seek opportunities to contribute towards developing solutions critical for addressing Africa’s existing challenges.

What are the teething challenges you have encountered along your career path between news outlets and PR agencies and how best can they be bridged to jointly source and disseminate positive narrative about Africa?

Tracy Walakira: Well, doing PR work across Africa doesn’t come easy especially because it is not like working in a single country market. We’re talking about 54 African countries where you must have deep knowledge of them all on top of creating and maintaining good relationships with the media in each country.

Africa is wide and each country is unique, therefore creating relationships with journalists across the continent takes time, hard work, and a lot of patience because all media professionals are different, and each country’s media landscape is unique.

Most challenges in my line of work revolve around language barriers because in some African countries you must speak beyond just English to engage effectively with journalists and coordinate their engagements with clients who most of the times only speak one or 2 international languages. Thanks to a diverse team in our PR and Media Relations department at APO Group which spans across various countries and comes with over a dozen of local languages proficiency.

Infrastructural limitations is another major challenge across Africa singling out internet and electricity inadequacies. In some countries internet is so intermittent, slow, and very expensive, making journalism and communications work highly challenging.

For media professionals to push the positive narrative of Africa, various players should come on board, or increase their efforts in helping Africa’s faster, stable, and affordable digital connectivity especially now that the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for it.

Another major challenge is coping with communicating in a globalized world much as it comes with various opportunities. The world is globalized more than we can imagine which comes with various positive and negative impacts. PR practitioners and journalists must face the fragmentation of media. With the raising rate of citizen journalism, local news within one second can become a global issue being blown up by social media networks. We must stay in the know and up to date with the relevant management, research, and IT skills to cope with this fast pace.

In doing PR and media relations work at APO Group, we are bringing firsthand and authentic content closer to journalists across the continent from trusted sources at no cost.

To jointly source and disseminate positive narratives about Africa, journalists need to appreciate the role of PR professionals as we are both working for a noble cause much needed for the continent’s growth.

It must be both challenging and rewarding experience to connect APOs multinational clients with the most influential media in the world. Please share with us your journey.

Tracy Walakira: Indeed. This is a part of my work that I am so grateful to God about!

I’ve been lucky enough to work with global, regional, and national prestigious organizations, companies and entrepreneurs like the Jack Ma Foundation, Control Risks, Nestlé, The African Energy Chamber, Huawei, International Road Transport Union (IRU), Canon, International Criminal Court (ICC), Rotary International, Corporate Council on Africa, Africa Leadership Academy, National Aviation Services, and the World Health Organization (WHO) among many others.

Not many Public Relations professionals across Africa, and in many parts of the world get the opportunity to secure top-level interviews and media coverage for their clients with influential global media organizations like CNN, the BBC, Sky News, Voice of America, Bloomberg, Reuters, Forbes Africa, The Africa Report, Financial Times, African Business Magazine, Channel Africa Radio, to name just a few, on top of Tier-1 Regional and National media visibility across various African countries. I must say this is a blessing and I thank God for continuously enabling me to keep delivering in this regard over the years!

Working across Africa is quite challenging but with the right skills, relationships, local knowledge, and determination, we deliver to clients’ expectations. I thank God that I have secured high quality media coverage & visibility so far for more than 100 APO Group clients, and I affirm that every project is different and requires a unique approach.

I have learned that with media relations you have to be extremely flexible and adapt to the intricacies of every market you’re operating in. It is difficult but rewarding work – the reason I earned the nickname of the ‘Indiana Jones of APO Group’!

Doing all these exemplary works right from your computer working remotely is impressive. How would you advise young professionals to look at this pandemic not as an impediment but more of an opportunity to explore digital space to thrive? 

Tracy Walakira: APO Group has a unique remote work approach and recognises the value of giving staff the freedom and flexibility to work from home. I must say that we’ve been lucky that the Founder of APO Group foresaw this great need of remote work for several reasons which has now been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic and adopted by more companies and organizations globally.

The Covid-19 pandemic has also acted as a catalyst for accelerating the need for fast adoption to digital technologies. Other continents had already been enjoying opportunities that come with digitalization, time for Africa to increase the pace.

I therefore encourage young professionals in Africa to adopt to digital connectivity to be able to remain operational and relevant. Market trends are fast-changing, so no one should allow to be left behind. Innovate and embrace change. You can for instance manage work and do business in any country across the globe just using your computer, phone, or tab. What you need is the right skill set especially in ICT, management, and research, on top of knowledge in your professional field.

The internet provides endless possibilities for young people to connect, access resources and knowledge and build their skills which is critical to contributing towards Africa’s leadership and development agenda. Fast adaptation to the new normal is the key.

What is something you like to do outside of work that’s close to your heart yet impactful to the community around you?

Tracy Walakira: I love giving back! In my free time I engage in volunteer work geared towards supporting vulnerable communities and youth groups. Under a church leadership, I work closely with youth to organize trainings & workshops on pertinent matters relevant for personal development, reproductive health matters, survival skills, talent search, sports, community outreaches, etc.

We source avenues that can create opportunities for better livelihood, and to raise support for vulnerable communities with focus on women, children, youth, and the elderly. The world is already hard on nature and humanity in so many ways, therefore extending some love and a helping hand to someone out there makes a lot of difference. I remain resolute in giving back and I hope to be doing a lot more in my community.

Please feel free to address any issue that I didn’t ask but relevant to this topic. 

Tracy Walakira: I encourage young people across Africa to be prepared to take leadership, use their talents, creativity, and passion to identify problems in their communities and come up with possible solutions that will positively contribute towards solving Africa’s greatest challenges. There is a lot of innovation coming out of Africa and we do not need to look outside the continent to solve African problems. Think about what you can do for Africa and play your part while you still can!

Lastly but not least, I thank my parents who natured me to become the woman I am today (they would have been happy to see who I have become). I also thank everyone who has been there throughout my professional journey. Because of you, I am here and still putting my best foot forward. With faith and trust in God, backed by hard work and determination, everything is possible!

With collective efforts, we will someday enjoy the Africa we are dreaming of.

Founded in 2007, APO Group ( is the leading pan-African communications consultancy and press release distribution service. We assist private and public organisations in sharpening their reputation and increasing their brand equity in target countries across Africa.

Our role as a trusted partner is to leverage the power of media and build bespoke strategies that enable organisations to produce a real, measurable impact in Africa and beyond.

The trust and recognition granted to APO Group by global and multinational companies, governments, and NGOs inspires us to continuously enhance our value proposition within Africa to better cater to our clients’ needs.

Among our prestigious clients: Facebook, Dangote Group, Nestle, GE, NBA, Canon, Coca-Cola, DHL, Marriott Group, Ecobank, Siemens, Standard Chartered, Orange, Jack Ma Foundation, African Development Bank, World Health Organization, Islamic Development Bank, Liquid Intelligent Technologies, Rotary International, Kaspersky, Greenpeace…

Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland | Offices in Senegal, Dubai and Hong Kong

For further information, please visit our website:


Smart Africa Media ( is a pan-African online media convergence platform, incorporating a Daily Newspaper, Digital TV, and soon to introduce Podcast to amplify pro-development and success stories across Africa and the Diaspora, to inspire investment and growth.

The multimedia outlet is cultivating smart partnerships, correspondences and audiences across Africa and the Diaspora, with a strong emphasis to deliver business and economic stories that are positive, constructive, and empowering.

In the process, we have secured Media Partnerships for the African Energy Chamber’s premier event African Energy Week 2021 ( in Cape Town, South Africa and with the African Platform for Social Protection (, to amplify children’s rights in East and Southern Africa.

We also Collaborate with the APO Group (, to distribute African positive news content.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here