The Nigerian media mogul who helped three presidents get elected

Adebola Williams with newly elected Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo

Story highlights

  • Adebola Williams has helped three African presidents get elected
  • He's worked on the successful election campaigns for both Nigerian and Ghanaian presidents

(CNN)It would be a remarkable achievement for an entrepreneur of any age, but at just 31 years old, Nigerian Adebola Williams has already helped three presidential candidates to election victory.

As the founder of political communications agency StateCraft Inc, Williams worked on the campaign that got Goodluck Jonathan elected to the Nigerian presidency in 2011.
    Four years later he provided his services for the successful election campaign for Jonathan's rival, current President Muhammadu Buhari.
      Then, completing his hat trick, he worked on the communication strategies that helped secure the election of Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo in 2016.
      Williams has now co-written a book, "How to win elections in Africa," detailing his techniques.
      So what's his advice for wining an African election? His strategy sounds simple: brush up the presidential candidate's image and, crucially, bolster his popularity among the youth.

        Using media for change -- and elections

        Williams attributes his success with StateCraft Inc. to his understanding of the youth market.
        "Where we have an edge is that we're young people, and we've worked with young people for 12 years," Williams tells CNN. "We understand how young people in Africa think, we understand the key issues."
        That understanding has come from building a media empire that goes beyond StateCraft.
        Along with business partner Chude Jideonwo, in 2006 he founded Red Media Africa, a corporate PR and communication company based in Nigeria, which has worked with the likes of Facebook, Uber and Intel.
        Through parent company Red, they also own content brand Generation Y!, which runs a number of Nigerian media platforms, as well as The Future Project, a social enterprise that celebrates outstanding young Africans through its annual Future Awards.
        "We work to change narratives, to shape opinion, to drive a common good and provoke action," says Williams. "So that is a journey -- using media for change and using media for elections."
        From an early age, Williams was desperate to be on television, and at the age of 17 he landed his first gig co-presenting a TV show, "Youth Talk," on Nigeria's national NTA Network.
        By 19 he was producing his own show, "Nigeria International."