Ascend Strategic Communications renders advisory services for strategic communications and policy development in Southern Africa. Based in Johannesburg (South Africa), our team is dedicated to assisting clients in identifying and practising an informed strategy to balance economic and social empowerment interests.

Our unique competence in business, economic, legal/regulatory and communications affairs allows us to add value for our growing client base, which includes international and domestic companies, cross-border development organisations (government affiliates and NGOs), local development agencies, local government affiliates and member-based industry and professional associations.

As a culturally diverse and pragmatic team, we are result-focused and have a passion for developing Southern Africa.

Our services

(Available in English, Afrikaans and German)

Policy Advice and Advocacy

  • Monitoring of legal, regulatory and policy developments

  • Submissions to policy development processes

  • Stakeholder mapping and management

  • Campaign development and implementation

  • Alignment of business strategy with transformational objectives

Strategic Communications

  • Communications strategy and planning

  • Communication audits and measurement 

  • Communication training

  • Media liaising and monitoring

  • Conference management 

  • Specialist writing and editing

  • Special interest publication development

Program and Project Management

  • Programme design and management of Official Development Assistance (ODA) initiatives

  • Project communication

  • Evaluation and monitoring support

  • Regulatory impact assessments

Consulting to Member-based Organisations

  • Development of organisational strategy in consultation with organisational leadership

  • Identification and maintenance of a network of local and international experts and thought leaders

  • Implementation of policies, processes, infrastructure and protocols

  • Identification of growth and diversification opportunities, as well as additional income streams (service portfolio management)

Our Management Team

Lynne Matthysen

Lynne Matthysen, Director

Lynne’s advisory background in legal and communications affairs spans work across Africa, South-East Asia and the Caribbean. She is an admitted attorney who is passionate about the development of Southern Africa.

She supports charity organisations which focus on the development and education of children in underprivileged communities in South Africa and she also works as a volunteer for a national NPO.

Her focus areas are communication strategy and planning, project and programme management.

She speaks English, Afrikaans and German.

Ignaz Fuesgen

Ignaz Fuesgen, Director

Ignaz’ experience lies in professional services, with a focus on market strategy, communications and policy advice. A former executive at European and African management consultancies and law firms, he has worked in Continental Europe and South Africa.

A strong believer in economic empowerment and inclusive growth, he is involved in various enterprise and skills development activities and, inter alia, serves on the incubation selection panel of Shanduka Black Umbrellas (Johannesburg hub).

Ignaz holds an Executive MBA from Carlson School of Management (Minneapolis, US) and a Master of Social and Economic Sciences from the Vienna University of Business and Economics (Vienna).

Ignaz speaks English and German.