Electronics are probably some of the most expensive items you own and should be protected carefully.
For starters, don’t put that company laptop in your checked luggage. There is a good chance it will get broken (or worse) stolen, (or even worse), somebody will steal your data.
Even if your equipment does get broken, the airline will generally just claim they don’t cover liability for fragile items (which usually includes electronics).
Instead, always carry your laptop and valuable electronics in your carry-on where you can keep a watch on them.
For other expensive items such as DSLR cameras and lenses, specialized bags will be way better than just putting them in a backpack where they can get jostled around.
Brands like Lowepro and Tamrac make great cushioned bags to carry these items instead of using a cheap one that came with your camera. Many of these have also have nice streamlined pockets for both laptops and cameras.
As for other smaller gear like mp3 players and smartphones, you can probably just carry it in your pocket or jacket, but remember whatever you do, don’t put it in the checked luggage!
If there is no way around this and you must carry a lot of equipment, it’s better to have it shipped to your hotel in advance instead of trying to carry it on a plane.
For more thorough information on packing electronics for Africa, see Tips for Taking Care of Your Electronics in Africa.