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Brand Africa is a continent-based initiative that recognises the power of brands as an asset in cultivating a positive image, reputation and the competitiveness of a nation. As such Brand Africa seeks to inspire and promote a positive image of Africa, celebrating its diversity and driving its competitiveness.

As part of their agenda, the initiative has since 2011 compiled and published an annual list of the top 100 brands in Africa. Unsurprisingly this list is dominated by non-African brands. With Nike, Adidas, Samsung and Coca-Cola leading the way. African brands that do make it on to the list include:

  • telecoms provider MTN (South Africa) at 8;
  • apparel provider Anbessa Shoes (Ethiopia) at 12;
  • consumer provider Dangote (Nigeria) at 25;
  • telecoms provider Econet (Zimbabwe) at 31;
  • Mukwano Products (Uganda) at 41; and
  • DSTv (South Africa) at 45.

This tells us that homegrown African brands still have a ways to go in capturing the hearts and minds of local consumers not to mention gaining global recognition. 

In the future, it would be good to see African design and lifestyle brands such as YSWARA, Tongoro, and Rain make their way onto the list too. But that will only happen if we as Africans support our own. Homegrown design brands have yet to gain firm footholds. Part of the reason for this is because many of the products created cater to a wealthy consumer base putting them out of the reach of the everyday consumer. It is my hope that as the design industry continues to develop and diversify we will see good design filtering down the tiers to create locally made products for different price ranges.

For the full list visit: www.brandafrica.net

– Tapiwa

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