Despite Afro-optimism, African brands are less admired than before

By our News Team | 2023

Annual Brand Africa study shows the continent’s brands are losing ground to their international counterparts.

Brand Africa, the organisation that works to champion and celebrate made-in-Africa brands, recently published its Brand Africa 100 2023 report. Now in its 13th edition, it presents a ranking of the most admired brands across the continent.

Covering 32 African countries which collectively represent over 85% of the continent’s GDP and population, the survey and rankings provide a reflection of brand perception and affinity among the diverse African consumer base.

Brand Awards

Nike is again the #1-ranked brand in the Brand Africa report. Photo by I Love Nike via Wikimedia Commons

The research, conducted between February and April 2023, analysed and evaluated brands from all economic regions within Africa.

Brand Africa’s collaborative partners in the process are Geopoll, Kantar, and Brand Leadership. The latter is an Africa-focused brand development and strategic communications firm.

The most noteworthy finding of the Brand Africa 100 2023 report is that, despite optimism with the progress of AfCFTA and other African initiatives, African brands are now less admired than they used to be. 

Stalwart African brand MTN dropped out of the Top 10, while almost all African brands lost ground to international counterparts. The exception is Trade Kings from Zambia, which is the highest African mover and new in the ranking at #38. Trade Kings is the largest FMCG manufacturer in Zambia and amongst the largest in sub-Saharan Africa.

Europe has biggest share of most admired brands

Europe, led by Adidas at #2, has grown its share of the most admired brands in Africa to 37%, ahead of North America at 32%. The North American charge is led led by Nike, the #1-ranked brand in the report for the 5th consecutive year.

Asia which retains its 17% share and is led by Samsung, ranked as the #3 brand for the 3rd consecutive year.

Thebe Ikalafeng, the Founder and Chairman of Brand Africa, said it was concerning that despite the momentum in operationalising the AfCFTA and rising internal pride in the continent, that African consumers have reverted to their trusted, mostly non-Africa brands, rather than giving African brands a chance.

“Nonetheless, this is the state of brands in Africa, and [it shows] an urgent need to build trust in Made in African brands,” he stated.

MTN and Nigeria’s Dangote remain the most admired African brands in the ranking. South Africa’s Standard Bank becomes the #1 Most Admired Financial Services Brand, while pan-African broadcaster DStv retains its ranking as the Most Admired Media Brand.

In a new category of Brands that are Doing Good for People, Society and the Environment – inspired by business shifting from profit to purpose – Unicef emerged as the top NGO, Coca Cola the #1 non-African brand and MTN the #1 African brand.

You can watch a news broadcast featuring an interview with Thebe Ikalafeng here.

You can find more information about the study here.

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    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
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