Africa’s best brands celebrated

23 October 2015

The top 100 brands in Africa were given recognition by Brand Africa and partners last night at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

Brand Africa 100, an annual event now in its fourth year, measures and ranks those brands that consumers in Africa admire and their corresponding values.

Before 2011, said Brand Africa chairman Thebe Ikalafeng, there was no independent measure of the value and performance of any brand in Africa.

The point of his organisation, he told Forbes Magazine at the awards in 2014, was to “capture and measure the value African consumers placed on brands that closely aligned with their core values and best reflected their lifestyles and aspirations”.


The Top 10 list of the Most Admired and Most Valued brands in Africa are found here.

Why the recognition?

Brand Africa says the businesses behind successful brands help the continent to drive its agenda and solve socio-economic challenges by creating jobs and the tax bases to fund public goods.

The Brand Africa 100 initiative also promotes the outcome of the South African National Development Plan: create a better South Africa, a better Africa, and a better world.


Thebe Ikalafeng, chairman of Brand Africa, and Lazarus Jacobs, co- founder of Paragon Investment Holdings, at the fourth annual Brand Africa 100 event on 22 October 2015. Ikalafeng says the top 100 brands show how they are adapting to Africans’ conditions and needs.

Ikalafeng said at the event that the initiative was to help shape Africa’s image. “It’s a moment to pause and assess the progress we are making, how we are developing.”

Over the last three years, about 20% of the top 100 brands in Africa originated on the continent. “The top brands – even the non-African (origin) ones – show us they are adapting to the conditions, and responding to the needs of Africans,” he said.

Brand South Africa has partnered with Brand Africa in hosting Africa’s best brands. The objective of the platform, says Brand South Africa, is not only to celebrate Africa’s top brands but also to create opportunities for global thought leaders, influencers and decision-makers to interact, engage and share insights on issues related to Africa’s growth, reputation and competitiveness.

Kingsley Makhubela, the chief executive officer of Brand South Africa, said nation branding was what we made of it. As the top brands were being recognised, though, there should not be silence about the smaller or weaker brands. “The top brands unite aspiration in all of us. The top 100 brands should also endeavour to work with the smaller brands, to build nation branding.

“As we honour the top 100 brands, let’s focus on the other brands too. The fundamental role is to build society.”

Other partners of Brand Africa 100 are Brand Finance, TNS, GeoPoll, African Business, Mail&Guardian Africa, CNBC Africa and the African Media Agency.

GeoPoll and TNS conducted a survey in which more than 6 000 people from 22 countries in Africa responded to choose their best brands.

Oliver Schmitz of Brand Finance Africa said the most valuable brand was 2 000 times bigger than the last brand on the list. “The study is not about size, it’s about quality. If you are a valuable brand, we celebrate you.”

The most admired brands

MTN Larry

Larry Annetts of MTN South Africa (in centre) with Brand Africa representatives (from left) Kingsley Makhubela, Prof Alinah Kelo Segobye, Thebe Ikalafeng of Brand Africa and Lazarus Jacobs at the Brand Africa 100 event on 22 October 2015. Annetts took home the Grand Prix award for his company.

Representatives of MTN South Africa took home the Grand Prix (Africa’s Best Brand) award. MTN was also announced the Most Valuable Brand in the Top 50 South African Brands in September by Brand South Africa and Brand Africa Finance. Larry Annetts, the chief marketing and sales officer of MTN South Africa, thanked the company’s subscribers. “Thank you for your support,” he said last night.

The Brand Builder of the Year award went to Bamkole Akingbade of Dangote.


Bamkole Akingbade of Dangote (second from left) received the Brand Builder of the Year award. He is pictured with Brand Africa representatives Ben Antonio (from left), Des Brauer from news agency CNBC and Thebe Ikalafeng at the Brand Africa 100 event on 22 October 2015.

The Lifetime Achievement award went to entrepreneur Strife Masiyiwa.

Tracy Mpofu

Brand Africa representatives are pictured with Tracy Mpofu, who took the Lifetime Achievement award on behalf of entrepreneur Strife Masiyiwa, at the Brand Africa 100 event on 22 October 2015.

Ikalafeng described Masiyiwa as an inspiration of leadership for more than 20 years. “He is the standard of African leadership to young and old,” said Ikalafeng.

In a speech read by Tracy Mpofu, Masiyiwa said that great brands met people’s needs. “We are building the foundations through our brands. We must create role models that people look up to.’

“What I have seen in the past 30 years (as an entrepreneur) is that people are not just building African brands, but they are building brands that go global. In 2025, we’ll be sitting in this room and you will see more African brands, especially on the New York Stock Exchange,” Masiyiwa predicted. In his absence, he thanked everyone for his award.

Other admired brands included Sam Mensah of Kisua clothing brand and Swaady Martin of Yswara tea accessories, which was named Emerging African Brand. Nestle was most admired in the consumer / non-cyclical category, Google was the most admired media brand, Toyota for most admired car maker, Samsung in the electronics category, Coca-Cola for non-alcoholic beverages and Heineken for alcoholic beverages.

Source: reporter