Brand South Africa’s opening remarks at the research roundtable

Premised on its mandate to build South Africa’s nation brand reputation, Brand South Africa has over the past year continued with its SA Inc research project which aims to assess South Africa’s profile, impact, and reputation in peer African markets. Brand South Africa has, in the past year, conducted research in Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola.

Brand South Africa, in partnership with the SARCHI Chair in African Diplomacy (University of Johannesburg) hosted a research roundtable this morning where findings from this research were shared.

Key issues that were interrogated included:

• Lessons from a market entry strategy point of view

• Cultural competency when engaging with peers across the continent

• Lessons from South African expats and expertise in key markets

• The reputation profile of South Africa – beyond policy

• Lessons on the need for creative interventions to share expertise and experiences between government, business, and academia to build national competence and enhance African integration.

Please find remarks by Brand South Africa’s Chief Marketing Officer hereunder.

Opening Remarks by Brand South Africa’s Chief Marketing Officer – Mrs Linda Sangaret

Good morning all and thank you for joining us today

I firstly would like to thank the organisers and partners involved in this important dialogue and for providing us with an opportunity to share with you some of Brand South Africa’s research insights – which will assist to develop a more integrated, understanding of the South African nation brand in African peer markets.

Platforms such as these– provide us with an opportunity to robustly engage on South Africa’s positioning among our peers on the continent – and afford us insights which can inform our programmes in Africa..

Brand South Africa’s Africa & Middle East, and Research teams have in the past two years spent a significant amount of time conducting stakeholder engagements, and hand-on field research in six African anchor states, as well as the Russian Federation around the time of the 2015 BRICS Summit.

Since becoming a democracy in 1994, the country’s foreign policy orientation, and strategic focus, has changed significantly. Against the background of an Africa Rising narrative, South Africa’s engagement with the continent, has never been more important than today.

Our teams have engaged with stakeholders in Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, the DRC, and Angola which have been focused on assessing and building the nation brand reputation of South Africa.

A key objective of our research undertakings is to assess the perception of South Africa, and specifically our reputation on the continent, which is shaped by SA corporate investments, public enterprise activities, government to government bilateral and multilateral engagements, peacekeeping & mediation, academic exchanges, creative & art sector interactions, and increasingly media.

As South Africans, we recognise that we are first and foremost an African country and that we should support all efforts aimed at the attainment of stability, peace, growth, development and prosperity throughout Africa.

We are therefore fully cognisant that our own peace, security, socio-economic and political development and freedom is intrinsically connected to the rest of Africa. To this end, South Africa is committed to the implementation of the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063 framework.

Guided by National Development Plan (Vision 2030), we are committed to improving our global competitiveness and reputation with the view of delivering on our growth and continental development imperatives.

South Africa will continue to develop and deepen cooperation with the rest of the continent to strengthen trade, investment, cultural and development opportunities. We believe that it is through dialogues such as these that we are able to contextualise the Africa Rising narrative, that of ‘an integrated, forward-looking, prosperous, dynamic and peaceful Africa.’

Thank you and welcome.