BRAND Africa today launched ‘Brand Africa | Africa’s Best Places,’ the pan-African initiative to recognise and rank the best places for tourism, investment and citizen mobilisation in Africa. The goal of the initiative is to inspire pride, raise the standards and grow the competitiveness of African places – countries, cities and destinations. The inaugural awards and rankings of the ‘Brand Africa | Africa’s Best Places’ will be celebrated and published on September 1 2022.
The ‘Brand Africa | Africa’s Best Places’ initiative builds on the inaugural Brand Africa Forum in 2010 which convened African and global place branding decision makers and thought leaders to reflect on how African nations individually and the continent collectively can develop a supranational competitive advantage. Every year since then, Brand Africa has announced the ‘Brand Africa 100 | Africa’s Best Brands’, the widely referenced pan-African survey and ranking of brands in Africa, which over the past 10 years, has established that only 20 percent of the most admired brands in Africa are African.
The initiative was announced by Brand Africa Chairman, Thebe Ikalafeng , on the sidelines of the Intra-Africa Trade Fair 2021 (IATF2021) which is currently taking place in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
‘Despite being rich in valued mineral resources, enviable indigenous fauna and flaura, a youthful population and being the second most populous continent accounting for 17.5 percent of world population, Africa attracts roughly only five percent of the world’s inbound tourism and FDI,’ says Ikalafeng.
‘Recognising Africa’s Best Places will inspire pride in African places, enhance their reputations and competitiveness, grow tourism and investment, and ultimately contribute to the greater development and image of the continent,’ he concludes.The ‘Brand Africa | Africa’s Best Places’ initiative is structured into two primary categories: adjudicated awards and rankings.
In the adjudicated awards category, African private and public institutions, agencies and practitioners can submit entries for initiatives and campaigns for tourism, trade and investment, economic development and citizen mobilization implemented internally in Africa or externally for Africa.
In the rankings category, an independent pan-African survey among citizens, visitors and investors will be undertaken to determine the best places for tourism, investment and to live.
Reflecting on the pandemic and the context of the IAFT2021 whose theme is focused on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which aims to accelerate intra-Africa investment and trade from 18 percent to 50 percent in 2030 through a single market for goods and services across 55 countries, Ikalafeng, who’s been to every country in Africa, believes that highlighting ‘Africa’s Best Places’ and championing ‘made in Africa brands,’ will inspire and mobilise African entrepreneurs, grow tourism, trade and investment, and accelerate industrialisation, which ultimately will contribute to Africa’s growth, competitiveness and distinctiveness in a post-pandemic world where nations are increasingly having to look internally for sustainability.
Dr. Keith Dinnie, the global authority in city, region and country brand management and author of the world’s first textbook on nation branding: Nation Branding – Concepts, Issues, Practice and editor of the book City Branding – Theory and Cases, Kwame Senou, Vice-President at Opinion & Public in Benin and Cote d’Ivoire and Vice-Chairman for Brand Africa Francophone Africa and Central Africa, New York based Eloine Barry, the CEO of Africa Media Agency, Kwakye Donkor, the CEO of Africa Tourism Partners, and broadcaster, actor, traveller, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Masego Maponyane are the inaugural members of the advisory council.
The awards are open to global and African private and public institutions, agencies and practitioners. Entries open January 1 2022 and close on April 30 2022. The adjudication, will be done by a diverse and representative global African panel of eminent of place branding experts, thought leaders, academia, policy and decision makers and practitioners. The inaugural awards will be presented live September 1 2022. Interested parties can register at www.brand.africa/places to receive further information. This portal will also be the channel to enter the awards.