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Africans believe in African brands but loyalty lies in Europe

A study shows that African nations account for 64 percent of the 50 most admired countries, with South Africa, Nigeria, the United States, China and Kenya topping the list.

SPECIAL REPORT | THE INDEPENDENT | According to a new study, the majority of African consumers have no loyalty towards African brands, although a good number say they believe in “Made in Africa”. A survey conducted by Brand Africa shows in its report that although 64 percent of Africans say they believe in African brands, only 14 percent say they are loyal to them.

The 14th annual “Brand Africa 100: Research and Ranking of Africa’s Best Brands” shows that three-quarters of respondents express confidence in the products and services of companies on the continent. However, only 14 percent would leave other brands and look to African brands, according to the report that ranks the continent’s top 100 brands.

African nations account for 64 percent of the top 50 most admired countries, with South Africa, Nigeria, the United States, China and Kenya topping the list. All members of the newly expanded nine-member BRICS bloc, except Iran, feature on the list, which is dominated by southern and western Africa.

These also represent 44 percent of the top 50 nations that Africans admire globally.

African brands have retained a 14 percent share among Africa’s 100 most admired brands for the second year in a row. African brands, led by South African telecommunications group MTN; the Nigerian conglomerate Dangote; Zambian consumer group Trade Kings; Nigerian telecommunications group Glo; South African media group DStv and Etopian Airlines maintain their respective positions as the five most admired African brands.

South Africa and Nigeria, with five top brands each, as well as Ethiopia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania with one each, are the only six African nations to rank 14 in the Top 100.

Overall, Europe retained its 37 percent share of the top 100 brands, while North America declined to 28 percent as Asia increased its share to 21 percent of the African market.

The world’s leading brands Nike, Adidas, Samsung, Coca Cola and Apple have maintained their positions for the fifth consecutive year among the five most admired brands in Africa. The report says respondents even wrongly named their favorite non-African brands as African, including Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Samsung, Lacoste, Total (TotalEnergies) and Guinness when asked to name their most admired African brand.

The study also asked respondents to name which organizations strive to do good while also doing well, focusing as much on social and environmental concerns as they do on profits. Here, UNICEF and the UN took the NGO category, while Coca-Cola was the best non-African brand and MTN the best African brand named most admired.

“The share of African brands remains a disappointing 14 percent, and Africans overwhelmingly believe that Africa will primarily contribute to a better Africa. However, as nations continue to create an enabling environment for African entrepreneurs and the AfCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Agreement) opportunity becomes a reality, it is only a matter of time, but ultimately the proportion of African brands will increase,” says Thebe Ikalafeng, founder. and president of Brand Africa.

Kenya’s Equity Bank overtook African banking giants to take the top position as the most admired financial services brand in Africa, while the BBC remains the most admired media brand in Africa. Since 2011, Brand Africa, through its independent research partners, Kantar and Geopoll in sub-Saharan Africa, Integrate in North Africa and Analysis in the East African islands, have conducted research in more than 30 markets representing up to 85 percent of the continent’s GDP and population.

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