A lead­ing role in the ‘Africa ris­ing’ story

CityPress - - Voices - WENDY TLOU voices@city­press.co.za Tlou is Brand SA’s chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer

As one of the new­est democ­ra­cies on the con­ti­nent, South Africa is part of the “Africa ris­ing” story.

The African Eco­nomic Out­look, pub­lished ear­lier this year, ob­served that Africa has con­tin­ued to weather the storms of the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis with re­silience.

Growth across var­i­ous re­gions vac­il­lates, de­pend­ing on lev­els of mar­ket ma­tu­rity, although it is “pro­jected that growth for [Africa] as a whole could re­turn in 2015 to be­tween 5% and 6%, a level last seen be­fore the on­set of the 2009 global re­ces­sion”.

We are liv­ing on one of the most dy­namic con­ti­nents on the planet. This should in­spire us with op­ti­mism and hope.

South Africa re­mains the most di­ver­si­fied econ­omy on the con­ti­nent. In ad­di­tion, the coun­try is, ac­cord­ing to the 2013 Brand Fi­nance Na­tion Brand re­port, the most valu­able African na­tion brand.

The over­all value of the South Africa na­tion brand in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly be­tween 2012 ($222 bil­lion) and 2013 ($270 bil­lion) – an in­crease of 22% that also af­fected the rat­ing mov­ing from an A in 2012 to A+ in 2013.

Brand SA has, for the first time, con­ducted pri­mary re­search in Nige­ria and Kenya to as­sess the per­cep­tions of South Africa and our cit­i­zens. This in­cluded a range of in­ter­views with, among oth­ers, diplo­mats, busi­ness­peo­ple, cit­i­zens, pol­i­cy­mak­ers and artists.

Although the first in a se­ries of planned re­search projects, Brand SA’s re­search has in­di­cated that South Africa and its cit­i­zens en­joy strong brand ap­peal and pos­i­tive as­so­ci­a­tions.

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