MTN tops Brand Africa rankings as Ghanaian companies falter

Nigerian mobile operator Glo/ Globacom placed second, while Dangote, the manufacturing conglomerate owned by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote comes in third.

MTN emerged Africa’s most admired brand for the second year in a row, according the fourth annual Brand Africa 100 rankings announced Thursday in Johannesburg. It’s the second year in a row that the South African telco is topping the rankings.


MTN is also Africa’s most valued brand, the mobile operator’s brand is valued at $4.6 billion, or the equivalent of Togo’s economy. Pay-TV operator Multichoice/ DSTV is the continent’s second most valuable brand, followed by Kenyan telco Safaricom, and its associated mobile money brand M-Pesa.

Econet Wireless Founder and Chairman, Strive Masiyiwa, was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of “leadership excellence, inspiration and service to Africa”, while the Brand Builder of the Year award went to Dangote.

The Emerging African Brand award – which recognises entrepreneurship excellence – went to Kisua (Ghana/South Africa), Yswara (Ivory Coast/South Africa) and Konga (Nigeria).

Econet founder Strive Masiywa

It appears that gadgets, clothes, cars and drinks make the most impression on Africans – nearly two thirds of the Brand Africa 100 list is evenly spread between electronics companies (16%), apparel (14%), auto manufacturers (13%), telecommunications (11%) and alcoholic beverages (10%).

Brand Africa is an annual ranking that identifies the most admired brands – both African and non-African – in 22 countries across the continent, which collectively account for 77% of Africa’s GDP and more than three-quarters of Africa’s population.

The poll was conducted by Brand Leadership Group in partnership with Geopoll, the leading mobile survey platform with a database of nearly 200 million users in emerging markets, TNS, the global consumer knowledge and information company and Brand Finance, one of the world’s leading independent valuation consultancy.

“With such diverse populations between countries and regions, the weighted index ensured the results are representative of the population within each country and Africa overall to reflect a unique ranking of the Top 100 Most Admired Brands in Africa,” said Karin Du Chenne, Regional Development Director of TNS Africa Mediterranean Middle East.

With regard to non-African brands, Samsung emerged the continent’s most admired brand, followed by Coca-Cola, Nike and Adidas, while the most valuable non-African brand is Apple, followed by Samsung, Google and Microsoft.

HomegrownThe Brand Africa 100 shows that established brands in Africa have held their ground. Homegrown African brands account for a nearly quarter of the companies on the rankings, a proportion that has been stable over the past three years.

Nigerian companies dominate the Africa list, with 11 brands in total; South Africa and Kenya tie in second place with four each.

“These rankings are increasingly significant as they are an important metric of the progress Africa is making in creating brands and services that respond to African conditions, needs and ambitions,” says Thebe Ikalafeng, Founder and Chairman of Brand Africa and Chairman of Brand Finance Africa.

“…The time has never been more opportune or urgent for Africa to develop Made in Africa brands.  The success of businesses behind these brands will enable Africa to drive its own agenda because they create jobs, contribute tax revenue necessary to fund public goods and help shape the image of Africa as an entrepreneurial and competitive continent,” said Ikalafeng.

Because of their transformational importance in Africa, Brand Africa also ran a separate survey for the Most Admired Brands in the Media and Financial sectors.  In the financial services category, Nigeria’s First Bank leads most admired African brand, and Barclays the non-African list.  In the media category, DSTV leads Africa and BBC the non-African list.

Broken down regionally, the most admired brand in East Africa is Coca-Cola, in West Africa is Adidas and in Central Africa, Samsung. In Southern and North Africa, Nike is the most admired brand.


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