Brand Kenya looks south for advice

Mrs. Mary Kimonye, CEO Brand Kenya

Brand South Africa in partnership with Brand Kenya hosted a roundtable dialogue session with key stakeholders to address African challenges to match global competitiveness.

Under the theme ‘Perceptions versus the reality of intra–African relations: South Africa & Kenya’, the session addressed pertinent issues including contribution of a country’s brands to the continental African brand and how the latter can scale up their country’s competitiveness in today’s increasing global world. Speaking during the consultative session, Brand South Africa Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Miller Matola said that, “With South Africa and Kenya celebrating key developmental milestones in 2014- 20 and 50 years of democracy respectively, the opportunity arises for each of us to evaluate our national brands and how we communicate this message – to our neighbors, other African countries and the world.”

Mr. Matola also pointed out South Africa’s commitment to working with other African countries to maximize inter-country strengths and competitive advantages to position Africa as a competitive investment hub.

“These conversations together with participation of other stakeholders including business are important to enable sharing of lessons learnt and challenges in the quest for economic and social development in our countries and the continent through profiling our individual competitiveness,” he added.

Brand Kenya Chief Executive Officer Mary Kimonye said African governments need to fast track the integration process which will give the continent immense power as a trading block. She said Kenya holds an important position in building the African economy and it is important to strengthen trade relations among partners.

“We need to start building our African brand before we think of marketing our countries. Branding should be about telling better stories about Africa by engaging the media more constructively,” she urged.

“The more competitive a nation, the stronger the nation brand, and the more investment it can attract.  African countries in working towards this, can therefore make an invaluable impact on the reputation and competitiveness of our continent,” added Ambassador Rutubasi Super Moloi.

The session took place as part of a research project that focuses on the development of an in-depth holistic analysis of South Africa’s interactions with exposure to and reputation in Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria. In attendance was South African High Commissioner to Kenya  Ambassador Rutubasi Super Moloi