Press Release

African Decision Makers, Influencers And Thought Leaders Gather For Inaugural Brand Africa Forum

16 September 2010

Over 300 pan-African decision makers, influencers and thought leaders join global economist Dambisa Moyo and nation branding expert Simon Anholt at the inaugural Brand Africa forum in South Africa.

Johannesburg, South Africa: Over 300 global and pan-African media, business and nation branding thought leaders and decision makers are among those who’ve gathered in Johannesburg today for the inaugural Brand Africa Forum 2010. This new African initiative aims to harness the collective African and global wisdom and experience to drive the continent’s reputation, image and competitiveness.

“Brand Africa is an initiative for Africa by Africans, who are confident in and passionate about Africa. It’s about Africans proactively taking charge of their destiny to build a better Africa for investment, exports, tourism and citizenship,” said leading brand authority and founder of the initiative, Thebe Ikalafeng.

Hosted by custodians of Brand South Africa, the International Marketing Council, and the Brand Leadership Academy, the Forum will reflect on the positive impact of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and chart a way forward to build a positive image and reputation to enhance the continent’s competitiveness.

The Forum is a unique opportunity for African decision makers in media, business and civil society to interact and engage on issues and opportunities that are catalytic to the future of Africa.

“The African story, like its history, has always been left to the world to interpret and shape. However, this forum is distinguished by the fact that it focuses on Africa, not as a topic, but as the agenda,” he said.

Global economist Dambisa Moyo and nation branding expert Simon Anholt are the keynote speakers among a line-up of 14 international guests, including Dr. Irvin Khoza, Chairman of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Local Organising Committee

The Forum, hosted by Brand South Africa, featured an opening address by Khoza and keynotes anchored around panels on media, business & the economy and nation branding led by Moyo and Anholt.

Khoza, Moyo and Anholt were joined by a distinguished global panel including:

  • Oliver Schmitz, Managing Director, Brand Finance
  • Santie Botha, Group Chief Marketing Officer, MTN & Businesswoman of the Year, 2010, SA
  • Trevor Ncube, Executive Deputy Chairman, Mail & Guardian Media Group
  • Anver Versi, Editor, African Business & African Banker, UK
  • Nduka Obaigbena, Chairman, This Day Group, Nigeria
  • Mondli Makhanya, Editor in Chief, Avusa Media and Chairman of SANEF
  • Gary Alfonso, Managing Director, CNBC Africa
  • Mathias Akotia, CEO, Brand Ghana
  • Miller Matola, CEO, Brand South Africa
  • Mary Kimonye, CEO, Brand Kenya
  • Lumkile Mondi, Chief Economist, IDC
  • Jay Naidoo, Chairman, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)
  • Prof. Hellicy Ngambi, Executive Dean: College of Economic and Management Science, Unisa
  • Prof. Stella Nkomo, Professor of Human Resource Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Brand Africa FORUM panels were chaired and facilitated by, among others, Prof. Anton Harber of Wits University, Lerato Mbele of CNBC Africa, Moky Makura, author and publisher of “ Africa’s greatest entrepreneurs” and Nic Dawes, editor of Mail & Guardian.

“The Forum is aligned with South Africa’s strategy to work with key African partners to create a better future for Africa,” said Miller Matola, CEO of Brand South Africa. “It’s also in line with the IMC’s goals of enhancing the reputation and competitiveness of South Africa and Africa.”

The inaugural Brand Africa FORUM will be broadcast by CNBC Africa to 41 sub Saharan African countries.

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