Top 10 Most Admired African Brands

Brand Africa recently announced the top 100 brands in Africa in its 7th annual Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands ranking. The top 10 top brands, with the exception of MTN at number 8, were all foreign brands, with Nike (USA), Adidas (Germany), and Samsung (South Korea) taking the top 3 spots. 

There are two lists of most admired African brands: one in which consumers were unprompted to specifically give African brands and one in which consumers were specifically prompted to give African brands. Where consumers were prompted to give African brands specifically, Dangote group emerged number one, however, the list where consumers were unprompted to specifically give African brands is very different and perhaps more telling as the African brands were ranked in relation to foreign brands. Safaricom, for example, did not rank highly when consumers were unprompted to give African brands specifically but ranked 6th when they were prompted to do so. 

Here are the top 10 African based brands that consumers recalled, unprompted, in their order of appearance. 

1. MTN (South Africa) 

MTN is a South African telecoms company. The company was founded in 1994 and has been instrumental to Africa’s mobile connectivity. It was the only African brand in the top ten, and it came in at number 8, in between Apple (USA) and Gucci (Italy). 

2. Anbessa (Ethiopia) 

Anbessa is an Ethiopian apparel company that makes shoes. The company has a yearly production capacity of over 1.5 million pairs. Its first plant was established in 1935 by Italian business people and it got privatized in 2011. Anbessa currently creates 2500 jobs, has over 37 outlets and exports its products to Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Somaliland and European nations. It came in at number 12 in the list. 

3. Dangote (Nigeria) 

The Dangote group is a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate headquartered in Nigeria. The group has active businesses in Togo, Benin, Ghana, Nigeria and extensive investments in other countries. Dangote started as a small trading company in 1977 via its founder, Aliko Dangote. The company’s business interests include cement and salt factories, flour mills, among many other consumer goods. The company came in at number 25 on the list. 

4. Glo (Nigeria) 

Glo, also known as Globacom, is a telecoms company in Nigeria. The company, which came in at number 30 on the list, was founded in 2003 by Mike Adenuga, the 2nd richest black man in the world (Forbes). GLO has over 45 million subscribers, making it the second largest network operator in Nigeria. In 2011, GLO became the first telecommunication company to build an $800 million high-capacity fibre-optic cables known as Glo-1, a submarine cable from the United Kingdom to Nigeria. It is the first successful submarine cable from the United Kingdom to Nigeria. 

5. Econet (Zimbabwe) 

Another telecoms company to make the top 10 African brands is Econet, a Zimbabwean company, which came in at number 31 on the list. They deal in broadband, satellite, optical fibre networks, mobile payment and fixed telephones. 

6. Mukwano Products (Uganda) 

The Mukwano Group of Companies, commonly known as the Mukwano Group, is a conglomerate based in Uganda, with operations in other East African countries. They trade in edible oil, margarine, energy drinks, bottled water, and real estate. It was number 41 on the list. 

7. DSTv (South Africa) 

DStv is a big player in the entertainment industry. It is active in entire Sub-Saharan Africa. The Multichoice Group owns the company, and it is a platform popularly known for providing world-class entertainment ranging from sports, live events and many more. It came in at number 45. 

8. Tiger Brands (South Africa) 

This packaged goods firm is one of the big brands in Africa, and the largest food companies in South Africa. Tiger Brands was founded in 1921 by Jacob Frankel and has direct and indirect investments in different African countries like Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Kenya, Cameron and Nigeria. It ranked at number 47. 

9. Trade Kings (Zambia) 

Trade Kings is the biggest fast moving consumer goods company in Zambia. The company has established itself as one of the biggest manufacturers in Sub-Saharan Africa. It ranked at number 48. 

10. Shoprite (South Africa) 

Shoprite is South Africa’s largest retail chain. The company has successful operations in 15 nations all over Africa with about 2,689 outlets. All of these outlets employ over 144,000 people. Its headquarters are in Western Cape, South Africa. The retail chain recently opened its first outlet in Kenya. 

Overall, African brands faltered to an all-time low 14% share of the top 100 most admired brands in Africa. Faced with a relentless focus on the African opportunity and investment by non-African brands, Africa’s share of the most admired brands has been rapidly declining over the past three years from a high of 25% in 2013/4 to lows of 16% in 2015/6, 16% in 2016/7 and 17% in 2017/8.

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