Brand Africa Launches in Johannesburg

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa: Global economist Dambisa Moyo and nation branding guru Simon Anholt are among the 14 global thought leaders and decision makers scheduled for the inaugural Brand Africa Forum 2010.

Brand Africa, a new African initiative to drive the continent’s reputation, image and competitiveness, will be launched on Thursday 16 September 2010 at Johannesburg’s Sandton Convention Centre.

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 Brand Africa Forum 2010 is a unique opportunity for pan African decision makers in media, business and nation branding and civil society to interact and engage with 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. This initiative is about Africa shaping its own destiny,” said leading brand authority and founder of the Brand Africa initiative, Thebe Ikalafeng.

The Brand Africa Forum 2010, hosted by Brand South Africa, will feature an opening keynote by Dr. Irvin Khoza, Chairman, 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Local Organising Committee and keynote addresses anchored around panels on media, business & the economy and nation branding led by Moyo and Anholt.

Khoza, Moyo and Anholt will be joined by a distinguished global and African panel of decision makers and thought leaders including:
– David Haigh, Brand Finance, UK
– Santie Botha, Group CMO MTN & Businesswoman of the Year, 2010, SA
– Trevor Ncube, Deputy Chairman, Mail & Guardian Media, SA
– Anver Versi, Group Editor, African Business & African Banker, UK
– Nduka Obaigbena, Group Chairman, This Day, Nigeria
– Wilfred Kiboro, Chairman, Nation Media Group, Kenya
– Gary Alfonso, Managing Director, CNBC Africa
– Mathias Akotia, CEO, Brand Ghana
– Miller Matola, CEO, Brand SA
– Mary Kimonye, CEO, Brand Kenya

Brand Africa FORUM panels will be chaired and facilitated by, among others, Prof. Anton Harber of Wits University and Lerato Mbele of CNBC Africa.

“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.

Brand Africa is an independent, pan-African brand-driven initiative for African thought leaders, decision-makers and leaders of Africa’s top corporations and economies, media and nation brands. It seeks to proactively drive Africa’s positive reputation, image and competitiveness.

Brand Africa aims to create opportunities for strategic dialogue and platforms to share insight, thought leadership and best practices in building sovereign nation brands and the collective African brand and reputation. This initiative is distinguished by the fact that it focuses on Africa, not as a topic, but as the agenda and leverages the power of branding to shape Africa’s image.

Brand Africa is an initiative for Africa, by Africans, who are confident in and passionate about Africa, founded by the Brand Leadership Group’s Thebe Ikalafeng.

The International Marketing Council of South Africa was established in August 2002 to help create a positive and compelling brand image for South Africa. Its primary objective as the custodian of Brand South Africa is to manage a pro-active marketing and communication strategy for South Africa, and to promote South Africa – Alive with Possibility!

The Brand Leadership Academy, a division of Africa’s leading brand development, media and engagement firm, The Brand Leadership Group. The Brand Leadership Academy provides brand-driven, customer-centric leadership development. Brand Leadership Academy works with distinguished globally respected scholars, decision makers and thought leaders to inspire and empower established and emerging leaders with cross-disciplinary, world-class insights that help them build great brands in Africa and the world. Brand Leadership AcademyT is the founder of the Public Sector ExcellenceT
and Brand Africa initiatives.

Dambisa Moyo is an international economist who comments on the macroeconomy and global affairs. Ms. Moyo serves on the boards of Barclays Bank, the financial services group, SABMiller, the global brewer, and Lundin Petroleum, an oil and gas exploration concern. She was an economist at Goldman Sachs where she worked for nearly a decade, and was a consultant to the World Bank in Washington D.C.

She is the author of the New York Times Bestseller Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How there is a Better Way for Africa. Her forthcoming book is entitled How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly and the Stark Choices Ahead is scheduled for publication in January 2011.

In 2009 Ms. Moyo was named by Time Magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World”, and was nominated to the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders Forum. Her writing regularly appears in economic and finance-related publications such as the Financial Times, the Economist Magazine and the Wall Street Journal.

She completed a PhD in Economics at Oxford University and holds a Masters degree from Harvard University. She completed an undergraduate degree in Chemistry and an MBA in Finance at the American University in Washington D.C.

Simon Anholt is the leading authority on managing and measuring national identity and reputation, and the creator of the field of nation and place branding. He is a member of the UK Foreign Office’s Public Diplomacy Board, and has advised the governments of some 40 other countries from Chile to Botswana, Korea to Jamaica, and Bhutan to the Faroe Islands.

He is Founding Editor of the quarterly journal, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, and author of Another One Bites The Grass, Brand New Justice, Brand America and Competitive Identity – The New Brand Management for Nations, Cities and Regions. His latest book is Places: Identity, Image and Reputation. He publishes two major annual surveys, the Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index and City Brands Index. Anholt was awarded the 2009 Nobels Colloquia for Economics.