Dr Musekiwa Clinton Tapera
Peace put in simple terms is a state of security or order within a community or country provided for by law or custom. It also denotes freedom from civil disturbances. Positive peace represents the attitudes, institutions and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies.
Without peace, it will not be possible to achieve the levels of trust, cooperation and inclusiveness needed for societies to be resilient to shocks, manage disputes and adapt to changes in their environments.
The pillar of peace includes a well-functioning Government, a strong business environment, free flow of information, high levels of human capital, good relationships with neighbours acceptance of the rights of others and equitable distribution of resources among many others.
The above assertions on peace, make it an intangible asset. It may be important also to define an asset so as to position peace appropriately and show its importance in a country’s branding equity.
An asset is a resource with economic value that an individual, corporate or country owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide a future benefit.
Assets are reported on a company’s balance sheet. They are classified as current, fixed, financial and intangible assets that are often taken for granted, yet on close analysis, peace occupies a special place and anchors the socio-economic and political stability that communities and countries enjoy.
Peace is the bedrock upon which investment, economic growth and development and real GDP growth per capita depends upon. It is argued that every 1 percent improvement in positive peace corresponds with a 2,9 percent in real GDP per capita.
Peace, therefore, creates a conducive environment to register economic development in a country and makes it a core element of a country’s brand equity which promotes a sustainable image and international credibility. Peace brings with it harmonious relations, positive co-existence, stability, and a culture of tolerance, mutual respect and discipline.
Brands today are taken as assets worth giving value in company financials. They give value and influence future earnings for companies. Those in marketing metrics are coming up with formula to measure and calculate their real value and argue for the space of brands on the balance sheet.
The same can be applied to PEACE as an intangible asset it influences and is a core driver of economic development, growth, investment both local and foreign, stability and tranquility.
Overally, peace is an asset which determine a solid brand equity for a country. Peace advocates just as branding specialists should empirically demonstrate the economic value of peace to give it value or expected return.
There is a lot of time and effort invested to bring about peace particularly in Africa. Value can be determined arising out of the outcome and impact of peace on economic growth, GDP growth and investment.
Peace from the above arguments will not be taken for granted because society will appreciate its value and dividends that come with it. It sounds like forcing things to justify its importance but peace propels nations progressively forward. Examples are many including Zimbabwe, South Africa and global economies etc.
The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission is an example of practically interrogating issues of apartheid, its atrocities, racial repression and all truths associated with the horrendous time.
The 1987 Unity Accord in Zimbabwe is also another historic peace accord that united Zimbabwe to this day. There are many examples of episodes that brought peace worldwide but the benefits of those initiatives have never been given their real value economically and socially.
People get to appreciate the silencing of guns and the cooling off of conflicts which is an immediately felt outcome. However, generally we forget the time and effort invested to bring about that peace and the economic impact of the outcomes of peace.
The freedom that people enjoy, the stability, tranquility, social cohesion, free movement peaceful co-existence, tourist visits and other sustainable benefits are all because peace which can be considered to be a core element of a country’s brand equity in marketing.
Brand equity is defined as the sum of distinguishing qualities of a brand drawn from all relevant stakeholders that results in commitment and to demand for the brand. These differentiating thoughts and feelings make the brand value and valuable. Brand equity is an intangible asset that has psychological and financial value for the firm.
Other scholars such as Aaker argue that brand equity is a set of assets that are linked to the brand’s name, which adds or subtract from the value provided by a service or products to the firm.
In all the above explanations of brand equity the emphasis is on distinguishing qualities, value creation, brands as assets that create differentiation and brands as intangible. All these attributes make Peace a valuable and an intangible asset for a country’s brand equity.
The level of peace through prosperity creates the wide and fair participation in the creation and proceeds of growth: jobs, incomes and livelihoods, it means giving people the opportunity to save and invest, pay tax and prepare for retirement because of the assurance of a future, all because of peace.
In conclusion, the call for peace at every level of society from family level to national level should be respected and valued as a national intangible asset critical for driving and championing socio-economic development of all citizens.
Peace is central to political and social stability and the enjoyment of freedoms that binds us together as citizens of a country, Peace affects everything that makes human co-existence sustainable and progressive.
It should be considered seriously as a core, distinguishing and unique element in a country’s brand equity. Peace should be taken as a serious topic to be included in a nation’s educational curriculum to engender a culture of tolerance, peaceful co-existence respect, discipline, openness, stability, conflict management and dialogue.