Happy belated Africa Day. Yesterday, we celebrated the progress that Africa has made in recent years. Many African countries have made significant strides in improving their economies, reducing poverty, and increasing access to education and healthcare. However, Africa still faces challenges when it comes to its brand image. It is important for Africa to unite and adopt strategies to improve its brand image. A positive brand image can attract investment, tourism, and business opportunities, while a negative brand image can discourage these activities, which has always been the case with most African Nations.
One way for Africa to do this is by simply demonstrating unity. A good example of this is during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, African countries worked together to control the spread of the virus. They shared resources, expertise, and knowledge to contain the outbreak, which showed the world that Africa can unite in times of crisis and produce good results. Another example is the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which was adopted in March 2018. This agreement aims to create a single market for goods and services across the continent by removing trade barriers such as tariffs, quotas, and other restrictions.
Africa can also improve its brand image by focusing on its strengths. Every country has unique strengths and assets that it can promote to improve its brand image. For example, a country may have a rich cultural heritage, beautiful natural landscapes, or a thriving economy. By highlighting and promoting these strengths, a country can attract visitors, investors, and businesses that are interested in these assets. For example, Morocco has focused on its tourism industry, promoting its rich culture, food, and architecture. They have attracted millions of visitors, who contribute to the country’s economy and promote a positive image of Morocco. Zimbabwe has also done well in this regard by promoting The Victoria Falls as a must-visit tourist destination.
In addition, Africa can focus on research, innovation and technology. Education and research are important drivers of innovation and economic growth.
By investing in education and research, a country can develop a skilled workforce, promote innovation, and attract businesses that are looking for a talented workforce. For example, Kenya has become a hub of innovation, with many startups creating new technologies, products, and services. They have created jobs and changed the perception of Kenya as a place of poverty and underdevelopment. Zimbabwe is also implementing a similar strategy with multiple innovation hubs being established in the country’s institutions of higher learning.
Finally, Africa can improve its brand image by promoting peace and stability. For example, Rwanda has transformed itself from a country torn apart by genocide to a model for peace and stability in the region. They have made progress in reducing poverty, improving healthcare, and promoting gender equality. This has changed the perception of Rwanda and Africa as a whole as a place of conflict and instability.
Leslie Mupeti is a brand strategist and creative Innovator. He is the founder of Daily Brand and can be reached for feedback on www.dailybrand.co.zw or email on: [email protected] or +263 785 324 230. His Twitter and Facebook is @lesmupeti.