For 9 years, South Africa has been blowing Nigeria – Africa’s largest economy – out of the water as the country with the most valuable brand in the continent. But things have changed as the West African country has taken over in 2019, per findings from the 2019 Nation Brands report by U.K-based Brand Finance.
The 2018 edition of the report valued South African brands at USD 207 Bn ahead of Nigeria’s USD 203 Bn. As S.A’s nation brand diminished by 7 percent the past year, that of Nigeria grew by 6 percent. Dwelling on the different of just a few billion dollars, the report did warn that South Africa risked being Africa’s most valued brand following years of mismanagement.
David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, said while South Africa remained the gateway to Africa for close to a decade, it faced an uphill battle.
“As South Africa struggles to recover from the turmoil of the Zuma years, its nation brand is also in danger of being overtaken by Nigeria, making it one to watch for years ahead,” Haigh wrote in the foreword of the 2018 report.
Last year, South Africa was the world’s 49th most valuable national brand, while Nigeria was the 50th. This year, Nigeria leaps 10 places and comes six places before South Africa, securing the 40th place on the ranking. Africa’s former most valuable national brand now occupies the 47th place on the report.
Egypt, up from the 54th position in last year, now sits in 49th position, making it the third most valuable nation brand in Africa. As fourth in line Algeria sits at 56th, thought it occupied the 58th position in the previous report. Morocco and Kenya were ranked at 64th and 66th respectively.
On why S.A has been relegated by Nigeria, Jeremy Sampson, Managing Director of Brand Finance Africa, cited in an e-mail to WeeTracker, the results of corruption from the decade-long Zuma administration.
“The unraveling of the Guptas, the implications of corruption, the criminality, and looting of billions are only now coming to the surface. But some way to go for Eskom – pulling the whole country down due to the ineptness of government. It is so sad that when most emerging countries are growing at 5 percent, the RSA is consistently under 1 percent . The ANC does have a lot to answer for,” Jeremy explained.
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