This was disclosed by Miller Matola, Brand South Africa Chief Executive Officer at the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce (NSACC) breakfast meeting in Lagos.
The Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting is a monthly event which brings together individuals and corporates with vested business interest in both Nigeria and the South African economies.
The theme for the August 2014 NSACC event which is sponsored by Brand South Africa is‘Africa’s Competitiveness – Nigeria/South Africa, Cooperation or Competition’.
According to Matola, the choice of Nigeria along-with Angola, DRC, Ghana, Kenya and Senegal as key markets is informed by South Africa’s foreign policy, both political and economic diplomacy as well as trade and investment imperatives.
Matola mentioned the importance of the South Africa nation brand viz-a-viz the promotion of the African brand in view of developing the continent as a whole and competing at par with international standards.
“Brand South Africa pursues its Africa Programme with an emphasis on promoting theSouth Africa nation brand as part of the continent brand, ‘Brand Africa’; therefore Africa’sreputation and competitiveness is central to that agenda,” Matola stated.
He challenged the organized African business and corporate brands to invest in changing the perception of Africa from negativity to positivity.
The Brand South Africa CEO said, “There is no doubt about the power of commercial brands to convey the overall brand of their country of origin – be it innovation, excellence or quality – which will result in investment in changing the narrative about how Africa as a continent is perceived.”
Matola stressed the importance of the African nations having in-depth working and friendly relationships drawing conclusions from the 2013/14 Project Thrive Study on the familiarity of Nigerians with South Africa.
The study indicated that the average familiarity rate about South Africa amongst Nigerians stands at 46% and only 18% of the sample has a high knowledge base of South Africa.
He advised that it is imperative for each of the African nations to reflect a collective unity of the continent in order to improve the perceptions of Africans and Africa as a whole.
Mzwandile Masina, South Africa Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry was part of the Brand South Africa delegation to the breakfast meeting.