Press Release

Branding Guru To Lead Branding Masterclass In Zambia

16 April 2014

Africa is fast outpacing other regions globally with an average growth in excess of 5%. According to McKinsey, Africa’s consumer-facing industries are expected to grow by more than $400 billion by 2020. Consequently, Africa’s wealthy class and high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) are also growing by 9.9%, the second-highest growth rate in the world after North America, and above the global average growth rate of 9.2%, according to the 2013 World Wealth Report by Capgemini.

As Africans become wealthier and seek expedient access to global brands, leading global brands are looking to the continent as the destination for brands and source of growth. At the same time, Africans are fast-tracking Made in Africa brands across all sectors, particularly in telecommunications and financial services where brands such as Kenya’s Safaricom mobile money brand, M-Pesa, Nigeria’s online retailer brand Konga, and South Africa’s pan-African mobile giant MTN, have become global examples of Africa’s growing confidence in building world-class African brands.

However, as illustrated in the recent Brand Africa 100 survey, African brands represent only 33.7% of all the most valuable brands, while international brands account for 66.3%. Out of all the African brands, South African brands represent 24% of the share; Nigerian brands represent 9% with Kenyan brands representing the remaining 1%.

With a shortage of brand-building skills that blend global expertise and local insight across the continent, there is an urgent need in Africa to enhance branding skills and expertise.

To inspire and empower brand builders in Africa, sought-after and award-winning global African brand and reputation architect, adviser and authority Thebe Ikalafeng is launching a series of pan-African Africa Branding Masterclasses across several African countries. The 2014 program kicks off in Zambia on 20 May 2014 at the Intercontinental Hotel, Lusaka.

Speaking in the run-up to the event, Brand Leadership Zambia’s MD Ivan Mweene noted: “It is a privilege for Zambia to host the inaugural Africa Branding Masterclass. This is an event which no Zambian brand builder can afford to miss.”

The program for 2014 also includes Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Botswana and Namibia.

The Africa Branding Masterclass, focusing on ‘Building Great African Brands and Global Brands in Africa,’ will be personally facilitated by Ikalafeng across selected African nations and will culminate in a ‘Building Global Brands in Africa’ in London.

“One of the primary drivers of Africa’s growth, independence and identity, is in creating and sand growing thriving African and global businesses and brands in Africa,” says Ikalafeng. “I’m excited about embarking on this journey to work with fellow brand builders across Africa to share insights and skills on how to build world-class African and global brands in Africa.”

The South African-born Ikalafeng started his corporate career at Colgate Palmolive in New York and concluded it as an Executive Director and Chief Marketing Officer for Nike Africa, where he won over 75 awards, including 10 Cannes Lions. Since leaving Nike to start his pan-African brand and reputation advisory firm, Brand Leadership Group, he has worked with an enviable portfolio of more than 100 brands. Over the past decade he has built and implemented African grounded world-class branding and reputation solutions leading African destination, telecoms, political, consumer, higher education and financial services across Sub-Saharan Africa. His diverse portfolio includes Apple, Telecom Namibia, Zambia’s Zanaco Bank, Africa Green Revolution (Tanzania), Anglo American Platinum, MTN, Standard Bank, Brand South Africa and Brand Ghana, the University of Botswana, and the political branding strategy and campaign for Ghana’s ruling party in 2008 and 2012.

He is the founder of the pan-African Brand Africa initiative to re-imagine Africa’s image, reputation and competitiveness. Under his initiative and leadership, since 2011, Brand Africa, in collaboration with TNS, Brand Finance and African Business, have researched and published Brand Africa 100, the Top 100 Most Valuable Brands in Africa.

Ikalafeng is lauded for his deep insights and captivating delivery to beguiled diverse audiences in over 50 countries, including the major capitals in all five continents. He is the first port of call on all branding and reputation and related matters and issues in Africa for respected African and global media such as CNN, CNBC Africa, eNCA and the BBC.

Each Masterclass, aimed at senior marketing, branding and communication practitioners and decision makers with a passion and responsibility for building inspired and profitable brands, will cover the principles, practice and best practices of building brands in Africa, intellectual property and how brands inspire people and impact the bottom-line. Each country event will also feature a facilitated panel of leading local and global leaders. Ikalafeng intends to broaden the countries and range of Masterclasses to include sessions for branded customer service, place branding, personal branding, sponsorship and political branding.

Ikalafeng will reference and draw on his wealth of branding and reputation experience, thought leadership and global and African research, including Brand Africa 100 and the Brand Finance African Nation League, case studies and best practices in building brands in Africa.

Ever mindful of the unique business, branding and economic environments in each of Africa’s 54 diverse nations, each session will be include the host country’s branding experience and reality.

“As an African, I’m excited to start this journey in Zambia which played a monumental role in the liberation of African frontline states, including my home country South Africa,” says Ikalafeng. “I’m a firm believer that to sustain Africa’s rise, Africans must acquire all the skills and own this renaissance.”

The first Africa Branding Masterclass is hosted by Zambian Institute of Marketing and organized by Brand Leadership Academy in conjunction with Brand Leadership Zambia.

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