The South African-based brand leadership movement, in collaboration with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), has awarded Dangote Group the most admired African brand. The Dangote brand came atop in the fresh ranking of 100 best brands in Africa with the theme, “Brand Africa 100” at the sixth edition announced in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Brand Africa 100 was established in 2010, in recognition of the growth of African brands, which were beginning to challenge global brands in Africa, or lead global brands in new categories such as telecommunications. The aim of Brand Africa is to identify, acknowledge and promote African and global brands that are catalysts for Africa’s growth, reputation and value. It said the “Nigerian industrial brand Dangote is the number one African brand recalled when consumers are prompted about the continent (Africa) of origin while the South African tele-communications brand, MTN, is the number one African brand spontaneously recalled irrespective of continent of origin.” The United States sports and fitness brand, Nike, is the overall brand in Africa spontaneously recalled by consumers. The Brand Africa 100 ranking is based on a survey among consumers 18 years and older, conducted in 23 countries across Africa. The countries, representing all African economic regions, collectively account for 75 per cent of the population and the 74 per cent of the GDP of Africa. Chief corporate communications officer of the Dangote Group, Anthony Chiejina, said the management was not surprised at the ranking because the company had continuously deepened and delivered on its core values. The focus of the company, according to him, is to be a world-class enterprise that is passionate about the quality of life of the people and giving high returns to stakeholders. “And this philosophy is driven by values, which include customer service, entrepreneurship, excellence and leadership. In any of our subsidiaries, the focus is to provide local, value-added products and services that meet the ‘basic needs’ of the populace. Through the construction and operation of large scale manufacturing facilities in Nigeria and across Africa, the Group is focused on building local manufacturing capacity to generate employment, prevent capital flight and provide locally produced goods for the people. “The expansion of our business, especially the cement which has operations in 14 African countries including Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia, among others, has added to the popularity of our company and the products,” Chiejina stated. African brands rose slightly to account for 17 per cent of the Top 100 brands in Africa, but non-African brands retained their firm position in Africa with 83 per cent share of the Top 100 most admired brands in Africa. Brands from Europe lead the table with 40 per cent, North America 24 per cent, Asia 19 per cent and West Africa 6 per cent – with only Nigerian and Southern Africa brands making up the number.The Top 100 is dominated by technology and electronic brands (29 per cent), while non-cyclical consumer brands (19 per cent), apparel (15 per cent), automobile (8 per cent), food (7 per cent) and sports and fitness (5 per cent) categories make up the top categories. Overall, the 2017/18 Brand Africa 100 list, which started out with over 15,500 brand mentions covering over 2,200 admired brands, illustrates a very diversified portfolio of categories and brands in Africa. Founder and chairman of Brand Africa and Brand Leadership, Thebe Ikalafeng, said African brands had an important role in helping to build the African brand, saying these rankings are an important metric of the progress Africa is making in creating home-grown world-class brands that are changing the narrative on African competitiveness, image and reputation, and contributing to its socio-economic transformation.