MTN SA and tech company Huawei have launched CloudAIR2.0. File Image
JOHANNESBURG - Four South African companies have made it to the 2017/18 list of 100 best brands in Africa compiled by Brand Africa.

Africa’s largest mobile operator, MTN, ranked No6 on the list, up from No9 in 2016/17; food giant Tiger Brands ranked 32, Shoprite 38 and DStv 56.

US sports apparel company Nike took the No1 spot, followed by South Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung at No2 and German sports apparel company Adidas at No3.

Brand Africa chairperson Thebe Ikalafeng, who released the list at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on Friday, said their survey received more than 15500 brand mentions covering more than 2200 brands.

The survey was conducted in 23 African countries accounting for 75percent of the continent’s population.

South Africa’s DStv made the Top 3 brands in the media category, together with Google and Facebook.

First National Bank ranked No7 on the list of Top 25 most admired financial services brand, with Stanbic/Standard Bank ranked at No5, while Old Mutual ranked 14, Nedbank 19 and MTN Mobile Money 20. Nigeria’s Guaranty Trust Bank was ranked No1, followed by the UK’s Barclays/Absa at No2 and Togo’s Ecobank at No3.

Ikalafeng said that if Africans created their own brands, they could create their own future. He said controversial prophet Shepherd Bushiri and Nelson Mandela were some of the “brands” mentioned by respondents to the survey.

It was concerning that 83percent of brands in Africa came from outside the continent.

Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company Trade Kings, which ranked No 49 on the list of Africa’s 100 most admired brands, was described as Zambia’s largest FMCG producer and has the largest media spend in Zambia.

Ikalafeng said African brands needed to empower consumers and be at the centre of relevant solutions, and that technology should be a key driver for growth.

Victor Kgomoeswana, a radio host, African business specialist and author of Africa is Open for Business, said African innovators were being challenged to bring something to the table.

He was part of a panel discussion, including Namibian businessman Lazarus Jacobs and Nigerian author and chief executive of Insight Communications Feyi Olubodun, among others.