Nigeria's Dangote Group, for the second year running, has emerged the most admired African brand.
A survey of 100 Africa best brands, announced in Johannesburg at the weekend, put Dangote Group ahead of telecommunication giant, MTN.
According to the seventh edition of South Africa-based Brand Africa, in a survey carried out in collaboration with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), of 15,000 brands mentioned, Dangote ranked first when consumers were prompted to recall the most admired African brand.
In the top 100 list, the United States sports and fitness mega brand, Nike, a non-African brand, retains the overall number one brand in Africa spontaneously recalled by consumers.
South African telecoms brand, MTN, is the number one African brand spontaneously recalled brand, while surging Ethiopian brand, Anbessa Shoes, at number two, swapped positions with Nigerian conglomerate, Dangote, which is the number three most admired brand of African of origin.
However, when consumers are prompted to recall the most admired African brand, Dangote retains the number one position.
Just last year, Dangote brand was named the most valuable brand among the top 50 brands in Nigeria for 2018 by Brand Nigeria.
Further analysis of the ranking indicates that overall, the 2018/19 Brand Africa 100 list, which is calculated from 15,000 brand mentions, illustrates a very diversified range of brands in Africa and shows year-on-year consistency with 80 per cent of the top 100 brands having been in the top 100 Most Admired Brands in previous years.
Overall, African brands faltered to an all-time low 14 percent share of the top 100 most admired brands in Africa.
However, MTN (South Africa), Dangote (Nigeria) and Safaricom (Kenya) are the most admired highest listed brands on sub-Sahara's leading bourses, the JSE, Nigeria Stock Exchange and Nairobi Securities Exchange respectively.
Faced with a relentless focus on the African opportunity and investment by non-African brands, Africa's share of the most admired brands has been rapidly declining over the past three years from a high of 25 per cent in 2013/14 to lows of 16 per cent in 2015/16, 16 per cent in 2016/17 and 17 per cent in 2017/18.
"Today at the JSE, at an event with industry leaders from across Africa, hosted by the JSE in partnership with Geopoll, Kantar and Brand Leadership, Brand Africa announced the Top 100 brands in Africa in their seventh annual Brand Africa 100: Africa's Best Brands. Nike, MTN, Dangote, Ecobank and BBC were recognised as the most admired brands on the continent," a statement from the Brand Africa said.
It added: "Non-African brands have entrenched their positions in Africa, with North American brands, dominated exclusively by United States of America brands (28 per cent), leading with a growth of 17 per cent versus 2017/8. The strength of USA brands was boosted by the entry and/or re-entry of stalwart American brands such as number 71 Levi's, number 91 Chevrolet and Pepsi's Miranda at number 80, who are all among the 20 new entrants. European brands (41 per cent) are up by 2,5per cent and Asian brands (17 per cent) down by 10 per cent, round up the continental spread of brands Africans admire."
The Brand Africa 100 rankings are based on a survey among a representative sample of respondents 18 years and older, conducted in 25 countries across Africa. Covering all African economic regions, collectively these countries account for an estimated 80 per cent of the continent's population and 75 per cent of the GDP.
In a reconfigured category listing where technology and electronics and telecoms categories were separated and new categories of luxury and personal care were introduced or re-introduced, the Top 100 is dominated by technology and electronic brands (18 per cent) and telecoms (seven per cent), consumer (non-cyclical) (16%), auto manufacturers (11 per cent), luxury (10 per cent), automobile (11 per cent), apparel (eight per cent), retail (seven per cent), food (four per cent), non-alcoholic beverages (five per cent), personal care (four per cent), sports & fitness (four per cent) and media (one per cent) categories.
Founder and Chairman of Brand Africa and Brand Leadership, Thebe Ikalafeng, said of the outcome of survey: "It is disappointing that despite its vibrant entrepreneurial environment, Africa is not creating new competitive brands to meet the needs of its growing consumer market.
"These rankings are an important metric of and challenge for creating home-grown competitive African brands that will transform the African promise and change its narrative and image as a competitive continent. African brands have an important role in helping to build the African brand."
Brand Africa 100 was developed by Pan-African branding and reputation advisory firm, Brand Leadership Group, supported by GeoPoll, the leader in mobile-based market research throughout Africa, and strategic analysis and insights by Kantar TNS, the world's leading data, insights and consulting company.
It is an inter-generational movement to inspire a great Africa through promoting a positive image of Africa, celebrating its diversity and driving its competitiveness.
It is a brand-led movement, which recognises that in the 21st century, brands are an asset and a vector of image, reputation and competitiveness of nations. Brand Africa seeks to inspire a brand-led African renaissance.
Its ranking of Africa's 100 Best Brands is an initiative to survey, rank and recognises the best brands in Africa in recognition of the growth of African brands, which are 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.
In his reaction, Group Chief Corporate Communication Officer of the Dangote Group, Anthony Chiejina, said the management was not surprised by the ranking because the company has a long-standing reputation for quality, relevance compliance and social stewardship. He said: "Our mission and vision engage and inspire us to by extension connects us to with both our internal and external stakeholders.
"We fervently believe that only Africans can develop Africa, and this gives us stronger sense of relevance in all the countries where we have our operations. we are touching lives by providing their basic needs and empowering Africans more than ever before, creating jobs, reducing capital flight, helping government conserve foreign exchange drain by supporting different industrial infrastructural projects of African government."
Chiejina said Dangote Cement had been producing high quality and affordable cement, reducing poverty, engaging in unprecedented philanthropy and above all respecting the laws of the land where it operates.
"All these are our credo and we do not compromise it; it is our way. And the ranking is just an acknowledgement of all these by our stakeholders. We keep our brand promise and stay authentic," he said.