Global brands have a significant influence on African consumers due to several factors, including extensive marketing campaigns, high-quality products, and strong brand reputations built over decades. Companies like Nike, Adidas, and Samsung invest heavily in marketing and sponsorships, particularly in sports, which resonate with a broad audience across the continent.

The top ten list features five brands from the USA, underscoring America’s substantial cultural and economic influence. Brands like Coca Cola and Apple, known for their pervasive marketing and innovative products, have solidified their positions in the daily lives of many Africans. Similarly, European and Asian brands like Adidas, Gucci, and Toyota have capitalised on their global prestige to establish a strong foothold in African markets.

Analysis of Change and Market Dynamics

The rankings also reveal shifts and trends in brand admiration. Notably, Alibaba/Express (73) and Netflix (77) have climbed significantly, reflecting the growing influence of e-commerce and streaming services in Africa. Conversely, brands like Versace (54) and Oral B (89) have seen substantial declines, indicating shifting consumer preferences.

Several global brands have shown remarkable stability or growth, such as Nike, Adidas, Coca Cola, and Apple, which have retained or improved their positions. This consistency suggests a strong brand loyalty and effective global marketing strategies that resonate well with African consumers.

African Brands’ Path to Growth

Despite the challenges, several African brands have made remarkable progress. Among the 14 African brands, South Africa and Nigeria are the most represented countries, each contributing five brands. South Africa’s MTN (11th) and Nigeria’s Dangote (28th) are the highest-ranked African brands. Other African brands on the list include:

–              South Africa: MTN (11), DSTV (41), Shoprite/Checkers (68), Bathu Shoes (64), and Woolworths (94)

–              Nigeria: Dangote (28), Glo/Globacom (36), Jumia (52), Nasco Brands (62), and Peak Milk (85)

–              Zambia: Trade Kings (30)

–              Ethiopia: Ethiopian Airlines (43)

–              Zimbabwe: Econet (57)

–              Tanzania: Azam Group (51)

South Africa’s MTN, a leading telecommunications provider, has consistently ranked high, showcasing the company’s robust presence across multiple African countries. MTN’s success can be attributed to its deep understanding of local markets, customer-centric services, and expansive network infrastructure.

Nigeria’s Dangote, known for its extensive range of products including cement, food items, and other consumer goods, reflects the diverse industrial capability of the continent. The brand’s visibility and trustworthiness among consumers have helped it secure a prominent position.

Brands like Ethiopian Airlines and Econet from Zimbabwe also illustrate how strategic expansion and quality service can build brand admiration. Ethiopian Airlines, in particular, has earned a reputation for reliability and efficiency, becoming a preferred airline not only within Africa but also for international travel.

 Industry-Wise Distribution of African Brands

African brands in the Top 100 are predominantly found in sectors such as telecommunications, consumer non-cyclical products, and media:

–              Telecommunications: MTN, Glo/Globacom, Econet, and DSTV.

–              Consumer Non-Cyclical Products:  Dangote, Nasco Brands, Trade Kings, Azam Group, and Peak Milk.

–              Media and Retail:  DSTV, Shoprite/Checkers, Woolworths, and Jumia.

This distribution indicates a strong presence in essential services and everyday consumer goods, which are vital to the daily lives of Africans. The prominence in these sectors suggests that African brands can leverage local insights and cultural nuances to build stronger connections with consumers.

Opportunities for African Brands

African brands have significant opportunities to grow and compete with global giants. The continent’s youthful population and rapidly increasing internet penetration offer a fertile ground for digital marketing and e-commerce. Brands can capitalise on these trends to reach a broader audience and enhance brand engagement.

Moreover, fostering innovation tailored to local needs can distinguish African brands from their global counterparts. By focusing on products and services that address specific regional challenges, African brands can build unique value propositions. For example, local tech companies can develop mobile applications that cater to the unique financial and logistical needs of African consumers.

The Role of Government and Policy

Government policies can play a crucial role in supporting the growth of African brands. Policies that promote local manufacturing, provide tax incentives, and invest in infrastructure can create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive. Additionally, protecting intellectual property rights ensures that African innovations are safeguarded, encouraging more investment in research and development.

Before concluding, let’s observe that the current landscape of the Top 100 Most Admired Brands in Africa highlights the dominance of global brands but also underscores the potential for African brands to rise. The success of brands like MTN, Dangote, and Ethiopian Airlines serves as an inspiration for other African enterprises aiming to make their mark. With strategic investments in marketing, innovation, and infrastructure, African brands can enhance their competitiveness and achieve greater representation in future rankings. The journey towards a stronger African brand presence is challenging but achievable, promising a vibrant and diverse market reflective of the continent’s rich potential.

Let me conclude with the great news that Brandhill Africa, publisher of this the pan African business, Jambo Africa Online, has been selected by the board of directors of the US-based World Confederation of Business (World COB) as a winner of the esteemed “The BIZZ 2024 Award”. This prestigious accolade celebrates Brandhill Africa’s unwavering dedication to business excellence, innovation, and quality.

We are privileged to receive this coveted award for the second time, having first been recognised in 2022. This recognition is an affirmation of our ‘brand Africa re-engineering’ initiative, which aims to change the narrative on the continent. We extend our deepest thanks to all our stakeholders for their unwavering support and contribution to our success.

Tujenge Afrika Pamoja! Let’s Build Africa Together.

Enjoy your weekend.

Saul Molobi (FCIM)



Group Chief Executive Officer and Chairman
Brandhill Africa™
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