Africa’s High 100 Manufacturers in 2019 – World Manufacturers Dominate Africa

African brands have stalled as global brands cement their position in Africa. Brand Africa founder and chairman of Brand Leadership, Thebe Ikalafeng, gives an overview of the latest Brand Africa 100 ranking.

Our survey for 2020 is out – read the top 100 brands in Africa in 2020

Despite optimism about the economic recovery in Africa and a GDP growth of 4% forecast for 2019 by the African Development Bank, the number of African brands in our ranking in the 2019 ranking of Brand Africa 100 among the 100 most admired brands in Africa is 18 % decreased.

Brand Africa 100 is a rating and ranking of the best brands in Africa based on the brand’s financial performance and admiration. This creates a unique index that is published annually by African Business Magazine.

With renewed investments by non-African brands, Africa’s share of the most admired brands has fallen rapidly over the past three years from 25% in 2013/4 to 14% this year – after 17% in 2017/8.

Non-African brands have consolidated their position with North American brands that are exclusively dominated by the US (28%). They lead with a growth of 17% per year and are supported by the entry or re-entry of strong brands such as Levi’s (71), Chevrolet (91) and Pepsis Miranda (80) among the 20 new additions.

European brands are up 2.5%, which is 41% of the ranking, while Asian brands are down 10% to 17% overall.

The South African telecommunications giant MTN (8) and the Nigerian conglomerate Dangote (25) have been joined by Ethiopia’s aspiring Anbessa Shoe (12), which has a 65% to 70% market share of the Ethiopian local shoe retailing top 3 brands by African consumers were called back spontaneously.

The top debut brand, Vans (35), is related to two broader fashion trends of today’s youth – sports and retro / vintage. The company is now the second-largest shoe brand behind Nike in Piper Jaffray’s “Inventory With Teenagers” survey, which found Vans to see the fastest increase in brand popularity in the study’s 15-year history.

In a diversified portfolio, technology (18%), consumers (16%), and automakers (11%) are the dominant three categories.

The sports category, dominated by traditional sports brands Nike (1), Adidas (2), Puma (6) and Fila (49), has been enlivened by global sporting events like the strategic 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia with partnerships like Puma’s partnership with Hip-hop icon Jay Z and Filas partnered with landmark celebrities Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, A $ AP and Rocky.

Marking African wealth

South Africa with five entries and Nigeria with four entries lead a declining African challenge in the top 100.

The only African new entrants / re-entrants to the top 100 are 52-year-old South African retailer Pick n Pay, who is returning to the top 100 at 84, and Jumia, Africa’s largest e-commerce company, which made a spectacular debut on the New York stock market in April, which debuts at 74.

The leading African brands Tusker (-28), Shoprite (-14) and Tiger (-15) all lost significant shares. Tiger Brands left non-core categories in Kenya and Ethiopia and focused again on South Africa. Shoprite, which owns more than 2,800 stores across Africa, saw its largest drop in earnings in 20 years due to low food inflation, stock availability challenges and currency devaluation that have hurt profitability.

Apart from Anbessa, which has risen by 11 positions in a remarkable increase since it was privatized in 2012, and Econet (+9), the remaining top 5 major African brands, MTN (-2), Dangote (-4) and Glo ( -6), all rejected.

Most admired African brands

African brands by region

When asked to rate brands without prompting, MTN, Africa’s leading wireless operator with a dominant presence in most of the 20+ markets in which it operates, is # 1 among the most admired African brands. But the company was overtaken by Dangote as the # 1 Most Admired African Brand for the second year in a row when respondents were asked to specifically name an African brand. Tanzania’s Azam, which was removed from the top 100 spontaneous list, continues to be one of the most admired African brands when asked.

While 28% of the 25 most admired African brands are (prompted) new, the top three brands Dangote, MTN and Anbessa remain unchanged.

With the increasing importance of connectivity in Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia have catapulted their respective domestic airlines Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airways into the top 25 most admired African brands.

Sought-after luxury in Africa

A growing middle class in many African markets, led by South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya in sub-Saharan Africa, has created a segment of the market with the pursuit of luxury goods.

While not every consumer can afford to shop in Johannesburg’s “Diamond Walk” wing in Sandton City, which houses luxury brand stores such as Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Prada, there is an increasing demand for authentic luxury brands and a thriving counterfeit Market.

Among the top 100 are Gucci (9), Ralph Lauren (33), Lacoste (37), Versace (42), Chanel (43), Louis Vuitton (46), Dolce & Gabbana (60), Rolex (88) and Victoria’s Secret (89) and Fendi (100) make up 10% of the 100 most admired brands in Africa.

Connecting Africans

Media and financial services were important categories in Africa’s transformation – they facilitate communication and cross-border transactions.

While the media category remains fragmented with numerous local and regional brands in all markets, the financial services category is relatively consolidated – with 64% of the 25 largest financial services brands, led by Togo’s Ecobank (1), South Africa’s FNB (2) and ABSA (3) among the Top 10, all made in Africa and Pan-Africa.

African brands by category

20% of the top 25 financial services brands that underpin the catalytic role of mobile technology in Africa are operated by cellular operators led by M-pesa, Safaricom’s standard mobile money transfer brand, and Orange Money, MTN Money, Tigo, Money and Airtel money.

To understand the overarching African media landscape, the survey focuses on media channels that cover a significant number of African markets.

Aside from South Africa’s DSTV (including GoTV, Multichoice and Supersport), the leading sub-Saharan Africa direct broadcast satellite service and the # 2 most admired African media brand, and SABC, whose strong reach is enabled by the DSTV platform, broadcast brands are not African. These include the BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera.

The list is dominated by North American (CNN and VOA), European (BBC, RFI and Canal +) and Asian (Al Jazeera) channels.


It is disappointing that, despite its dynamic business environment, Africa is not creating new competitive brands to meet the demands of its growing consumer market, which McKinsey & Co estimates at $ 400 billion by 2020.

The much-funded initiative of the African Union for a unified African air transport market, which aims to limit the ability of Africans to travel, and the African continental free trade agreement, which was presented in Kigali, Rwanda in 2018 and creates the world’s largest single free trade market of 1.2 Billions of people with a combined GDP of $ 2.5 trillion will provide African entrepreneurs with an enviable market opportunity to work together and create pan-African brands that can compete with non-African brands.

If African brands do not seize the opportunity, African brands will continue to lose preference among African consumers.

Analysis of Thebe Ikalafeng from Brand Leadership with Tshepang Makofane, Reahile Ramathesele, Thabani Khumalo and Brian Bogopa.

Brand Africa 100 ™ is a rating and ranking of the best brands in Africa. Scoring is a tiered license relief method that combines a brand’s financial performance and consumer admiration to create a unique index and ranking.

Brand Africa 100 ™ was developed by Brand Africa in partnership with Brand Finance plc, the world’s leading independent valuation consultancy, and TNS, the world’s most respected consumer knowledge and information company. The ranking is published annually by African Business Magazine.

Read Africa’s Top 100 Brands in 2020

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