Rebranding Concept

Image is how others see us. Identity is how we see ourselves. A continents image and identity (or brand) is determined by both! Africa's current image is negative. This affects Africa's identities, tourism, business, trade, diplomacy, and media coverage about Africa. 

Image and perception is perhaps Africa’s biggest hurdle. African cultures and economies have made progress over the past years in order to position themselves as the ‘second generation emerging markets’ or ‘frontier markets’. They have been dubbed the 'final investment frontier'. Brand Africa though, remains largely negative.

A national or continental brand, determines the perception and value that people hold of that culture. Branding also determines the level of respect, relationships, and esteem that citizens and non citizens will have. Africa's current brand has led to pervasive perceptions of a continent of wild jungles, wild animals, Savannahs, disease, greedy corrupt leaders, 'tribalism' cannibalism and abject poverty, leading to a pervasive perception of a continent that is not only backward, but stagnant as well. It is seen as a charity case as opposed to a continent conducive to progress, change or investment. This perception is inaccurate one-sided, and negative.

It is not the Africa that most Africans grew up in nor the Africa non-Africans have come to visit. It is not the Africa of fine wine, Amarula, big highways, malls, beaches, cell phone text craze, farmers, football lovers, sugar cane, education-seekers, multi-ethnic and fancy-car loving people that also embodies the heart of the continent. In a world of afro-pessimism, there needs to be a rejuvenated focus on how Africa is branded; how Africa projects its brand; and a shift towards re-branding Africa in a positive manner, as a continent and as individual nations, reflecting Africa in its true essence; Re-Branding Africa.

By Re-branding Africa, Africans will be able to benefit through improvements in esteem, culture, politics, travel and tourism. Individual nations will also be able to position themselves through use of a differentiation strategy. They can define to themselves, and the world, the unique values, paradoxes and attitudes that reflect their national identities

(Re)brand Africa is a blog about restoring Africa's identity and image. It is about about reclaiming the narratives on Africa by providing opinion and context to African narratives in key communication areas - tourism, foreign policy (diplomacy), domestic policy (investment), culture, people and the products of Africa that affect the continents brand. It also focuses on reclaiming the negative (and often false) representations in print media, literary, radio, online etc...and on (re)thinking the grand narratives about the continent.

The blog is an afro-optimistic approach to Africa. It focuses on re-telling the stories about Africa from an African perspective to balance out the overwhelmingly negative, inaccurate news, analysis, images and perceptions about Africa. It places Africa at the center of African narratives. It confronts popular stereotypes about the continent,  conversations people have about the continent, and portrayals of Africa in the Media.  It contributes to the growing current trend about  restoring representations of Africa.  It is not an attempt to romanticize the continent or to build roads in Africa where there are none. It is not about re-packaging the continent without the backing of substance or context. It focuses on accuracy and will make for complex, multi-faceted paradoxes about Africa. It provides alternative perspectives that encourages Africans and non-Africans alike to further investigate the nuances  and truth about the continent, its nations, and its people.


The blog categories are based on Anholt's Six Communication channels that communicate a nation or continents brand:
  1. Communication Channel - Tourism (the visitors that engage with a country)
  2. Communication Channel - Export Products and Services
  3. Communication - Channel - Foreign Policy/Public Diplomacy (politics, development, economics of the continent)
  4. Communication Channel - Investment and Immigration
  5. Communication Channel - Culture and Heritage (history, traditions, practices, religion that represents the continent)
  6. Communication Channel - People (individuals, or groups of individuals that represent the brand of the continent)