This month we put a spotlight on South Africa as part of our new series intended to share as much information about an African country as we can possible find. This monthly series will include in-depth interviews from place branders from across Africa. The idea being that in sharing, we can all learn something new, relearn something or reimagine place branding in Africa.

South Africa is a country of 60 million people, a rainbow of independent humanists, concerned citizens, uncritical loyalties, celebrators of achievements, positive enablers, accountability advocates, cautious optimists, activist supporters, supporters of heritage and proud democrats.

Brand South Africa manages the nation brand. It’s aim is to ” make an indirect contribution to economic growth, job creation, poverty alleviation and social cohesion by encouraging local and foreign investment, tourism and trade through the promotion of Brand South Africa.”

Brand South Africa delivers its mandate on the concept of the ‘Nation Brand’ being ‘essentially a composite construct that aims to present a coherent image and country message to domestic and international audiences.’ This image and country messaging delivers the reputation of the nation brand and is based on the six elements of the Nation Brand Hexagon: Investment, Governance, People, Culture, Tourism and Exports. You can also check out Bloom Consulting’s Nation Brand/Place Brand Pentagon.

It is great to note that Brand South Africa shares the conviction that the reputation of a nation depends on much more than government activity, policy or leadership. They go ahead to state that ‘a nation brand encompasses all the attributes, strengths and innovation- that a nation offers the world, in all its spheres of activity (business, arts, tourism, science and innovation, infrastructure, manufacturing and governance).’ This brings into focus the centrality of citizens, businesses, universities, civil society and government institutions in delivering the DNA of South Africa and as core stakeholders in the delivery of the nation brand strategy.

South Africa as a brand is a promise and shared idea that is unique, with a distinctive character, personality and identity that is special. We hope that by spotlighting South Africa you will learn something about Nation Branding and you will share your thoughts to help us learn from your experiences.

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