By Kristy Hesom and Hannes Joubert

The event, which honours Africa’s most admired and most valued brands (both African and non-African), hosted ambassadors and brand representatives from across the continent, including industry leaders from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Namibia, South Africa, and Cameroon, to name a few. The night definitely rang true to Oliver Schmidt from Brand Finance Africa’s comment “Made in Africa. By an African. For an African.”

The awards ceremony was opened with Thabo Mbeki's “I am an African” speech, coupled with African themed images. The focus of the importance of building African brands was highlighted throughout the evening, with Ikalafeng saying: “When African brands thrive in the world, Africa thrives in the world.” And the event was evidence that many African brands are indeed thriving.

An overview on the research and sample size was also presented to the attendees. The Brand Africa survey was conducted throughout the African continent by GeoPoll, and brands taken into consideration all boasted measurable equity and a large international footprint.

The method to reach these consumers was via mobile phones, as mobile phone penetration on the African continent is on average over 65%. The respondents had to reply to a short questionnaire, which was tabulated in real time, and this made the data collection instant.

Out of the 6364 respondents across the continent, the 9545 brand mentions were yielded in this survey.

The survey represented 41% of the continent's countries, 77% (868 million) of the African population, and 77% ($1890-trillion) of Africa’s GDP.

The final score was calculated by using brand mentions. Considerations taken into account to calculate the brand value and methodology were forecasting brand revenue, and assessing the brand strength to determine the royalty rates, which concluded the Brand Valuation Calculation.

The food and entertainment also stuck to the African theme, with a three-course Afro Fusion meal, presented by South African celebrity chef, Sibahle Mtongana, and entertainment was provided by Xhosa jazz singer, Simphiwe Dana, and DRC-born singer-songwriter, TRESOR.

Top awards went to African companies, including:

Most admired brand by category
  • Financial services: Zenith Bank;
  • Food: Peak Milk;
  • Telecommunications: MTN; and
  • Textiles/Fabrics: GTP.

Most valuable brand by category
  • Financial services: Zenith Bank;
  • Telecommunications: Vodafone/Vodacom; and
  • Textiles/Fabrics: Woodin.

Most admired brand

  • Most admired brand, media, African: DSTV; and
  • Most admired brand, financial services, African: First Bank.

Most admired brand 
  • In Africa: MTN;
  • In West Africa: GLO;
  • In Southern Africa: MTN; and
  • In East Africa: Tusker.

Most admired brand
  • African: MTN.

Most valuable brand
  • African: MTN.

The Strongest Brand in Africa Award went to British-Dutch company, Unilever, and the Strongest African Brand went to MTN. 

Although the evening was all about the recognition of top brands, Brand Africa also wanted to highlight and award Emerging African Brands, and these awards went to:

  • Yswara, a South African-based tea company that specialises in artisan-made gourmet products, which aim to celebrate Africa’s diverse heritage and culture; 
  • Nigeria’s largest online shopping mall, which sells books, home appliances, mobile phones, groceries and many other products; and
  • Kisua, which means “well-dressed person” in Swahili, is an African fashion brand that showcases the continent’s design talent. Founder, Samuel Mensah, says when asked why he left investment banking for fashion, he responds; “There are a billion people in Africa. Half of them are women. I get to make half a billion women happy every day”. 

The Brand Builder of the Year went to Dangote, a Nigerian-based business conglomerate. And the Grand Prix went to MTN, and marketing head Larry Annet accepted this seventh, and final award on behalf of the company.

The newly introduced Lifetime Achievement Award went to Strive Masiyiwa, founder and executive chairperson of Econet Wireless. 

The Brand Africa 100 results will be published in African Business, on sale globally from Monday, 26 October, online at, and broadcast on CNBC Africa in an awards highlights special. 

For more information, visit Alternatively, connect with them on Twitter using the #BestBrandsAfrica and #BA100 hashtags.