Africans are sitting on vast amounts of wealth. This wealth can only be unearthed if they (Africans) grasped the concept of proper branding.
This is one of the key points emphasized during the maiden PR Over Coffee meeting in Uganda on April 22, 2016 at the Kampala Serena Hotel.
Renowned brand architect and founder of the influential Brand Leadership Group, Thebe Ikalafeng noted that while other attributes such as passion and availability of funds play a vital role in growing businesses, the most important aspect is branding.
He however cautioned that Africans ought to stop imitating if they were to succeed in this regard.
“Find what it is that you can do different, not better because better can always be bettered! Find your competitive advantage and then build on that.”
Ironically according to Ikalafeng, only 30% of the brands admired by Africans are from Africa.
“What does that imply? It means that we have to brand appropriately if we are to be appreciated, only then shall we realize our true potential as Africa,” he said.
Adding, “USA, Europe and Asia have an agenda for Africa, but Africa has no agenda for Africa. Our job as Africans is to therefore stop blaming everybody, begging and borrowing. Why are we enslaved to Aid? Aid only succeeds in breeding corrupt leaders.”
He said that the time was nigh for Africa to harness its potential as the next economic tiger.
“Europe has a history, Africa has a future. Africa is all we have; but it is everything we need. We are the future.”
Ikalafeng was the key note speaker at the inaugural PR Over Coffee event in Kampala and based his address on the topic; “Africa Inside; building businesses, brands and relationships in Africa.”
Major General Jim Muhwezi, the minister for Information and National Guidance who was the chief guest at the breakfast meeting lauded organizers of the event saying that it had amplified what government has always advocated for.
“I am pleased that the guest speaker (Thebe) said about branding. As government, we are also rebranding the way we communicate. In the last general election, we realized a communication gap and as a result people were incensed because they had been fed on lies,” he explained.
Adding, “Even my ministry is going to change very soon so as to communicate better. We shall work with the private sector in this regard.”
A brainchild of Publics Africa Communications, Public Relations Over Coffee is a pioneer information empowerment forum, created to promote and stimulate the growth of Uganda’s communication industry and clients’ brands through networking, collaboration, matchmaking and innovation in various professional fields.
Joseph Kanyamunyu, the Managing Director Publics Africa Communications and Project lead of PR Over Coffee Africa says that the purpose of these meetings is to share ideas, tips and tools that entrepreneurs need to shake up their industry, challenge ‘old hat’ practices, increase their bottom lines and have an undeniable impact on the business society in Uganda.
The meetings will be held quarterly with each tackling issues in different sectors of the economy.