Local and international leaders to confront Africa’s challenges and develop collective solutions


The list of local and international leaders attending this year’s second annual Brand Africa FORUM™ is growing. Esteemed individuals such as Ajai Chowdhry, chairman of HCL (India); Dr. Vijay Mahajan, author of Africa Rising; Amadou Mahtar Ba, CEO of the African Media Initiative (Kenya); Dr. Namanga Ngongi, president of AGRA (Kenya); Prof. Richard Mkandawire, NEPAD; Dr. Joseph Samuel Annan, deputy minister of Trade & Investment (Ghana); Geoffrey Qhena, chief executive officer of IDC (SA); Malik Fal, managing director of Endeavour (SA); and Alex Okosi, senior vice president and managing director of MTV Networks Africa, along with many others, will participate at the Forum.

Hosted by Brand South Africa, and Brand Leadership Academy, the Forum will take place on Thursday, 29 September at Johannesburg’s Sandton Convention Centre and will tackle key issues affecting Africa’s growth, reputation, competitiveness.

This provides a unique opportunity for pan African decision makers in media, business, nation branding and civil society to interact and engage with topics and opportunities that are catalytic to the future of Africa as well as explore lessons from emerging markets such as India.

Accomplished broadcaster, Tumi Makgabo will facilitate the programme which will kick off with an opening address from Anitha Soni, Brand South Africa.

Keynote addresses will anchor each of the four panels which will focus on governance and sustainability and how to enable policies that will foster growth and development; the role of business in shaping our economic future; youth and their vision for Africa; and the significance of BRICS and lessons for South Africa and Africa.

An outline of the programme:

Please visit www.brandafrica.net for the detailed programme and profiles of the speakers

Item Individual(s) Timing
Opening Address Anitha Soni, chairman, Brand South Africa 08:30 – 08:45
Keynote Address Dr. Vijay Mahajan, author, “Africa Rising” 08:45 -09:15
Governance  & Sustainability
Enabling policies
Dr. Namanga Ngongi; Geoffrey Qhena; Prof. Keith Dinnie and others

Chair: Dr. Jackie Chimhanzi, Africa Lead, Deloitte

09:15 – 10:45


Business Panel Keynote  Dr. Dambisa Moyo, author & economist  11:00 – 11:30
Business Panel
Role of Business
Dr. Reuel Khoza; Rakesh Wahi; Nigel Hollis and others

Chair: Prof. Nick Binedell, founding director of GIBS

 11:30- 13:00
Africa Vision 2020

Africa 2.0:  Kenya Report

Malik Fal 14:00 – 14:15
Youth Panel Keynote

Re-Imagining Africa

Alex Okosi 14:15 – 14:30
Youth Panel

Youth Vision for Africa

Gertude Kitongo (Bright Young Minds Kenya), Erik de Ridder (One Young World SA) and others

Chair: Alex Okosi

14:30 – 15:30
BRICS Keynote

Contextualise BRICS and regional integration

Dr. Arthur Mutambara, Deputy Prime Minister: Republic of Zimbabwe 15:30 – 16:00

Lessons for SA/Africa

Ajai Chowdhry; Vijay Mahajan and other

Chair: Abdullah Verachia, director, Frontier Advisory

16:00 – 17:30
Brand Africa 100™ Awards Thebe Ikalafeng, David Haigh, founder & CEO of Brand Finance and Kim MacIlwane, CEO Africa Middle East, TNS Research Surveys 17:30 – 18:30


About the brand africa™ initiative

Brand Africa™ is an independent pan-African brand-centric initiative for African leaders, decision makers, citizens and influencers to shape the agenda and change perceptions of Africa by proactively driving Africa’s image, reputation and competitiveness in the continent and in the world.

Brand Africa™ aims to create and facilitate opportunities and platforms to share insights, thought-leadership and best practises in shaping the growth, reputation and competitiveness of sovereign nation brands and, ultimately, the collective African brand. Brand Africa™ is an African initiative for Africa, by Africans and supporters of Africa.www.brandafrica.net

About Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa was established in August 2002 to help create a positive and compelling consolidated brand image for Brand South Africa.

There are many benefits to having a consolidated brand image, with the most important being that a consistent Brand South Africa message creates strategic advantages in terms of trade and tourism for the country in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

The primary mandate of Brand SA is to build South Africa’s nation brand reputation in order to improve SA’s global competitiveness.

  • To develop and articulate the Value Proposition and positioning that will drive the long – term reputation of Brand South Africa.
  • To build pride and patriotism amongst South Africans with the aim of uniting the nation by encouraging all South Africans to live the Nation Brand, and in so doing, define a South Africanness.
  • The ultimate aim is to increase South Africa’s global competitiveness by developing symbiotic partnerships with all stakeholders (government, business, labour and civil society) who deliver on (and are able to leverage) the nation brand and aligning them to enhance South Africa’s reputation. www.imc.org.za


About Brand Leadership Academy

The Brand Leadership Academy, a division of Africa’s leading brand development, media engagement firm, The Brand Leadership Group. The Brand Leadership Academy provides brad-driven, customer centric leadership development.

Brand Leadership Academy works with distinguished globally respected scholars, decision makers thought leaders to inspire and empower established and emerging leaders with cross disciplinary, world class insights that help them build great brands in Africa and the world.

Brand Leadership Academy™ is the founder of the Brand Africa and Public Sector Excellence™ initiatives. www.brandleadershipacademy.org

About Ajai Chowdhry

Mr. Ajai Chowdhry, one of the six founder members of HCL began an exciting journey three decades ago with a dream to give India its very own microcomputer. The sheer clarity of vision and hard work led to a revolution and laid the foundation for the Indian IT industry, taking India to the league of major economies of the world.

Mr. Chowdhry led the foundation of HCL’s overseas operations, starting with Singapore in the 1980s to extensively covering the other South Asian Markets including Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and the People’s Republic of China, expanding business operations. HCL, India’s original IT garage start-up founded in 1976, today is an US$ 6bn global enterprise and Mr. Ajai Chowdhry has been a key force in driving the growth of HCL.

He has received numerous awards including the prestigious Padma Bhushan, one of the highest civilian honours, as recognition of his consistent contribution in building the IT industry of the nation.

In recognition of his key role in championing the cause of the domestic Indian IT market and relentless efforts towards the cause of electronics in India, Mr.

Ajai Chowdhry has been awarded the ‘Electronics Man of the year by ELCINA-EFY for the year 2010’. He has also been conferred the Honoris Causa Doctorate of Science (D. Sc.) in the year 2010 by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee for his thought leadership for the development of an unmatched ecosystem for IT products, computer hardware and software domain in the country.

About professor Vijay Mahajan

Vijay Mahajan holds the John P. Harbin Centennial Chair in Business at McCombs School of Business, University at Austin.

He has received numerous lifetime achievement awards including the American Marketing Association (AMA) Charles Coolidge Parlin Award for visionary leadership in scientific marketing. The

AMA also instituted the Vijay Mahajan Award in 2000 for career contributions to marketing strategy. In 2006, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur) for his contributions to management research.

He served as dean of the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad from 2002-2004. Mahajan is author or editor of ten books including his recent book Africa Rising published by the Wharton School Publishing in 2009. His last book on market opportunities in developing countries (also published by the Wharton School Publishing),The 86% solution, received the 2007 ‘’Book- of –year’’ Award

(Berry AMA)from the American Marketing Association. He is one of the World’s most widely cited researches in business and economics and has been invited by more than 100 universities and research institutions worldwide for research presentations. He edited the journal of Marketing Research, and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and delivered executive   development programs worldwide.

Vijay is also author of Africa Rising. In Africa Rising, Vijay reveals this remarkable marketplace in all its richness and complexity, and helps companies understand the massive opportunities it presents.

He tells the stories that western executives and managers rarely hear: stories of African entrepreneurs, executives, and enterprises that are identifying powerful market opportunities and capatalizing on them. He teaches the lessons that Africa’s successful and failing ventures have learned about succeeding on the continent …. He uncovers what may be your largest untapped growth opportunity.

Mahajan received a B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur, his M.S. in Chemical Engineering and Ph.D in Management from the University of Texas at Austin.


Issued by:
Lebo Mahlaela
Meropa Communications
Contact: +27 11 506 7300