BRAND Africa has named South Africa the most valuable "African Nation Brand" for a second year in a row.

The award is derived from Brand Finance's Global Nations Brand League, which covers a global sample of 138 nations, including 36 in Africa.

Brand Africa is an independent pan-African initiative that aims to promote the continent's growth, reputation and competitiveness around the world. Brand Finance is a brand valuation consultancy.

"The Global Nations Brand League is based on Brand Finance's analysis of the impact that a country's reputation and image have on foreign consumers and investors. It combines economic, demographic and political factors and is based on research by Brand Finance's global network of offices," Brand Africa said.

The company said the research also focused on how nations generated value for consumers and investors, and what the year-on-year change in such value was.

"It also provides an opinion on the value of the strongest and most valuable brands in the world. The league table is critical to fully understanding the value drivers of a country and how these drivers affect the nation's brand," Brand Africa said in a statement.

Egypt is in second place this year, with Nigeria, Morocco, Algeria, Angola, Tunisia, Kenya, Ghana and Ethiopia completing the top 10.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, said brand reputation had become a crucial differentiator in a world of increased competition.

"Economic wealth hangs on fine distinctions between commercial offers," he said. "Branding can be found at the company, product and endorsement level. One of the national brand endorsements is country of origin. There is no doubt that strong country branding can add billions to national wealth by supporting commercial brands in a hyper-competitive world."

Thebe Ikalafeng, founder and chairman of Brand Africa, said half of the world's fastest-growing economies were in Africa, paving the way for the continent to develop from a net importer of goods and services to being a self-sufficient, contributing member of the world economy.

"Underpinning the growth of Africa is an enabling environment that's being creating by its diverse and positively evolving nations," Mr Ikalafeng said.

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