S/Africa, Nigeria not in economic competition —- Masina

Posted: August 27, 2014 in general

brand south africaSouth Africa’s Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Mzwandile Masina has assured that Nigeria remains a partner for economic growth on the continent of Africa and not competition. Masina further disclosed that economic policies evolved by South Africa in recent times were all geared toward creating wealth for nationals of both countries and by extension growing the continent’s economy.

The minister was speaking during a media briefing which followed the just-concluded Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce (NSACC) August 2014 breakfast meeting which held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, Thursday.

“The issue we are raising is not that of a trade competition between Nigeria and South Africa. We know that there is a trade imbalance between both countries favouring Nigeria but we are not worried about that. Nigeria and South Africa are not competitors but partners. This meeting is essentially geared towards exploring our historical relationship which dates back to the Apartheid era, the perceptions, the Bi-National Commission, these are issues we are reflecting on and which we feel if we address stands to benefit both countries, by creating jobs and wealth for our nationals and to some extent also improving the African economy.

“We are opening up our economy in South Africa and so we are inviting Nigerian companies to come and invest in South Africa. We on our part also call on our own individuals and corporate organizations to invest in Nigeria,” the minister said.

The Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting is a monthly event which brings together individuals and corporate organizations with vested business interest in both Nigeria and the South African economies.

The theme for the August 2014 NSACC event which is sponsored by Brand South Africa is ‘Africa’s Competitiveness – Nigeria/South Africa, Cooperation or Competition’.

On his part, Mr. Miller Matola, the Brand South Africa Chief Executive Officer disclosed that his agency responsible for creating positive and compelling brand image for South Africa has identified Nigeria market as a key focus for its Africa programme.

According to Matola, the choice of Nigeria along-with Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya and Senegal as key markets is informed by South Africa’s foreign policy, both political and economic diplomacy as well as trade and investment imperatives.

Matola mentioned the importance of the South Africa nation brand viz-a-viz the promotion of the African brand in view of developing the continent as a whole and competing at par with international standards.

“Brand South Africa pursues its Africa Programme with an emphasis on promoting the South Africa nation brand as part of the continent brand, ‘Brand Africa’; therefore Africa’s reputation and competitiveness is central to that agenda,” Matola stated.

He therefore challenged the organized African business and corporate brands to invest in changing the perception of Africa from negativity to positivity.

The Brand South Africa CEO said: “There is no doubt about the power of commercial brands to convey the overall brand of their country of origin – be it innovation, excellence or quality – which will result in investment in changing the narrative about how Africa as a continent is perceived.”

Matola stressed the importance of the African nations having in-depth working and friendly relationships drawing conclusions from the 2013/14 Project Thrive Study on the familiarity of Nigerians with South Africa.

The study indicated that the average familiarity rate about South Africa amongst Nigerians stands at 46 per cent and only 18 per cent of the sample has a high knowledge base of South Africa.

He further advised that it has become imperative for each African nation to reflect a collective unity of the continent in order to improve the perceptions of Africans and Africa as a whole.

Mzwandile Masina, South Africa Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry was part of the Brand South Africa delegation to the breakfast meeting.

Also commenting, Ambassador Sonni Yusuf, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to South Africa, described the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting as a continuing platform ‘whereby we encourage all stakeholders to explore channels on partnering to grow the economies of both Nigeria and South Africa.’

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

The primary objective of Brand South Africa is to develop and implement a pro-active marketing and communication strategy for South Africa, and to promote South Africa.

The event also attracted Ambassador Mokgethi Monaisa, the South Africa Consular General in Lagos.

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