MTN leads on “Africa’s Most Valuable Brand” latest ranking

By Joseph Ekeng

MTN, the telecoms giant, has secured the top spot as Africa’s most valuable brand for the fourth consecutive year, according to the recently released Brand Finance Africa 200 2023 brand ranking. With its brand value increasing by 8% to $4.4 billion, MTN has seen steady growth and now boasts a brand value that is nearly double that of the second most valuable brand, Vodacom, whose value increased by 16% to $2.3 billion.

South Africa has emerged as the powerhouse of African brands, with over half of the brands in the ranking and a staggering 75% ($40.8 billion) of the total brand value attributed to the country. This dominant position showcases the strength and resilience of South African brands, highlighting their influential role in shaping the African business landscape, according to Jeremy Sampson, Chairman of Africa at Brand Finance. However, Sampson also emphasizes the significant contribution of African brands outside South Africa, which continue to witness growth and add diversity to the continent’s economic fabric.

Safaricom, the Kenyan telecommunications company, has secured its position as the most valuable brand from outside South Africa in the ranking. With a brand value increase of 14% to $710 million, Safaricom has achieved remarkable revenue growth and expanded its operations in Ethiopia. Safaricom Ethiopia has already penetrated approximately 10% of the population, indicating strong customer demand for its services in the region. The company aims to replicate the success of its Kenyan operation within 10 years.

Pick n Pay, a retail brand, not only saw its brand value rise by 30% to R13.5 billion but also emerged as the strongest African brand with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 94 out of 100 and an AAA+ rating. The retail sector boasted five of the nine African brands that achieved the elite AAA+ rating, a remarkable feat when compared to the global ranking of the world’s top 500 most valuable and strongest brands.

Egyptian brand Aman experienced the fastest growth among African brands, skyrocketing by 244% year-on-year to $54 million. The Fintech brand expanded its offerings to include microfinance, consumer finance, small and medium-sized enterprises finance, e-payments, and a new savings service called ‘AMAN Day-by-Day.’ These enhancements led to increased revenue forecasts and a 17-point increase in the Brand Strength Index, contributing to the exponential growth of Aman’s brand value.

The African banking sector has displayed a strong recovery in terms of brand value growth in 2023, following the challenges of the pandemic. With five banking brands in the top 10 of the ranking, the sector represents 26% of the total brand value in the Africa 200 ranking. Leading the way for Nigerian brands is Access Bank, ranked at number 35, followed closely by Zenith Bank at 36. UBA and GT Bank secured positions 46 and 49, respectively, further cementing Nigeria’s presence in the banking sector.

The telecoms sector, comprising 23 brands, follows closely behind banking with a combined brand value of $11 billion. These telecoms brands have played a crucial role in connecting people across the continent and have witnessed considerable growth despite the challenging operating conditions.

Beyond banking and telecoms, various sectors have demonstrated their resilience and growth. The retail sector, represented by Pick n Pay’s strong performance, has shown remarkable progress, with five African brands achieving the elite AAA+ rating. This achievement highlights the retail sector’s commitment to investment, stakeholder equity, and overall business performance.


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