Brand Summit South Africa is excited to announce that 1-5 June 2020 has been dubbed “Brand Summit Week” in Cape Town, launching a pan-African theme in response to calls to expand the strategic reach of the event to embrace the entire African continent from 2020 onwards. The Brand Summit week, or Brand Summit Africa, will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) and compromise thematic excursions, a media tour, business meetings, themed Master Classes, and culminate in the core two-day summit.
Brand Summit Africa 2020 Convenor, Solly Moeng, explains that the launch of the 2020 Brand Summit Africa, themed: ‘Recapturing the South African Narrative; Interrogating Africa’s Brand Potential’ will look at things that shape and feed perceptions about Africa and being African, around the continent and internationally, with the role of education central to the 2020 discussions.
Business, community and political leaders, as well as industry players in the ‘food value chain’ space; PR and communication practitioners (government, corporate, NGO sectors); destination marketers; reputation management experts and media are urged to attend, with the agenda set to cover:
- Two thematic delegate tours into the 2020 host region (Cape Town and the region) and a dedicated media tour. These visits aim to expose delegates, including media, to Cape Town and the region, with emphasis on winning methods, use of technology, key exports and key influencers in the agrarian economy/sector.
- A PRISA (The Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa) Master Class on Country Communications
- A Reputation Matters interactive presentation on reputation management
- A TVET (Technical, Vocational, Education & Training) Model’s Master Class on “Education for Sustainable Livelihood” – to be led by Education Experts from Finland and Portugal
- Business meetings
- A gathering of Women Influence Community Forum Global, and
- Two core summit days (4-5 June)
“In our discussions this year, it was confirmed that perceptions do matter. In the case of SA, many people ask questions today that never used to be asked before when people considered coming here for various reasons. Recent xenophobic attacks on foreign African nationals have certainly exacerbated this. The result: fear by foreign students to come and study here; uncertainty about the wisdom of investing funds here (a further looming ratings downgrade?); and economic and political policy uncertainty – none of which are helpful,” says Moeng. “The next step for us is to draw attention to these things in media coverage and incorporate them in our reports in order to bring them to the attention of policy makers, with the hope that they will be taken into account when it comes to future policy making and conduct by leaders in politics and business.”
Expected speakers at the 2020 event include:
- Well-known Kenyan pan-Africanist, Professor Patrick Loch Otieno (PLO) Lumumba
- Professor Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba will deliver the keynote address
- Bennie Van Rooy (CEO of Grobank) – RSA
- Professor Thuli Madonsela (former Public Protector) – RSA
- Terry Booysen (CEO of the Corporate Governance Framework) – RSA
- Mickael Missakabo (Education Expert) – Canada
- Mervi Jansson (Education Expert) – Finland
- Jon-Hans Coetzee (Education Expert) – Portugal
- Professor Jonathan Jansen (Education Expert) – RSA
- Rob Davidson (MD: MICE Knowledge) – UK
- Maxim Behar (President: Davos, Switzerland-based World Communication Forum Association) – Bulgaria
- Yanina Dubeykovskaya (Founder: Women’s Influence) – Russia
- Marcellin Zounmenou (UN Economic Commission-Africa) – Benin
- Sandile Zungu (President: Black Business Council) – RSA
- Busisiwe Mavuso (CEO: Business Leadership SA) – RSA
- Sipho Pityana (Business Unity South Africa) – RSA
- John Schooling (Partner: Stag African) – RSA
- Clare Dewhirst (City Nation Place Global) – UK
Some of the key themes of the summit will include the impact of politics on country perceptions, community issues, African perspectives in terms of how SA is perceived in the rest of the African continent and how it compares to other key countries on the continent, global perspectives in terms of how SA and the rest of Africa are seen from other parts of the world and how they compare to other countries and regions in terms of positioning and attractiveness, and
the 2020 thematic spotlight will be on the food value chain space and education, specifically:
- The food value chain space. Africa remains a net importer of food crops yet it has all the basics it needs to become a net exporter. Brand Summit week will address questions such as;
- Where are we getting it wrong?
- Who are the key sector players, from established and emerging farmers, to government bodies, agro-processors, retailers, transporters, industry associations, etc., and what role should they be playing?
- Agriculture contributes handsomely to the economy of the Western Cape, our 2020 host region. What more should provincial, national, and continental policy-makers be doing to enhance the economic impact of this sector?
- What should Africa be doing to turn its status around from net importer to net exporter of food crops?
- Education, also with a focus on the agrarian sector; needed skills and tertiary providers of such skills; what are the key challenges?
Insight into the core topics on the agenda for Brand Summit Africa 2020
According to US Government figures (www.export.gov), South Africa’s agricultural sector comprised around 10% of the country’s total export earnings in 2018, a value of $11.1 billion. “Our extremely diversified market includes all the major grains but rice; most vegetables; deciduous and subtropical fruits; oilseeds; sugar; citrus and wine,” says Grobank CEO Benny van Rooy.
Van Rooy adds that the World Economic Forum (WEF) has long noted what keeps Africa from being able to export food crops to the extent that this would be meaningfully profitable: “Firstly, climate change as a factor negatively impacting farmers in sub-Saharan Africa is a reality that has seen a decrease in cereal production, and mitigation requires both education and financing. Furthermore, infrastructure development is essential to increase the export capacity on the continent,” he says.
Emerging farmers – and probably established farmers too – must be able to access the technology that is fast becoming a key to the successful planting, monitoring and selling of crops. “This requires education, both from the agritech manufacturers and from bodies that seek to assist the smaller farmer,” says van Rooy, adding that without internet access, rural farmers need personal attention in these areas and that, in respect of this education and training, public-private partnerships may be the answer.
Access to financing
Securing finance for land and operations is another area that presents a challenge for farmers across all economic sectors. “Grobank, for example, partners with farmers, where possible, to provide a relationship manager who will structure solutions to meet a need and assist those in the agricultural sector to reach their goals,” says van Rooy.
Unfortunately, securing land is a key factor to improving the success of farmers and their opportunity to export, but small-scale farmers are not necessarily landowners, which limits their ability to provide security – in the form of land – to financiers. “Strategic partnerships between private and public sector organisations have to be developed to enhance the production capacity of small-scale farmers, and we are actively seeking solutions to these challenges,” he explains.
Even with the country’s $11.1-billion in export earnings last year, $7.7 billion in agricultural and food products were imported in 2018 and 2017. Imports included, in order of cost: rice, wheat, chicken cuts and offal, palm oil, corn, whiskies and soybean meal.
“Industry associations across the agri sector understand the vital and growing need for attention to food security,” van Rooy says. “The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, the continent’s largest trade agreement that came into effect on 30 May 2019, could boost South Africa’s exports significantly, but the effective monitoring of enforcement of rules has traditionally posed problems.”
Van Rooy asserts that infrastructural limitations and border delays increase logistics costs, so effective and meaningful remedies must be sought – possibly by finance houses, agricultural bodies and others with a vested interest in growing African exports.
Don’t miss the opportunity to attend this event, where further insights will be shared and discussed with the aim to improve perceptions about South Africa and Africa!
As previously established in 2018 and 2019, there will be an awards event in 2020 acknowledging the African brands that generate positivity in and about Africa. Nominations are open! Feel free to nominate a person, NGO, company, or even a government entity, from anywhere in Africa, whose contribution aims to build Africa’s image.
- Additional information on the 2020 brand summit
- Delegate registration
- Award nominations, and
- Sponsorship opportunities
Telephone number: 021 671 4356