African brands are at an all-time low in the “Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands” survey.

In fact, non-African brands account for a massive 87% of the top 100 brands in Africa, with home-grown brands making up just 13%.

American sports and fitness giant, Nike takes the top spot for the third year in a row.

MTN and Dangote are the most admired African brands recalled spontaneously and when prompted, respectively.

Nigeria’s GT Bank returns to the top spot in financial services and the UK BBC retains its media category ranking as the most admired media brand in separate category sub-surveys of the most admired financial services and media brands in Africa.

Established 10 years ago to coincide with the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands survey and rankings seek to establish brand preferences across Africa. The survey is conducted among a representative sample of respondents 18 years and older, in 27 countries which collectively represent 50% of the continent, covering all economic regions and accounting for an estimated 80% of the population and the GDP of Africa. The 2020 survey was conducted between February and April 2020 and yielded over 15 000 brand mentions and more than 2 000 unique brands.

Out of the top 100 brands in 2010/11, only half still appear in this year’s list due to mergers, acquisitions and the obsolescence of many brands.

The most prominent changes are in the technology category with the demise Blackberry (32 in 2010/11), the consolidation of Vodafone (54 in 2010/11 and now 13 in 2020) which acquired Vodacom in 2008 and rebranded in 2011, Etisalat (40 in 2010/11) rebranding to 9 Mobile in 2017 and Motorola (39) being acquired by Lenovo in 2014. Chinese brand, Tecno, has raced up the ranking from 33 to 5 in the rankings – a dominant performance for one of China’s premier global brands that’s not even sold in China.

Computer/electronics (15%), consumer (non-cyclical) (14%), luxury (10%), auto manufacturers (10%), and apparel (8%) make up the top five categories.

In the sub-survey focused on financial services, GTBank re-claimed the top spot after falling out of the top five in 2019.

This year’s rankings included a strong presence of payment service brands PayPal, Western Union and Visa, as digitisation and digital-led economies are expected to accelerate more acutely because of the pandemic.

“It’s concerning that in the 10 years since the triumphant FIFA World Cup in South Africa which globally highlighted the promise and capability of Africa, and despite the vibrant entrepreneurial environment, Africa is not creating more competitive brands to meet the needs of its growing consumer market,” says Thebe Ikalafeng, founder and chairman of Brand Africa and Brand Leadership.

“African brands have an important role in helping to build the image, competitiveness and transforming the continent’s promise into a real change.”

Caitlin van Niekerk, global client development manager at GeoPoll, adds: “The reach and accessibility of mobile across the continent enabled us to survey respondents across a representative sample of countries quickly and effectively, giving us vital and timeous results at a critical time.”