Brand SA hosts 6th Annual Nation Brand Forum: 4-6 Oct

This year’s Nation Brand Forum will be held from October 4 to 6 under the motto “Inclusive partnership to restore the economy and increase the country’s competitiveness.” The theme is aimed at developing cooperation between business stakeholders that contribute to the growth of the country’s economy and help position South Africa as an attractive investment destination.

The three-day event will consist of a youth symposium, additional roundtable events with various stakeholders, including the media, and open private sector plenary sessions on key drivers of trade, investment and sustainable development.

The forum will also host thematic sessions on best practices in nation branding, youth empowerment and development, and how to capitalize on the opportunities offered by the newly established African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The forum, which is being held at a time when the country’s economy is going through serious challenges, will be held at four venues in Johannesburg, namely the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Emoyeni, Constitution Hill and the Sandton Convention Centre.

“After two years of fighting the pandemic, the economy has shown signs of a strong recovery, as shown in the growth figures for the first quarter of 2022, where it grew by 1.9%. This was the second consecutive quarterly increase. It shows that it is possible to develop an inclusive economy that absorbs job seekers when the public and private sectors work together. Launched in 2016, the Nation Brand Forum (NBF) is South Africa’s premier annual brand forum created to mobilize, engage and collaborate with various stakeholders to shape a coherent agenda for a compelling nation brand image, reputation and competitiveness. The country’s robust Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP) to revive the economy places it in an enviable position as a proven and attractive destination for sustainable investment and growth opportunities,” explains Sithembile Ntambela, Acting CEO of Brand South Africa.

The 6th Nation Brand Forum will be attended by key stakeholders representing various sectors of corporate South Africa such as financial services, retail, youth entrepreneurs, FMCG, government and media. Some of the notable speakers, delegates and participants include: Colin Coleman, former Goldman Sachs partner and co-chair of the Youth Employment Service, founder of Bathu Shoes, Theo Baloyi, manager of H & M, Caroline Nelson and Tshepo Mohlala, founder of denim brand Tshepo the Jean Maker.

The forum will provide stakeholders and delegates with an opportunity to share the progress made so far in the implementation of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP) and Operation Vulindlela, a program led by the President and National Treasury to rapidly implement structural reforms in key sectors such as energy, logistics and telecommunications.

The economic recovery plan and structural reforms are aimed at stimulating South Africa’s economy to attract investment.

This year’s forum builds on the successes of the previous five years of cooperation. Over the years, the Forum has been attended by leading local and global representatives of the private and public sectors, as well as leaders such as H.E. Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of AfCFTA, Phuti Mahanyele-Dabengwa, CEO of Naspers; Dr. Stavros Nikolaou, Head of Aspen Pharmacare Group; Strive Musiyiwa, international businessman and philanthropist; and Dr. Ryan Noach, CEO of Discovery Health, to name a few.

“Overall, stakeholders will walk away from the 6th Nation Brand Forum with an understanding of how they can contribute to South Africa’s economic recovery and growth to reduce youth unemployment, stimulate entrepreneurship and increase investment,” Ntombela concludes.