Brand Africa and Sustainable Development: Evidence from the Field

Part of the Advances in African Economic, Social and Political Development book series (AAESPD)


The concept of brand Africa is floated by diverse social actors in academia, international institutions, mainstream media and social media networks, with a myriad of views on what it is being exchanged. Moreover, brands are only ‘brands’ on the condition that they generate some form of socio-cultural or economic value for distinct stakeholders, yet there is lack of clarity regarding the significance of brand Africa within a global context. At the same time, place brands are increasingly considered to be alternative models for promoting development. In view of these observations, our work seeks to define brand Africa and its role in facilitating the continent’s sustainable development from a diasporan perspective—The African diaspora is globally the largest, most visible and active social group engaging with the continent as manifest on the World Wide Web. Applying the paradigm of social construction, netnography and semi-structured interviews to address our research objectives, we discover that: (I) Brand Africa is a people-centred construct which represents notions about African citizens and what they are perceived as collectively doing locally by the diaspora; (II) Furthermore, as the ‘brand’, Africans are collectively the principal drivers of sustainable development through the private sector across the continent, and based on human capital. Our research is deemed relevant through its articulation of the interdependencies between brand Africa, private sector, human capital and sustainable development, in a pattern that locates people at the centre of the analysis, and potentially informs policy formulation and implementation for the continent’s sustainable progress.


Brand Africa Africans African diaspora Human capital Private sector development Sustainable development 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Warwick Business SchoolUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK

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