Following a detailed bidding process to choose the host city for the South Africa Brand Summit & Awards, inaugurated in Cape Town in May 2018, the City of Johannesburg and Gauteng Province have been confirmed as the joint winning destination to host the country brand summit in June 2019.
Joburg Tourism, a directorate of the City’s Department of Economic Development, will be collaborating with the Brand Summit Convenor to deliver an exceptional event in Johannesburg in June 2019. With some 500 African and international delegates expected to attend, this event will serve to shine the spotlight on Johannesburg as a preferred business events destination.
As the African continent’s most accessible hub and vibrant business location, Joburg makes sense as an appropriate destination to inspire, network and brainstorm solutions to global country branding challenges.
Aside from this, Joburg boasts fabulous infrastructure (rail, air and ground transportation and cutting-edge business and communication technology) a diverse range of accommodation and conferencing facilities, as well as fascinating tourist attractions, leisure and lifestyle options on offer for visiting delegates.
Moreover, when it comes to hosting large, high-profile international events, Joburg has an excellent track record. The City has successfully hosted a number of international congresses, exhibitions and special events over the past few decades.
The Inaugural South Africa Brand Summit in 2018
The 2018 SA Brand Summit was hosted in Cape Town by South Africa’s Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, who delivered a resounding keynote address that had local and international delegates glued to their chairs devouring every word he uttered. His address, anchored on the preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and the values enshrined therein, served as a good basis to start conversations about the potential that still resides in the country South Africa could still be. Gary Leigh, a highly respected brand specialist and Founder of Leigh’s Truth and Propaganda, also delivered a paper on the importance of country branding.
Other speakers at the inaugural summit were Professor Thuli Madonsela, former Public Protector of South Africa, Bonang Mohale, CEO of Business Leadership South Africa, Kganki Matabane, CEO of Black Business Council, Mteto Nyati, CEO of Altron, Simon Sussman, Woolworths Chairman, Neeshan Bolton of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, and other prominent leaders in corporate South Africa, media, politics, education, sports, community development, etc.
Delegates came from as far afield as Nigeria, Ghana, France, Ethiopia, Namibia, Kenya, Russia, and Switzerland, with others sending video recorded messages from Beijing, New Delhi, Budapest, Moscow, etc. Unable to travel to Cape Town on the summit days, Mavuso Msimang, respected ANC veteran and Chairman of Corruption Watch, also sent a supportive video recording that was screened to summit delegates.
“This is an exciting step for us as we further position the summit as a key independent and non-politically influenced platform to discuss the evolving country brand image of South Africa”, stated Solly Moeng, Convenor of the Summit. “Moving the event to Johannesburg is our response to a strong call from many delegates and others who missed attending the inaugural event in Cape Town. Our 2019 content will be richer and, in line with another call from delegates who attended in 2018, include a “Leaders of The Future” panel discussion that will comprise a diverse group of young South Africans with interesting ideas about the South Africa they want”. I’m particularly excited that the world renown and respected Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba, Associate Professor of Public Law & Founding Dean at the Kabarak University School of Law, Kenya, will deliver the keynote address at the 2019 summit.
Speaking for the Gauteng Province, Nonnie Kubeka, who heads-up the province’s Convention Bureau, also expressed her excitement at looking forward to seeing the SA Brand Summit come to Johannesburg. “This is important for Johannesburg and Gauteng, not just in terms of attracting delegates from around the world to our province, but also because we see the summit as a neat addition to positioning our region as a centre for new ideas development for the future South Africa. It is clear that without a strong and attractive country brand image, our country will be overtaken by others on the continent who are working hard to reduce our market share of the lucrative tourist market and FDI. We have to find innovative ways to mitigate wrong perceptions about South Africa and help nurture a climate that will generate more positive messages to grow goodwill for our country.”
Being ranked as the African continent’s most visited city since 2013 by the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, Joburg is thrilled to welcome next Brand Summit to be held at The Maslow Hotel on 6-7 June 2019.