Malawian strategic communications expert James Woods Nkhutabasa has joined a team of global experts to launch the African Brand Leadership Academy (Abla) to promote African brands by training entrepreneurs from the continent.
The Europe-based Mkhutabasa said a South African consultant Thebe Ikalafeng recently launched the initiative that has pooled together a group of expert trainers that will also strengthen entrepreneurial sustainability on the African continent.
The academy is set to offer three flagship programmes, namely the post-graduate diploma in African brand leadership, the African brand leadership executive programme and the brand leadership for entrepreneurs.
Nkhutabasa told Nyasa Times :“Data published by African Business has shown that African brands add up to only 20 percent of the brands admired by Africans.
“This must change and fast because the Covid-19 pandemic has shown more than ever the need for self-sustainability in areas of determinate importance.”
In the context of Malawi, he said the country’s economy can benefit a lot if it embraces local brands.
“We don’t really have any household brands that have transcended international borders, maybe we have household names as in personalities but those too are not at the level we want. I believe, if we priorities the development of this field by creating quality brands, we can truly transform the economy of Malawi and Africa,” he said.
Mkutabasa said they are proposing to provide the right guidance to the younger generation.
“By sharpening the younger generation’s brand leadership capability what we will be doing is investing in tomorrow’s leaders, executives and entrepreneurs. In turn, we are hoping to have a return on investment by seeing more marketable, distinctive, sustainable and competitive brands that will strengthen Africa’s commercial capabilities,” he said.
Mkutabasa said the initiative will be blending a variety of topics, creating a multi-disciplinary approach focused on traditional strategic brand leadership, intellectual property management, and go-to-market strategies with content and immersion in African conditions.
He said they shall be offering three flagship programmes: The Post Graduate Diploma in African Brand Leadership, the African Brand Leadership Executive Programme (ABLE) and the Brand Leadership for Entrepreneurs.
Mkhutabasa has also worked in the diplomatic field; The Mo Ibrahim Foundation and has consulted for numerous international entities such as Ras Al Khaimah Gas and Surestream Petroleum.
He holds a Bachelor Degree with Honours in Politics, Philosophy and History; A Master of Science in Social Policy and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Speaking on the sidelines of the launch, Ikalafeng said there is an urgent need to ensure African brands are appreciated and promoted.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :