African Business Magazine top brands in AfricaGeoPoll once again partnered with Brand Africa and others on the 2021 Brand Africa 100, an annual list of the top brands in Africa overall and in select key sectors. This year, the report was launched on Africa Day, as usual, and through seven virtual events in seven countries – Uganda, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, Nigeria, Morocco and Cote D’Ivoire.

Watch the launches on the Brand Africa YouTube Channel.

Now in its 11th year, Brand Africa 100 is a consumer-led survey that seeks to establish brand preferences across Africa. GeoPoll facilitated Brand Africa’s data collection through mobile-based surveys conducted in 28 countries covering all economic regions in Africa, making it the most comprehensive survey on brands in Africa.

In this article, we will highlight some of the rankings. You can access the full report in African Business Magazine here.


This research, which yielded more than 80,000 brand mentions and over 2,000 unique brands, was a collaborative effort with GeoPoll collecting the data and Kantar and Brand Leadership providing the analysis and insights.

Data was collected independently using Geopoll’s mobile survey platform, drawing a sample of more than 10,000 respondents from our own database of 250+ million respondents and other recruitment channels during the first quarter of 2021.

With the final coded data, Kantar calculated a score for each brand and created an index that took into account the sample and population sizes of each country, weighted on the gender and population of the countries covered. The brands were analyzed to ensure there were no duplications and no generic categories rather than trading brand mentions.

Most Admired Brands in Africa Overall

This year’s ranking has proven the resilience of established brands with little change at the top of our rankings, despite a tumultuous year and despite extending the survey to a larger sample of respondents. Given the coronavirus pandemic’s omnipresence, Brand Africa sought to determine its impact on the brands’ balance of power and status in the rankings. There was little change among our survey of Africa’s Most Admired Brands as US sportswear brand Nike retained its top spot. Samsung was third for the third consecutive year and Coca-Cola maintained its 4th spot.

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Most Admired Africa brands in Africa

Brands Responding to COVID-19

In 2021, due to the pandemic, a new question was added to the survey to identify the brands that Africans perceive to be the most helpful during the ongoing pandemic.

Unsurprisingly, given its global role and media presence during the pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) emerged top in the list of brands perceived to have been the most helpful during the pandemic. Governmental agencies, international bodies, and NGOs represented 20% of the brands named by respondents – organizations like WHO and Unicef, the Africa Centers for Disease Control, and USAID – while private sector companies represented 80%. South Africa’s MTN, which donated 7m Covid-19 vaccine doses to nine African countries, is the leading private sector brand at the second position in a private sector list where all multinational mobile operators in Africa made the list of the Top 25. Leading pharmaceutical groups, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, also made the list.

Most Admired African Brands

­­As usual, this year we asked respondents to name their most admired African brand. The resulting list shows a 28% change from last year, with several upstart local brands muscling their way into the Top 25. Dangote, MTN, DStv and other giants dominated the list again. The top newcomer, muscling in at position 10, is Bathu, a relatively new South African shoe brand that was formed less than five years ago.

Most Admired Africa brands

Most Admired Financial Brands

The financial services sector was again dominated by African brands, particularly from South Africa (7), Nigeria (6), and Kenya (3), who made up over 75% of the Top 25 brands. The sector was marked by adaptation to the digital era, acquisitions, and support for customers during the pandemic’s tough economic conditions. GT Bank held on to the top spot for the second year in a row after another strong financial performance and restructuring to attract digital customers. The biggest change came from Kenya’s Equity Bank which moved up 6 places following expansion in East and Central Africa.

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Most Admired Finance Brands

Most Admired Media Brands

The media category continues to reflect a bias towards non-African media which represent more than 75% of the most admired media in Africa. With coronavirus limiting entertainment options beyond the home, digital businesses including streaming services such as Netflix thrived. The rise of National Geographic (new entrant into the top list) and the maintenance of mainstay news brands such as BBC, CNN, and Al Jazeera, which are all accessible through South Africa’s DStv platform, propelled DStv to leapfrog BBC as the #1 media brand in Africa.

Africa’s story and perceptions continue to be shaped outside its borders because all other media brands in the top ten of the media category are non-African (apart from DSTV).

Most Admired media brands

Conduct Mobile Surveys in Africa

Brand Africa has been using GeoPoll’s research platform for data collection since 2015 due to the high penetration, convenience and effectiveness of mobile across Africa. Conducting interviews via mobile ensures a wider reach and expediency in conducting research across the continent than would be possible with face-to-face interviews. To learn more about GeoPoll’s coverage and capabilities in Africa, please contact us.