Rebranding Nigeria and Brand Ghana: A Good Idea?

As I was driving home, I came across an interesting program on BBC, Rebranding Nigeria (I'm trying to embed the program above so you can listen). The program was essentially a discussion about the initiative to rethink Nigeria in positive terms. In the journalist Henry Bonsu's own words:

Can the home of 419 internet scams, corruption and voodoo ever transmit a positive image?

Is rebranding Nigeria futile and meaningless? Even possible? Or the light beginning for a country that has just (10 years this year) resurfaced from military rule? The only way forward? You can join a similar discussion on Global Voices Online here.

What to me is the most interesting thing with this debate is that the image of Africa is finally debated, critiqued and possibly recreated - by Africans - in a more representative way. Because really, it doesn't make any sense to say 160 million people are all fraudsters.

But also, after reading about my Nigerian sister Adadze's experiences (I'm thinking of Mama Christina and Police Brutality) in her blog Two Tears in a Bucket the other day, I'm thinking our neighbor Nigeria and its people needs a change.

Of course we are slightly, slightly behind in Ghana, but we are actually also looking into branding ourselves better. Just last month, we had Simon Anhult, (selfproclaimed?) nation branding guru, come talk and then set up our own Brand Ghana office, see this article.

To be continued...


Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

this is great. I believe we all need to brand ourselves and our countries. On CNN each country is fighting to project a positive image. Turkey, Malaysia, Maldives, Germany (on DW) etc.



glad to discover your blog.

That is what has always been so exciting to me about the rebranding Nigeria 'project' - the opportunity to reclaim our legacy and story. However, the glaring missteps of the Rebrand 22 (what we call them at my Nigerian Curiosity blog) has dashed the hopes of many that were rooting for the project.

Nevertheless, as Africans, it is ultimately up to us the individuals to own who we are and portray ourselves, our nations and whatever else with stand for, in a good light. No matter where on the continent we call home/love.

Lovely blog and thanks for the info on Simon Anholt opening offices in Ghana.

Will definitely be back and I came here via Adaeze's blog.


Adaeze said...

aww you mentioned me. Thanks!

I think the effort to rebrand Nigeria is a great, and very, very, needed initiative. However the implementation is yet to take place. Just like many other things in Nigeria, it's only half way (or even quarter way) there... what is the point in rebranding if the police is going to attack you once you travel around, you know? Rebranding outside of the borders is definitely needed but at the same time they need to focus on making the country better from the bottom up aswell. I think Ghana actually has a very good image already. But of course it can always be improved, like everything else. Kajsa, I'm thinking about doing a six month program in Accra. Care to give me any insight on the university? you know my email right??

Femme Lounge said...

i think the focus for Nigerian government should be cleaning up the mess the country is in right now.

no matter how grand the re branding concept is, it will do nothing to the image of the country if the living conditions of citizens remains in rot.

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