Perceptions of South Africans Released in New Study



Kenyans and Nigerians believe South Africans should have a stronger awareness that they are part of Africa, according to a pilot study released Thursday.This was one of the strongest outcomes from the study, conducted by Brand South Africa (BSA) to assess the perceptions of South Africa and its citizens in Nigeria and Kenya, BSA said in a statement.

BSA interviewed a range of respondents, including diplomats, business people, citizens, policy makers and artists.

BSA said the study had also yielded the following outcomes:

– Respondents in Nigeria and Kenya follow South African domestic events very closely and are very well informed about South Africa

– Respondents equally view themselves as having contributed to South Africa’s freedom due to the material support the citizens of both Nigeria and Kenya contributed during the struggle against apartheid

– South Africans are viewed as liberal and open in nature and by implication South Africa was seen as welcoming and open.

“However, South Africans are also viewed as aggressive and domineering in their business relations in these countries,” BSA said.

“The respondents, particularly in Kenya, also indicated that South Africans should be more nuanced in their business entry strategy when considering expansion into Kenya.”

They felt that South African companies do not take sufficient notice of particular market conditions and the needs of the market.

“In Nigeria, however, contrary to popular view, respondents suggested that they view the management practices of South Africans very positively,” said BSA.

Nigerian respondents sought to take lessons from the way in which South African companies were run.

The study indicated that South African culture, including music and arts, was viewed very positively among respondents in Nigeria and Kenya.

“Although the first in a series, Brand South Africa’s research has indicated that South Africa and its citizens enjoy strong brand appeal and positive associations,” BSA said.

The research did have implications for bilateral citizen interactions since relations — political or social — arose from people as representatives of their various institutions.

Similar research would be conducted in Ghana later this year, BSA said.



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