From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Marketing & Media - The Re-Branding of Sierra Leone
Jan 16, 2012, 14:32

As Sierra Leone struggles to shake off the legacy of its past and promote the enormous strides taken in recent years. Rwanda enjoys a reputation as one of Africa’s least corrupt and most business friendly countries, President Kagame’s intention is to move from an aid to trade based economy. His nation seen as a model for progress and standing out for political and economic stability, safety, minimal corruption and openness in the private sector. In contrast, recent headlines on Sierra Leone however have highlighted political violence, timber scandals, corruption investigations and drug smuggling.


In Rwanda’s resurgence, the country’s brand Strategy was the key to enable the country to manage its future, stimulate enterprise, strengthen unity and let the world know what was happening. In this way, a country-branding specialist- Acanchi, who had previously helped the Dominican Republic, Mauritius, Hong Kong and Lebanon in developing their brand identities, assisted the country.



After doing, an in-depth research and consultation process Acanchi then developed the brand ‘Enduring Spirit’, an inspirational distillation of the spirit of the people, place and history. An umbrella strategy tailored by groups in Rwanda and around the world, its citizens, the Diaspora, returnees, investors, tourists with public opinion formers. In March 2010, stakeholders launched Brand Rwanda across the public and private spectrum, with leaders trained as Brand Ambassadors, a nationwide workshop kick-started in buying and rolling-out Rwanda’s resulting international perception. This bears testament to the strategy’s success.


In November 2011, Acanchi’s Chairman, Fiona Gilmore, visited Freetown to offer her expert advice. Believing the time is ripe for Sierra Leone to change its image, she noted, ‘The potential is clear. Successive governments have created a fertile environment for investors, which are paying dividends. Sierra Leone is poised to become one of Africa’s best investment destinations. I am excited at what I have seen and Acanchi looks forward to returning to help Sierra Leone achieve this goal’.


Sheka Forna, CEO of Elixir Marketing & Media, Ms. Gilmore hosts, added, “Rwanda, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Cambodia & Vietnam have all successfully shaken of the ghosts of their past. What about Sierra Leone?”

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