The Case for Nation Branding as an Investment Promotion Methodology for African Nations: A Literature-Based Perspective
AbstractThis paper discusses the contribution of nation branding theory and practice to the promotion of foreign direct investment. This discussion is in particular reference to Africa as an investment location and the image challenges that individual African nations face as a result of being associated with the African brand. The paper is qualitative in nature and is based on secondary data. As a result of this review of literature, it emerged that Africa suffers from a negative image challenge and that the stereotypes that exist of Africa as a continent have a negative causal effect on FDI inflows into African economies. Significantly, this paper posits that nation branding can make a significant contribution in the image-building aspect of the investment promotion process. This paper concludes that African nations need to manage the perceptions of foreign investors by proactively managing their images before embarking on investment generation activities. This entails the establishment and management of the nation brand images of individual countries as investment destinations as the initial step in traditional investment promotion practice. However, more importantly this paper advocates for empirical research to establish a theoretical framework that links nation branding theory with image-building practice in investment promotion.
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