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Safaricom does it again

KAMPALA, November 29 – Safaricom has been voted by business leaders in the region as East Africa’s most respected company, for the second year running.

Safaricom beat Kenya Airways and Zain, which came in second and third respectively, by being the strongest brand with high market presence, product innovation and expansion into new markets.

These were the key drivers for respect in this year’s survey – driven by PricewaterhouseCoopers – and as a result companies that manage and own brands firmly rooted in the region emerged as most respected in East Africa.

This year’s theme was “Growth in a changing market”, and most of the CEOs attached greatest importance to Brand and Corporate reputation as well as adaptability to change as key in driving their business growth.

Charles Muchene, Survey Director and Country Leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers Kenya said: “The program has over the years held a mirror up to the development of our economies with winners often from currently successful and dominant market players, reflecting the growth and opportunity in the industry.”

With the continued diversification of businesses across East Africa, this year’s survey did away with the industry-specific awards but retained the most respected companies’ award in each country and across East Africa. There were seven awards in total, one per country and the overall East Africa awards.

In the country specific awards, Safaricom emerged most respected in Kenya, followed by Kenya Airways. Equity emerged third in Kenya and was the only financial services firm to be nominated among the top three country awards in East Africa.

MTN was Uganda’s most respected companies followed by Mukwano group of companies and Zain Uganda, while Precision Air was voted the most respected company in Tanzania. IPP Media, the only media firm to be nominated across the region was second and Vodacom Tanzania third.

Rwanda, which was included for the first time in the survey reflected similar trends with the other East African companies, with the telecommunication sector dominating the top position. MTN emerged as most respected, Bralirwa Breweries second and Serena Hotel third.

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“The inclusion of Rwanda into the East African community and the growing realisation that we can achieve more as a block will stand us in good stead in what is clearly a dynamic marketplace. The current global economic crisis presents the emerging markets with an opportunity to depend on and collaborate more with each other, reducing the traditional dependency on the developed markets,” said Linus Gitahi, Group CEO Nation Media Group.

The findings for this year’s survey – now in its ninth year – were announced at a colourful fete at the Serena Hotel in Kampala, attended by the region’s top CEOs.

This year’s awards also included a round table session where the CEOs deliberated the survey findings as well as several issues that they were facing across the region.

The CEOs most respect company survey is a peer to peer review among company executives and business leaders across East Africa, where they are asked to vote for the companies they most respect in the region and in each of the four countries.

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