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Developing a nation brand measurement framework for Zimbabwe.

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The study sought to develop a nation branding measurement framework for Zimbabwe. The problem is that there is no objective measure that is used to assess the strength of a country brand, and Zimbabwe is not spared in this regard. The study adopted the post-positivism philosophy whose factor or cause-driven deterministic view falls in line with the objective of this research whose thrust was to determine the critical determinants of nation branding that may be incorporated in the nation branding measurement framework for Zimbabwe. The study used a mixed-method research design which combines quantitative and qualitative methods. Probability and non-probability sampling methods were used, as well as the stratified random sampling approach. The respondents were put into three strata, being drawn from key ministries, parastatals, and stakeholders. The purposive sampling approach was used, which in this study targeted respondents who had the requisite knowledge on nation branding in Zimbabwe. The research found that the strategic issues that were needed to improve Zimbabwe are sound economic reforms, political stability, the attraction of foreign direct investment, revision of policies, infrastructural development, and good governance. The other findings revealed that the critical dimensions needed in the development of Zimbabwe’s nation branding measurement framework, included people, tourism, investment and immigration, culture and heritage, governance, and exports. It emerged that the Zimbabwe government needed to make urgent efforts to address the issue of its negative image to avoid remaining side-lined by the international financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank. Political reforms were thus viewed as being necessary for fruitful re-engagement with the UK, USA, and the EU. Another noted observation was that the people dimension was a powerful element in branding Zimbabwe. It was thus recommended that to brand Zimbabwe, the country should utilise prominent personalities in the business and academic worlds. In considering the country’s high literacy rate, the exportation of skilled professionals like medical doctors, teachers, and other tradesmen to the Southern Africa region and beyond was recommended as a rewarding strategy that can help market the country. A need to conscientise policymakers on the benefits of nation branding to a country that has a negative image was also recommended. The study concludes that Zimbabwe needs both economic and political reforms before any nation branding exercise can be done because without such reforms re-engagement with the western countries would be a futile exercise.


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.