Johannesburg, Wednesday, 24 July 2013 – During 2013 the African continent is celebrating fifty years since the creation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). The OAU, which was created in the days of African struggles for liberation from colonial rule, and its successor the African Union (AU), stand as institutional symbols of liberation, integration and development of the continent. However, the African continent has changed dramatically in the past 50 years and South Africa’s importance as a growth frontier in the global economy has also increased significantly.In the context of continued global economic uncertainty, it is necessary to interrogate the economic potential that is yet to be unleashed as a result of African regional integration. The Brand South Africa panel discussion to be held on Thursday 25 July at the Hyatt in Rosebank, with Minister Collins Chabane will be the keynote speaker; will focus on the future of African integration and the extent to which it can enhance the continent’s internal and global competitiveness.The panel discussion will share perspectives on the key opportunities, trends and issues that will shape and impact on the African integration agenda and Pan Africanism, in the next fifty years. This event will also be a platform where Brand South Africa will officially launch the South African Competitiveness Forum to take place on 5 November 2013.“Our reputation as a country is important as it affects our national competitiveness which impacts on investment, jobs, growth and conversely on our national sense of pride and social cohesion. The Brand South Africa dialogues are an important step in seeding a positive perception about South Africa with international investors and the global community at large. It is important that we engage on these important issues to share our perspective, enable trade and attract foreign direct investment” says Miller Matola, Brand South Africa CEO.Note to EditorsBrand South Africa, previously known as the International Marketing Council of South Africa, officially changed its name to best align with its mandate of building South Africa’s nation brand reputation in order to improve its global competitiveness.For more information, please contact:Maredi MogodiPublic Relations International+27 11 712 5057 Mobile: +27 (0)83 760 0970Email: [email protected] www.brandsouthafrica.comENDS.