Monday, April 23, 2012

New African Consumer

Today in Nairobi McKinsey & Co, and TBWA released a report on The New African Consumer. It’s one that trends towards rapid urban driven growth with people having with more discretionary spending power,  and one not based on resources. The top states with the highest consumption per capita, and accounting for 75% of all of Africa are SA Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, Algeria, Sudan, Tunisia Libya Ethiopia and Kenya. Crucially most of the growth (80%) will come from people who earn more than $10,000 per month.

It’s a useful road map for companies looking to understand future trends in Africa and offer lessons such as be online (Africa had more Google ad clicks than Western Europe), brands & quality matter, distribution is king, data is scare, respect country differences & act local, prepare for talent shortage, and expect to iterate (have dynamic execution).
The report should lead to a bigger debate, one based on future sustainable economic trends. The same report points out that more babies were born in  Nigeria than all of western Europe. So more studies need to be done in that regards to answer where will the increased African population work? Where will they learn and get medical care? Who will build houses for them? How will they commute? Who will grow food for them as more will reside in large urban centres? Will they be able to cross-borders in such of improvement in any of these challenges? That’s the next set of questions & opportunities to balance out with the insightful trends in this report.

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