Warc, 12 August 2013
CAPE TOWN: Consumer spending is rising rapidly across Sub-Saharan Africa, offering opportunities for marketers able to tap into the demand for convenience, status and well-known products, a new report has argued.
According to Euromonitor International, the research firm, consumer spending levels are set to reach $1,134 billion in the region by 2020.
This will equate to around $1,088 per person, and while that total only matches the equivalent figure recorded in China in 2005, it also represents a highly positive shift.
In the shorter term, five of the ten fastest-growing economies worldwide will be located in sub-Saharan Africa in 2013, demonstrating the scale of the opportunities for brands.
"Despite some notable challenges within the region, Africa is benefitting from its wealth of natural resources, a new era of stability, inward investment and economic development," Euromonitor argued.
"One of the biggest advantages Africa holds is its young and growing demographic profile, particularly important in the context of global ageing."
In all, 70% of the 861m people living in Sub-Saharan Africa at present are under 30 years of age, an extremely favourable balance compared with other regions.
The rapid pace of urbanisation in Africa is similarly beneficial, and is working alongside a dramatic increase in the local population, which is set to surpass 1bn people by 2019.
In keeping with other emerging markets, however, a "one-size-fits all" model is not advisable, Euromonitor warned.
"The region is complex and challenging, home to a diverse range of economies and consumer markets and strategies need to be adapted to suit local preferences," the study said.
"African consumers are diverse but key trends include a rising middle class searching for convenience, while still strongly connected to their traditional roots and the increasingly connected young African interested in brands and status."
Data sourced from Euromonitor International; additional content by Warc staff