Report "Unpacking African Consumer"

The African economic path has been largely associated with the continent’s vast natural resources. Mining and oil companies have long been flocking to the region, setting up mines, drilling wells and shipping out its wealth to the international commodity markets. This is changing now. Whereas Zambian copper, Angolan oil and Ghanaian gold have not lost their shine and keep attracting foreign investors, the international business community has begun looking at the region from a slightly different perspective. Domestic consumption and internal markets, which in the past rarely stirred investors’ imaginations, are now becoming business hotspots, and Sub-Saharan Africa has been declared the final frontier for retailers. In the last decade, Sub-Saharan Africa has seen 4% growth in consumer spending, and according to available forecasts, this trend is not a temporary anomaly. Never before have Africans been called “consumers” on the pages of so many influential reports and official documents. 
 
The continent has seen global brands and retailers, along with small businesses and start-ups, including a growing number of firms from Central Europe, knocking on its doors on an unprecedented scale. They are all trying to tap into a potential which, for a change, is not trapped under the ground but very much above – in African consumers’ pockets. Make no mistake, the major reason for this is profit. It has been estimated that African consumer markets will inflate to nearly $1 trillion by 2020. With the African buoyant demographics and an emerging – slowly but surely – middle class, the region is poised to become many investors’ darling in the years to come.