Market Watch

Africa’s New Frontier for Market Expansion

Africa is making great strides towards becoming a profitable and growing market for global industries as a unique continent with abundant natural resources, infrastructure innovation, and untapped markets. In-depth market research has been conducted over recent years, uncovering Africa’s growing population and GDP that is developing into a desirable market for companies, corporations, and industries as a whole.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa’s real GDP is expected to increase by 3.4 percent in 2021, combatting a contraction of 2.1 in 2020. This increase in GDP will be attributed to an influx of tourism and a rebound in commodity prices. Research targeted towards smaller sub-regions within the continent would be most helpful considering Africa’s dynamic and diverse populations. Targeting specific populations with local experts in finance, banking, and manufacturing industries would yield successful and valuable research. It is crucial to conduct such research to highlight the differences between competitive markets like Europe or South America. Although it is important to highlight differences cross the globe, it is arguably just as crucial to identify the diversity within Africa, as countries like South Sudan and Tunisia still suffer from extreme poverty.

As mentioned, despite the countries’ extreme differences within the continent and some states’ incredibly developed markets like Libya, others like Somalia and Ethiopia live in completely under-developed societies. These radical differences pose prevalent challenges when conducting market research in Africa regarding combatting effective communication and technology access, infrastructure challenges, and the barrier of countless languages and cultures. Yet, as urbanization is rapidly expanding across many areas, Africa currently has one of the most diverse market structures with a rising GDP. Factors such as a large and rising youth population, growing consumer class, and new efforts to incorporate mobile technology have presented a previously undiscovered potential for a number of sectors.

There are a few effective ways to conduct relevant and efficient market research in Africa. Considering its large mass and diversity, there is a need for the focus on the global and local corporations to understand how their markets and audiences would respond. Applying a research study to the entirety of the continent will most likely yield unhelpful results. This is why narrowing audience targeting is recommended, to conduct research within smaller sub-populations. Hiring local experts is another imperative aspect regarding conducting research in Africa. Leveraging local experience and know-how can be a make or break in an operational research. This understanding is extremely valuable to the flow and results of market research throughout the entirety of the continent considering its vast differences in language, culture, compensation, and social factors.

Predictive Management is a competitive intelligence agency offering professional insight into market demand trends and how to reach such market success. Partner Jose Perez Morales says, “with Africa’s extensive supply of a diverse range of products and crops, we are interested in entering its now evolving industries such as agriculture and mining. By understanding the unique consumer behavior and attitudes in these regions, strategic market entry and long-term partnerships are easy to see along the horizon.” Further market research is necessary to understand the full scope of the African market potential for global and local corporations interested in moving into this region.

It is exciting to see countries like Nigeria, South Africa, and Angola return to economic growth over the course of this year, returning from a very difficult year following the Covid-19 pandemic. Africa is hopeful for the return and advancement of private consumption and investments as the more confidence is strengthened and exports begin to increase. Countries are eager to begin working with developed African nations as they can provide resources unlike other continents. We look forward to seeing more advancements in Africa’s market research and trade.