Africans are waking to the fact that natural resources are not Africa’s only driver of growth; the African consumer is on the rise. Over the past 10 years, consumer spending across the continent has been increasing at over 16% annually, a significant number compared to GDP growth in most economies. The middle class earnings are rising fast in the continent, to average at least $10,000 a year.
Consumer spending explains the rapid rise in malls and purchase of services which wasn’t the case a decade ago. When people begin earning money, they start buying and consuming goods and services which they would otherwise have not had access to. This growth is however not uniform in all countries, but in most. The colossal expansion of mobile in Africa has, in part, enhanced the accelerated growth of the consumer services sector.
The rise in population in the continent, at over 2% annually is also another reason driving the consumer services sector. This fact is contributing positively to the growth of other sectors like manufacturing, financial services, retail, agriculture, media, healthcare among others. World Bank estimates that attractive national markets will increase in most emerging African economies like Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, DRC, Ethiopia, Tanzania among others.
To succeed in Africa in consumer services sector, players must consider such aspects as infrastructure to delivery of goods and services to the market; different cultures in the same continent with more than 54 countries complete with different legislations, consumer needs and behaviour; low purchasing power in most parts of the African continent.