African Markets and Consumers

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For centuries, Africa has been considered almost exclusively as a commodity-export region. From early in the Middle Ages, Arab traders were sourcing kola nuts, gold and ivory tusks across the Sahara Desert. Still today, most of the African trade focuses on the export of oil, minerals and raw agricultural products (like cocoa, coffee or tea) and is controlled by non-non-African multinationals. However, the last decades saw several changes in foreign companies? attitude toward Africa: Western and Asian corporations seem to be focusing on Africa´s potential as a consumption market, mimicking the success of some indigenous players.
Bibliographic citation: BERWART, A., LAGO A., A. (2020). African Markets and Consumers. IESE, PN-509-E.
Date: 01/11/2020
Author(s): Antoine Berwart; Alejandro Lago
Document type: Technical Note
Department: Production, Technology and Operations Management
Languages: English
Learning objective This technical note gives an overview of the African consumer markets and the business potential of the continent. The purpose of this note is to start a conversation about three main growth trends in Africa: GDP, population and middle class growth and confront students about what they know about Africa, and what the reality is. By giving an overview of the different consumer segments in the continent, students about can reflect on how this classification is different or similar to the consumer segments in their own countries and what would be their strategy to reach each of them.