Nine ways women are changing African markets
The African female consumer has long been mischaracterised and overlooked by marketers across the continent. But now, with women continuing to emerge as powerful decision-makers and consumers - they are changing the face of the African market.
**Where applicable data and sources have been included.
#1: The main market
Africa is home to some of the fastest growing economies in the world, and women are playing a big role in accelerating this growth. According to the World Bank, roughly two thirds of African women are now working in either formal or informal sectors. In some countries, like Kenya, women make up a little more than half of all entrepreneurs.
With women starting to dominate the market, brands should keep up by focusing their efforts on the female consumer.
*New York Times, “Women Entrepreneurs Drive Economic Growth in Africa” 10 Oct. 2012
#2: The new decision makers
With more and more African women entering the workforce, their earning and purchasing potential makes them very important consumers to target. Globally, women constitute about 70% of all consumer spending*.
The growing middle class of African females will buy an ever-increasing number of goods from mobile phones, to cars, entertainment, homes and education.
*Bloomberg, “Women Controlling Consumer Spending Sparse among Central Bankers,” 25 Jul 2011
#3: Amongst the most tech-savvy
Upwardly mobile women need to save time and stay connected; and technology is a central facet to almost every woman’s life. Overall, Africans are willing to spend more money relative to their income on technology than Europeans and Americans.
Demand for tech products like smartphones, household appliances and cars is expected to drive the African consumer market to a value of $1 trillion by 2020*. Brands must capitalise on how central technology is in women’s lives.
*Media Club South Africa, “Middle Class Africa: Meet the new African consumer,” 21 Feb 2014
#4: Re-defining traditional African values
Women are re-defining for themselves what it means to be an African woman. While many women describe their values as being rooted in more traditional beliefs, such as the importance of being a loyal community member, they are also striving for more independence and acknowledgement for their skills.
This creates a big challenge for brands: connecting where she is with where she wants to be.
“Good parents give their children roots and wings. Roots to know where home is, wings to fly away and exercise what’s been taught to them.” - Nigerian Grass, 30.
Ed’s note: Read the rest of the 9 ways…