The key to success in Sub-Saharan Africa is the ability to focus on specific opportunity areas and develop differentiated, relevant offers that address substantial, unmet needs. The size and diversity of the continent’s population makes it difficult for companies to use the strategies they have successfully applied in other parts of the world.
The first step is determining where in Sub-Saharan Africa the greatest opportunities lie. Our analysis shows that nine countries will account for nearly three-quarters of total consumer spending in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2020. These countries are Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda in the eastern part of the continent; Angola, Zambia, and South Africa in the south; and Senegal, Ghana, and Nigeria in the west. Within these attractive consumer markets there are a wide range of consumers for which companies must tailor attractive, differentiated offers.
We have constructed a broad segmentation of Sub-Saharan African consumers to understand the consumer segments and demand in greater detail. While this segmentation is focused on highlevel groupings rather than granular, detailed analysis of consumer types, our analysis reveals the specific challenges, preferences, behaviors and needs of the largest consumer groups on the continent (Figure 10).
While the majority of Sub-Saharan African consumers are currently in lower-income, more price-sensitive groups, many will move up into more affluent segments as they urbanize and their incomes increase. Such movement will create a large, growing, and increasingly profitable opportunity for companies. We detail the needs, preferences, and behaviors of each of these segments below.