Africa is fast becoming a new frontier for many organizations.

With natural resources, growing consumer markets, and untapped markets, companies are increasingly eyeing Africa for competitive advantage and growth.  The continent’s collective GDP is now almost at par with that of Russia and Brazil and the population is fast becoming urbanized. Africa has more urban population than India.

Still, income and growth disparity exist in African countries. While some countries are showing rapid economic growth, others still face extreme poverty. Africa has one of the most diverse market structures, having developed markets like Libya and some completely under-developed markets like Somalia and Ethiopia. Even in most developed countries of Africa, infrastructure challenges exist.  Many languages, logistical differences, transaction difficulty across borders, and different customs make Africa a highly diverse and difficult market to deal with.

Marketing Research in Africa can help investors in understanding consumer behavior and attitudes and identify new untapped markets.

The African continent has the second largest population of the world and has more than 50 countries.

Major industries in Africa are largely dependent on natural resources. The two biggest industries, Agriculture and Mining are the sectors that are rapidly developing. The climate of the region is suitable for the growth of cash crops.  African cocoa products are in high demand worldwide.

Other Developed countries have now promised to share technological expertise with Africa to help enhance productivity. On the other hand, Africa has some of the largest reserves of natural resources and minerals including oil, petroleum, gold, diamond, and coal.

Opportunities in Africa

Another major industry of Africa is the Finance Services and Banking industry which is growing rapidly. However, the sector is still lagging to provide substantial growth in the region. Risk, security concerns and fears of fraud impact the development of the banking sector in Africa.

Africa Market ResearchAnother sector that is estimated by many to grow in the African countries is the Manufacturing sector. Many countries in Africa are focused on building infrastructure and attracting more FDI in manufacturing sectors. With sizable labor resources and raw material, the region is seen by some as a lucrative choice for manufacturing facilities.

The rise of mobile phones and mobile technology in Africa is impacting how consumers live their lives.  This may also open the possibility of using mobile methods in Market Research.

Despite growth in recent years, Africa still has very low figures in private investment.  Much of the African countries’ wealth is dependent on natural reserves which can be unstable due to changing macroeconomics.

High levels of corruption and inefficient allocation of resources can impact business and development. Governments in Africa are increasingly taking measures to improve the regulations and infrastructure.

Market Research in Africa

Qualitative and Quantitative Market Research in Africa is growing.  Traditional methods are typically used such as Face to Face data collection, In-Person Focus Groups and Telephone surveys.  Conducting Market Research in Africa requires a thorough understanding of the local market.  In some cases, research professionals may need to go from village to village to be able to build a sample.