How To Navigate Africa In Today’s World Of Innovation

Kemdi Ebi
CEO and Founder

March 27, 2023

It is clear that Africa has become the next focus on the world’s consumer landscape. When brands are not looking at the BRICS states, Africa’s numbers are extremely attractive towards the next phase of growth in the global economy. Countries likeNigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Morocco, Algeria and Kenya makeup the upward largest consumer markets in Africa.

But of course, Africa isn’t as straight forward in understanding the way the consumer market works as their BRICS counterparts. Even the long-standing local businesses still find it very difficult to fully understand how to truly maximize the consumer size available to them within their respective industries. Representing the youngest population in the world, 50% of Africa’s population is under the age of 18. Any good marketer today knows it is best to mold and target goods and services to fit this young group of consumers – who, by and large, make up Africa’s Gen Z profile.

Then comes the hard truth about the young African Gen Z’ers. Some major points are:

  • Unemployment is still high amongst this group
  • Most of them are from poor educational backgrounds (sometimes struggle to read or write)
  • Low purchasing power

By virtue of the massive proliferation of mobile phones throughout Africa, technology has once again proven to leapfrog a lot of these gaps. Marketers can take cue from well executed campaigns globally and tailor them to successfully convert the African consumer. Marketing technology solutions that do any one of these (or all) are probably deploying the best ways in getting closer to understanding the complex African consumer:

  • Utilizing the ‘gig economy’ tactics – creating income opportunities for the unemployed
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) (whether voice, text or sentiment AI) for fast-track understanding the consumer, especially learning the many African language sin its different forms and dialects
  • Visual content creation and analytics, targeting social media outlets such as Instagram

Let’s isolate the case for Artificial Intelligence and its importance in Africa. Artificial intelligence is the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks mostly requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision making and translation between languages. In short, machine learning and AI go hand in hand.

To achieve success with machine learning, a large volume in the form of terabytes of data is required to accurately interpret results from said machines.

For instance, with Enterfive’s flagship product, Versus, we seek to continuously train our sentiment engine with large sets of data containing the top 11 African languages to accurately identify African sentiment. We eventually plan to scale this further to predict future market trends.

For every potential problem that the continent faces that may take decades to fix, AI can potentially truncate that by days, months or even years.

No matter how much the socio-political instabilities often tends to threaten Africa’s growth potential, there is no doubt the Gen Z influence and their strong internet and technology savvy will continue to dominate. Their views matter and both Africa and the rest of the world have to adapt – and fast.

This was an excerpt of a collection of essays from independent agencies and marketing technology specialists. To read the full document, click here.

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