Friday, September 2, 2011

TBWA Africa Conference addresses changing face of African consumer

JOHANNESBURG: The fifth annual TBWA Africa Conference was held in Sandton, Johannesburg late last week. TBWA's head of strategic planning Mariska Oosthuizen's presentation on "The changing face of the African consumer" focused on market and consumer trends in a rapidly evolving and changing Africa.

In the next 30 years a significant chunk of the world's workforce will be exported from Africa, the youngest and fastest growing population on the planet. By 2040 Africa will churn out a formidable workforce of 1.1 billion, which will surpass the world's current number one workforce, China.

"With 40% of the African population being under the age of 14, Africa's populace is much younger than others around the world. In a couple of decades we'll see young professional Africans making up a significant proportion of the global workforce," Oosthuizen told members at the conference.

Training for the company

TBWA's Africa Conference, which was previously held in locations such as Durban and Lagos, aims to update and provide training for the company's 38 offices on the African continent on global tools and new methods among other things in the African and global advertising, marketing, branding and PR networks.

"It's an opportunity for the different MDs and creative directors to be brought up to date with what's going on in the industry in Africa and around the world. It allows the company's different offices around the continent to connect, build relationships for new business opportunities and to inspire each other. It's also about getting people in disparate geographies, with different tongues and backgrounds, to speak the same language and engage in the TBWA culture of disruption and media arts," says Rick de Kock, director of Africa operations at TBWA\Africa.

"There's a big emerging middle class in Africa," Oosthuizen says, "According to the McKinsey "Lions on the move" report, in 2008 consumer spending on the continent amounted to US$860 billion and it's predicted to rise to US$1.4 trillion in the next nine years."

Good news is that 50% of African households will have disposable income, with 90% of the population spending 50% of this on food and consumer goods. These positive predictions make Africa a very desirable market for local and international brands that will be vying for the African consumer who will become more demanding and sophisticated because they will have buying power and so much more to choose from. read more

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