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Ah, Africa! One step forward, two beats ahead with Africa Life by Kantar

Some of us are hopeful romantics... about Africa.
Ah, Africa! One step forward, two beats ahead with Africa Life by Kantar

Passionate Afro-enthusiasts, we more often see Africa’s progress than its challenges; we explore the continent’s opportunities and growth paths more than we rummage through issues we can’t fix. Bright, positive and upbeat are epithets we’ve associated with African Horizons.

Then the pandemic hit and got in the way of Africa’s rising trajectory, adding new complexities and unwanted divergences into the views and aspirations of an already hugely diverse population.

The insights into our brand-new Africa Life study are exciting because they profoundly challenge us as growth experts and progress-seekers. How African citizens and consumers feel right now, and what they tell us about life and the future, makes us pause and reflect harder as marketers and brand owners on how to recover collectively faster, better and in sustainable ways – both financially and emotionally.

Download the complimentary Africa Life report overview and engineer for growth in Africa.

Ah, Africa! One step forward, two beats ahead with Africa Life by Kantar

Africa Life reveals with sober realism how Africa is doing right now, how values are evolving, how new lifestyle patterns are emerging in a post-pandemic era, and how technology is setting everyone up onto intriguing new paths. A compass towards growth in Africa, the Africa Life report provides insight-led answers to win more in an ever-evolving region. The report is essential for brands that want to extend their footprint and enter this dynamic continent, or for those already here, and want to grow their footprint and unleash brand growth.

Ah, Africa! One step forward, two beats ahead with Africa Life by Kantar

We’ve discovered 16 new energies and trends worth exploring further and activating. Here are a handful:

As incomprehensible as it may sound (or not!), Covid-19 deniers lead the pack on the continent, resulting in the lowest levels of vaccinations in the world, which, in turn, can be expected to result in endless new waves of the pandemic.

Divergence and diverging views are the catch words of the time, with the unfortunate risk of prolonging the Covid era for longer than anyone would want, making it extremely difficult for businesses to take a much-needed positive “pro-immunity” stance that would help enable better futures, faster. Pandemyth, or the denial of the pandemic, seems no way out of the way.

Whether a reality or a myth, the economic and social implications of the pandemic remain the same for all: increased financial fragility, lower income levels, reduced security levels, amongst others, with immediate consequences on optimism and consumer confidence.

Optimism… decreases almost everywhere in Africa at varying levels. In Nigeria, it plummets. The economic consequences of the pandemic, and multiple ramifications leave Nigerians feeling insecure. South Africa records the lowest level of optimism – several waves of Covid-19, combined with the unrivalled unrest of July 2021 defeated most, triggering a state of confusion and a quest for better, and more…


As a result, while we’ve seen impressive traction back to Africa through the repat movement, the outbound desire gets massively elicited in some countries. I can think of no better narrative than the expressive Yoruba word: Japa!1

…But then… Africa is Africa. And Africa is also… two beats ahead… on all things tech. The light seems within reach and takes the form of technology. Whether it is used to lighten and enrich those ‘Inner Lanes’, personal and spiritual growth paths that Africans are increasingly embarking on, or serving to ignite societal changes and better leadership, or as a means to achieve financial success through entrepreneurship… it feels like there’s nothing in Africa that tech does not penetrate and enable!

Tech is on fire. Internet adoption records phenomenal growth in two years, the highest growth level over such a short period of time. Technology is igniting change across people’s lives in Africa, for the good, the better and the fun. In arts, culture, fashion, food or tech, African entrepreneurship is expected to continue to make a global impact in 2022 and beyond. Winning businesses are the ones that will build unexpected partnerships and enable successful synergies with this generation of “AfroWhizz”.

Social media, including new platforms, continues to set the marketplace of the future for Africa (spoiler alert: some of the traditional well-established platforms are dying!) With the growing interest in digital payments, V-Cash is a new reality in Africa.

Ah, Africa! One step forward, two beats ahead with Africa Life by Kantar

It’s a hugely exciting outlook for the continent, its people and businesses across all sectors. Technology holds its promises and opens a huge range of growth opportunities to harness. For your business and brands to sustainably grow in Africa, resilience, resourcefulness, and creativity need to be just as much a part of your DNA as they’re part of Africa’s.

Ah, Africa!




1Japa is a slang word in Yoruba, which means ‘flee’. Yoruba is one of the most widely spoken languages in Nigeria.

16 Sep 2021 13:15

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About Ndeye Diagne

Managing Director - West Africa, Insights division at Kantar. Afro-Enthusiast. Ambitious for Africa and for Kantar. Keen to contribute positively to the continent's next chapter through knowledge, insights and actions




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