FEATURE12 April 2016

A land of promise

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Features Impact Middle East and Africa

Market research in Africa holds the key to unlocking many commercial opportunities, but there are a number of logistical issues to bear in mind when planning activities there. By Bronwen Morgan


The African continent – home to 1.1 billion people – holds great promise for brands and businesses, but the diversity across its consumers and markets is staggering, making a pan-African marketing strategy a complex affair. 

Half of all household spending in Sub-Saharan Africa goes to consumer-packaged goods, according to figures from Nielsen, so there are clear opportunities for those that can understand and navigate the marketplace. But gaining that understanding can represent a challenge in itself. Qualitative and quantitative market research are both carried out regularly across the continent but, as Louisa Kiwana, founder of specialist African marketing and research agency MRX Africa, explains, there are a number of important things to bear in mind.

“Africa’s consumer-facing industries represent the continent’s largest business opportunity, ” says Kiwana, “but many companies don’t know how to translate this opportunity into action, and the lack of market research ...