Africa, especially Sub-Saharan Africa, is beginning to attract more attention from beauty players. Laurent Philippe, P&G’s Group President for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, recently described the region as the company’s “newest opportunity.” He said Sub-Saharan Africa is benefiting from fast-growing economies and strong population growth, and pointed out that today, Sub-Saharan Africa has a population of 800 million, a figure that should reach 1.8 billion by 2050. Citing data from consulting firm McKinsey & Company, Laurent added that 100 million of Africa’s population has enough income to make purchases beyond basic needs, and that more than 20% is already part of the consuming middle class.

Beauty players are motivated by several factors, including the continent’s satisfactory economic performance, a rising young population, growing income and improved infrastructure. “The beauty market across Africa is set to double over the next decade, with annual growth rates ranging from 5% to many multiples of that figure,” comments Diagonal Reports research director, Jacqueline Clarke. Euromonitor International communications manager, Louise Nicholas, agrees: “While developed markets collapsed during the global crisis, Africa’s economy has been performing well, posting a GDP growth rate of about 5% per year. In the past decade, six of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world were in Sub-Saharan Africa; Nigeria among them. The growing population is also a major attraction for foreign players, as it’s set to double over the next 40 years, with a massive increase in the number of young people of working age, representing a considerable consumer base.” In Nigeria, one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa, beauty and personal care sales were estimated to be worth $672 million in 2012, up by 14% over 2011, according to Euromonitor. This compares to an 8% category growth rate in current value between 2007 and 2012.

To read BW Confidential’s full report on the African market go to: