African Lions: Charting the Rise of the Middle Class in Sub-Saharan Africa

UCT Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing and Ipsos have partnered (with Ipsos) to uncover a mass of information about a market that makes up more than 100 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa – the Urban Middle Class.

The study comprised desk research, qualitative research and quantitative research in 10 major African cities, namely: Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Accra (Ghana), Addis (Ethiopia), Douala (Cameroon), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Kano and Lagos (Nigeria); Nairobi (Kenya); Luanda (Angola) and Lusaka (Zambia).

“It has been a massive undertaking,” states Paul Egan, Head of UCT Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing, “and took us 18 months to complete”.  Beyond that, it made use of Ipsos’s wide reach involving 150 researchers across the continent, thousands of interviews and has yielded over 300 videos and 5 000 photographs.

“We’ve looked at the size, the segments, and the varying definitions of the middle class within each city and have also come out with invaluable insights around an in-depth understanding of living conditions, livelihood strategies, aspirations, media consumption, buying patterns, brand relationships and much more” continues Egan.

As the South African economy flat-lines, many companies realise expanding further North is essential to growth.  “Information about the middle class population in these areas has been scant and this study will make a huge contribution towards the understanding of the SSH consumer landscape ,”, indicates Nanzala Mwaura, Head of the African Lions team at Ipsos.

Speakers :

  • Nanzala Mwaura, Nanzala, who is originally from Kenya but has been based in South Africa for over 10 years, has a wealth of experience in research across Sub-Saharan Africa that cuts across sectors but with specific emphasis in media, FMCG and the financial services sector.​  Nanzala holds a postgraduate in Mass Communication and an MBA in Strategic Management. Areas of Expertise include Brand strategy, large tracking studies and market entry studies. Nanzala has special interest in research across the continent and has contributed significantly to the design and content of the African Lions project. Nanzala is also the assistant Secretary General of the Kenyan Diaspora in South Africa

    Max Price is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town. He also serves as Chair of the Medical and Dental Professions Board Education and Registration Committee. Price is an Independent Consultant for the National Department of Education.
    Price has an MBBCh degree from the University of the Witwatersrand which he obtained in 1979; a BA (Hons) PPE (Oxon 1983); an M.Sc in Community Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; and a Diploma in Occupational Health from the University of the Witwatersrand.

    Haroon Bhorat is Professor of Economics and Director of the Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU), at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Professor Bhorat was an economic advisor to two past Ministers of Finance, and previous Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, formally serving on the Presidential Economic Advisory Panel. Haroon is a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution affiliated to the Global Economy and Development Program, and the Africa Growth Initiative (AGI). He consults with international organizations such as the ILO, the UNDP, the World Bank, Ratings Agencies and emerging market fund managers. He is a member of the World Bank’s Advisory Board of the
    Commission on Global Poverty as well as a member of the World Bank Group’s Program Committee of the 2017 International Economic Association (IEA) World Congress. 

    The communications and creative industry is a calling for Neo Makhele. Having started out by studying science, Neo enjoys working with barrier breakers, challengers and
    “ingenuers” in an industry where it’s believed that creativity can have a profound impact on our world. Neo is a strategist at heart - whether it comes to creative strategy, brand strategy , positioning strategy or integrated communications strategy. Working as a team leader, Neo has developed cross-cultural communication, global and Pan-African
    Campaigns for Pay TV, Sparkling Beverages and Political Advertising.

    Martin is an experienced marketing all-rounder, having held senior positions in various local and multi-national businesses in the retail, advertising and FMCG sectors. His career spans 24 years, and his most recent positions include managing director of Berry Bush BBDO, director for marketing and financial services at Ackermans Group and chairman of Jay-Jays. 
    Martin currently lectures Business Science students at the University of Cape Town,
    facilitates at the University of Stellenbosch Business School, mentors marketing
    practitioners and consults to various organisations. 

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