Africa’s Rising Middle Class – And Why It Matters

There are varying reports on the exact size of Africa’s middle class. Depending on definitions and income levels, the middle class could represent 6 percent or 34 percent of the overall population, reports Tom Jackson for New Africa Magazine. Yet analysts agree that consumer markets, opportunities and technological advances are expanding. The population is young, and the continent’s median age was less than 20 in 2012. Internet penetration is expected to hit near 80 percent by 2020. The young embrace DIY companies like Uber, Airbnb and SweepSouth, an on-call domestic cleaning startup in South Africa. Airbnb reports the number of users and listings in Africa have more than doubled during the last year. Analysts suggest that the young middle class increasingly demands higher standards in goods and services. But the analysts also warn that adaptability and flexibility are key in Africa markets with cities and countries of the continent having distinct cultures. Large multinationals that have invested in the continent often struggle to adapt to the diverse markets. – YaleGlobal

Africa’s Rising Middle Class – And Why It Matters

Reports vary on the size of Africa’s middle class, but analysts agree the market is young and growing; DIY firms may be best poised to handle the diversity
Tom Jackson
Thursday, February 25, 2016

Tom Jackson is a tech and business journalist based in South Africa . A UK-trained reporter, he is committed to the dream of African development through technology. Tom is looking to present a picture of the “real” Africa tech scene in order to aid better understanding of how it can be used to develop Africa economically and socially.

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