"Growth - that's what it is all about. Whatever way we look at it, Africa's time in the sun has arrived," said Oresti Patricios, CEO of brand, media and reputation research firm, Ornico, by way of announcing the company's second annual on Africa.
Called "The Africa Annual
" the Ornico publication looks at economies in Africa that are growing at rates pegged at about 5.5% for this year according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). "Africa has growth rates that are making western economies green with envy," Patricios said, adding that this new annual explores growth economies on the continent.
Patricios said that the big challenge for those economies that fared well in Africa would be to implement beneficiation, and to create sustainable economies focused on long-term development. "While Africa's growth rates are exciting, what is important to realise is that part of this growth is being driven by 'raw' exports of resources, (mainly to China.) The big step of change for this continent, and one that will help create sustainable growth, is to make the move from being a massive source of raw material to becoming a manufacturer, or adding value to the production process through beneficiation," he said.
"The focus in Africa shouldn't be wealth creation or growth for the sake of growth. Rather what is needed is growth that drives education, job creation and the stimulation of industries that seed development," Patricios said, adding: "In the resources sector, beneficiation would contribute significantly to adding value to this part of the economy. It would bring employment creation, skills development, and would help uplift regions where metals (and the like) are mined. What is needed here is a long-term view. Businesses and government in Africa need to forgo short term profits for long term gains."
Ornico's The Africa Annual 2014 explores Nigeria's much-delayed rebasing of its GDP in April 2014 and what this means to South Africa, and looks at the truism that 'Africa is not a country'. "It has become a cliché that brands wanting expanding into the rest of the continent need to beware of trying to transplant their existing, successful strategies to markets here - or even transplanting strategies from one market in Africa to another," Patricios explains. "Some SA and global brands have learned the hard way that marketing in each new African territory demands a local approach," he said.
Other themes in Ornico's The Africa Annual 2014 include the massive push north by South African retail brands; what's been behind Nollywood's contribution to Nigeria's economic growth; the 'peculiar' radio habits of Kenyans; and much, much more.
"Growth is happening in Africa, and what we've tried to do is to offer a snapshot of where and how this growth is happening, and insights that brands and marketers need to know about growing in Africa," Patricios said.
Ornico's The Africa Annual 2014 is published in collaboration with MarkLives.com and a free copy of the magazine is available through South Africa's authoritative, independent marketing site. Alternately the marketing magazine is available free to download at www.ornico.co.zaDownload Ornico's The Africa Annual 2014