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8 trends driving innovation in Sub-Saharan Africa

Across all consumer industries, innovation in sub-Saharan Africa is seeing new products and services offered to address challenges the continent faces.
At Euromonitor International’s first conference in Johannesburg , the global market research company identified the top trends driving innovation in sub-Saharan Africa’s retail market:

1. Accommodating basic services
There is a long-term benefit in helping communities gain access to basic services, such as water, electricity, and agricultural expertise to develop farmlands.

2. Going rural
Urbanisation has been the standard metric for defining the development of a country. The continent has a lot to gain by looking at opportunities within rural areas.

3. Sustainability
In a region that already suffers from droughts, heat stress and flooding, sustainability is not just about using recycled products but addressing water shortages on the continent.

4. Local ingredients
Despite the wealth of ingredients available in sub-Saharan Africa, ingredients are still imported from other countries, as the technical expertise for processing is lacking.

5. Technology, mobiles, hubs and apps
Many Africans are using technology to create opportunities beyond mobile payments.

6. Partnerships and cooperatives
Small business is fast becoming the success story of Africa, with many of them locally based and able to tap into the needs and interests of the local community.

7. Go very local
While Africans are embracing modern technology, they also want to keep cultural and social nuances alive.

8. Creative paying systems
Payment systems are helping businesses and consumers alike get access to basic needs and services.

Ronak Singhvi is an African Mining and FMCG focused financial professional

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