Industry Report

S-GE Market Study: Rising Middle Class

Africa Outlook and Growth Potential

Nigeria is the new growth engine in Africa. Hardly any other country provides the business opportunities available here due to the growing middle class. A study from S-GE reviews this potential from a Swiss perspective.

S-GE Market Study: Rising Middle Class

One thing up front: Nigeria is not a simple market, and probably unsuitable for newcomers to international business. For companies with export experience that are looking for new and attractive markets, it is definitely more than just an alternative to many others.

The economic figures of Nigeria speak for themselves: With a population of 174 million it is the most densely populated country in Africa, and with a GDP of 573 billion dollar, also the economically strongest nation on the continent. 

The average economic growth in recent years was 7.8% per year (from 2000 to 2014). This means Nigeria is also one of the top five fastest growing African countries. And this growth will remain at such a high level. Up to 2017, an average increase in annual economic performance of 6.8% is expected. 

A good foundation for Nigeria to fulfill its Vision 20:2020 (i.e.: by 2020, it wants to become one of the 20 most important economic nations) on time. Especially as the middle class in Nigeria should continue growing strongly over the next few years. As a result of this, the demand in designated middle class needs categories – such as education, health, communication, leisure time and personal hygiene – should increase significantly. And this increase in buying power will go hand-in-hand with demands regarding the quality and reliability of products and services. Aspects that are also associated with “Swissness” and “Switzerland” in Africa and Nigeria too. 

The infrastructure of Nigeria should and must also be capable of fulfilling higher demands. At the moment, it can by no means fulfill the requirements of a country, which wants to belong to the 20 most important economic nations in the world. Nigeria has a lot of catching up to do. Namely in the electrification of the country, with the expansion of the traffic and transportation infrastructure, and also in relation to healthcare and education. Investments to the tune of billions can be expected here. And this in turn will also provide business opportunities for Swiss companies.

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