من داخل ثورة المستهلك في أفريقيا

جوهانسبرج ــ في أيامنا هذه، أصبحت الإمكانات الاقتصادية التي تتمتع بها أفريقيا ــ والفرص التجارية المصاحبة لها ــ من الأمور المسلم بها على نطاق واسع. صحيح أن الفقر والبطالة لا زالا هناك أوسع انتشاراً مقارنة ببقية الأسواق الناشئة، ولكن النمو المتسارع منذ عام 2000 يجعل من أفريقيا ثاني أسرع مناطق العالم نموا (بعد آسيا الناشئة وبالتساوي مع الشرق الأوسط).

ومع النمو الاقتصادي السريع أتى المزيد من المستهلكين المزدهرين ــ والعكس صحيح: ذلك أن 45% من مجموع نمو الناتج المحلي الإجمالي على مدى العقد الأول من القرن الحادي والعشرين (قبل أن تندلع الأزمة المالية عام 2008) جاء من القطاعات الاقتصادية المتصلة بالمستهلك. ومن المتوقع بحلول عام 2020 أن يصبح لدى أكثر من نصف الأسر الأفريقية ــ 130 مليون أسرة تقريبا، مقارنة بنحو 85 مليون أسرة اليوم ــ دخل احتياطي يمكنها إنفاقه (أو ادخاره).

وتتمتع أفريقيا أيضاً بمجموعة سكانية هي الأسرع نمواً على مستوى العالم ــ والأكثر شبابا، حيث لا تتجاوز أعمار أكثر من نصف سكانها العشرين عاما، مقارنة بنحو 28% في الصين. ووفقاً لتقديرات الأمم المتحدة فإن القارة سوف تمثل أكثر من 40% من نمو سكان العالم حتى عام 2030، ومن المتوقع أن يتجاوز عدد السكان في سن العمل في أفريقيا نظيره في الصين بحلول عام 2040.

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