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Seeking Market Diversification? Have you considered Africa?

15th March 2021

Nicolas Ranninger, Africa Manager, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board

Africa is the world largest continent comprised of 54 nations totalling a population of 1.3 bn that is growing faster than anywhere else. It is estimated that Africa will account for 1/5 of the global population by 2030 and ¼ by 2050.  Africa's urbanization rate is growing faster than anywhere else on the planet, with an average annual growth of 5.4%.  By the end of this decade, there will be 17 cities in Africa with a population of over 5 million.  

Market Diversification Africa.PNG

Urbanization has a strong correlation with the rate of GDP growth that provides increased income that in turns increases demand for value added products. Population growth and urbanization are the 2 key drivers of the African food and beverage market.

The potential for this continent is staggering, but the variety of culture, landscape, economic development and religion across the continent can make this market difficult to apprehend while political and economic volatility are risk factors that need to be considered and monitored closely.

Bord Bia’s 2020/21 Export Performance and Prospects, highlighted the importance and success of the African markets for Irish exports. In 2020, total exports to Africa reached 878m, which equates to 26% increase or a growth in value by 181m.Market Diversification Africa 2.PNG

Key growth areas were, dairy with total exports to the region reaching €662 million, pelagic €111 million, alcohol beverages valued at €26 million.

Our ambition is to reach €1bn Irish exports to Africa by end of 2023, the key driver for this growth is expected to come from dairy ingredients, beverage, seafood and livestock.

Apprehending the African market is complex and requires preparation and consideration to achieve a successful market entry.

Our team of epxertd covering the region consists of Billel Haddad – North Africa, Ese Okpomo – West Africa, and Liz Whitehouse – Southern & Eastern Africa, who support Irish exports with Local Insights through market understanding overviews, market entry guides, and market activation. Strengthening existing business relations and identifying new business development opportunities is also a key activity within the region. This is done through trade missions and our customer engagement plans, particularly in our priority African markets – Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, South Africa, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Morocco and Tunisia.

In 2021 we will ensure that despite the constraints of the Covid pandemic, Irish food and beverage products remain a top-of-mind source of quality and sustainability for our African customers. To achieve this, we rely on participation at our virtual African trade show & events such as the Food & Retail West Africa, our buyer portal www.irishfoodanddrink.com, local and bespoke press releases such as Irish dairy ingredients in Egypt, our Trade Mission and continuous contacts with customers.

Irish exporters interested in receiving our monthly newsletter ”This month in Africa”  that provides updates on the African food and beverage market can notify their interest to Patrick.mccolgan@bordbia.ie.

To find out more about our range of information and services, please contact  nicolas.ranninger@bordbia.ie