The 16th annual Pan African Media Research Oranisation’s All Africa Media Research Conference is currently underway in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. As the name implies, its primary focus is on media research and this year’s gathering has seen a record number of attendees, at 195 delegates. One of the presenters at the event was Nanzala Mwaura, director of client relations at Ipsos SSA, who used the organisation’s last EMS Affluent Survey Africa to provide a profile of the typical ‘African Affluent’. Michael Bratt takes a look at some of the characteristics.
Mwaura describes African Affluents as “clever, connected, shopaholics”. The Ipsos survey looked at seven African countries including South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana and Morocco, covering 3.4 million Affluent Africans. The criteria used to measure an Affluent includes an adult between the ages of 25 and 64, who is employed, who has an education of secondary school or higher and who is in the top 15% income group.
Some of the interesting facts that came out of the survey include the average age for an Affluent is the lowest in Africa and Latin America, when compared with the rest of the world, at 40 years of age. However the average higher education level of Affluents is the second lowest in the world in Africa at just 59%. Similarly personal income is second lowest in the world at an average of $43 000.
Aside from profiling the African Affluent, the Ipsos survey also measures media usage, with a particular focus recently on all things digital. Mwaura says, “Affluent lives and lifestyles have become intertwined with media in general and digital media in particular.” The results of the survey show African Affluents tend to be heavy media consumers, spending nearly five hours an average day consuming it. Television has the lion’s share at just over two hours, followed by internet at just over one-and-a-half hours and reading newspapers and magazines for one hour.
Uganda has the highest penetration of international television followed by Cameroon and Kenya. South Africa had the lowest penetration of the countries surveyed. But television could soon be under serious threat as a new trend is emerging. African Affluents love their gadgets with 98% of them owning a smartphone, the same percentage as those who own a PC or laptop; 62% own a tablet, a 72% increase from the last survey and 60% of African Affluents own all three of these devices.
Tying in with ownership of digital devices the survey also showed that African Affluents are highly social, utilising social media platforms extensively. Ninety-four percent of them visited a social media site in the last 30 days. They also care about the people around them, with 91% looking to contribute more to the community they live in. However the majority seem to also steer towards a gender stereotype, with 84% believing a woman’s first priority should be her family.
The results of the latest survey also indicate that African Affluents are very career orientated. Ninety-five percent are willing to make an extra effort to achieve their career goals while 86% see themselves as a global citizen.
Mwaura said, “We want to know more about the Affluent, so we also have statements on their purchasing habits.” The majority lean towards a luxury lifestyle with 88% of them willing to pay for extra quality and 90% of them preferring to buy well known brands. Eighty percent own a credit card and of those holders 34% have a gold or platinum card. They also travel alot both for their careers and personal satisfaction: 51% of those surveyed have taken air trips in the last year while the average spend 12 nights in a hotel in the past year. One third of those usually stay in an upmarket 4- or 5-star establishment.
The trends amongst African Affluents are:
- They are the top income earners on the continent
- They are avid consumers and travellers
- They are leading edge digital adopters
- They have a high media usage
- They see themselves as global citizens
- They pay a premium for quality and branding is important
The next Ipsos EMS Affluent Survey Africa will be released next year.
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