Global research and measurement group Nielsen has released the results of its very first African Prospects Indicator (APi), a measure of how various sub-Saharan African countries compare, so that investors can make the right choice. Michael Bratt attended the results presentation to find out more about the report and which countries excelled and which disappointed.
Ailsa Wingfield, head of content and marketing for Africa for Nielsen, says the APi came about, “Due to the kind of questions clients and potential clients were asking us. We also took a look around the world and realised that nothing like this already exists. We had a vast amount of information we had collected over time which we could utilise”.
The report is unique as it not only explores macro-economic factors, like most reports tend to do, but also three other elements: the prospects of business, consumer and retail.
The picture is not a pretty one for South Africa. The country ranks eighth in three of the categories, macro-economic factors, business prospects and retail prospects. It moves up slightly in the consumer prospects ranking, coming in at sixth. Overall SA ranks in ninth position. “We at Nielsen were surprised by where South Africa placed in the rankings. But when we looked closer we realised South Africa was starting from a higher base than most of the other countries that ranked higher,” said Wingfield.
Nigeria, the country with the largest economy on the continent, took top spot, but its lead shrunk over surprise second placed Cote d’Ivoire. East African powerhouse Kenya rounded out the top three.
The judging criteria for the macro-economic category included size of the economy, growth prospects of the economy as well as inflationary pressures. The business prospects category saw business executives, who do business around the continent, rank each country based on their perceived growth prospects. The consumer prospects category looked at whether retailers believed that spend in their stores is increasing or decreasing. The retail prospects category examined actual retail sales figures in the different countries.
This report will become a quarterly release which can be found on Nielsen’s website as well as being distributed through the media. Wingfield says plans are already in place to also distribute it via digital means.
“We are aiming to deliver updated indicators through mobile and tablets in future. The backend platform has already been created and we are aiming for this strategy to be implemented in the first quarter of next year,” she said.
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