AFRICA – The latest Africa Prospect Indicator (APi) report by Nielsen has revealed stabilizing prospects in African countries despite relentless change.

The report notes that only two countries in the continent changed positions on the latest APi ranking update.

Kenya maintained its position as the most performing country in Africa despite retail prospects deteriorating and GDP growth rate remaining low in Quarter 1 of 2019.

 It was followed by Cote d’Ivoire while Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria occupied the third, fourth and fifth place respectively.

Speaking during the report release, Nielsen Executive Director , Intelligence Global Markets Ailsa Wingfield said, “Looking at the broader macro prospects, it is clear that Sub-Saharan Africa’s momentum will take longer than expected to flourish.”

The region’s initial 3.3% SSA GDP forecast for 2019, was downgraded to 2.8% further demonstrating a slowing economy

According to Wingfield, the slow growth in the economy will result in subdued advances in consumer prosperity and demand.

In such a scenario, Wingfield notes that business growth will need to be boosted by non-commodity dependent countries and according to her that would be the only way to create nuggets of opportunity.

When it comes to business growth prospects, the SSA average is moderate for the year ahead, and has remained unchanged for four consecutive quarters.

Ethiopia leads the country growth expectation list followed by Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria, all ahead of the SSA average.

The report also revealed that Africa’s consumers are marked by disparate spending intentions and purchasing pressure points.

Ivoirians for example had their purchase decisions primarily based on familiarity and not on price this made them less willing to try new products when compared to Nigerians who had an appetite for new products.

Producers in these different types of markets have to ensure they understand their customers properly if they desire to grow their sales.

The retail outlook according to the report was at its most favorable point with Tanzania, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa and Uganda ahead of the average.

The report however noted that the ease of doing business remains challenging and manufacturers therefore need to work with retailers to bolster sales through optimal stock supply, relevant product portfolios, favourable pricing points and beneficial trading terms.

 In its conclusion, the report observed that ; “With temperate growth, business expectations are centred on core countries for success, but now more than ever, strategies need to be flexible, adaptable and focused on consumers.”