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Potential in Africa’s growing towns and secondary cities

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BY 10.11.16

Given the supply chain challenges inherent in reaching consumers in Africa’s far-flung rural areas, increasing urbanisation brings many benefits. But marketers who focus only on the major centres and ignore the growing towns and secondary cities do so at their peril.

According to Issue 3 2016 of ‘Strategic Marketing Africa’, the magazine of the African Marketing Confederation (AMC), surveys by international consulting firms tend to focus on the capitals of African countries. But they miss the fast-growing towns and secondary cities, as well as the advent of new city nodes and quality urban developments on the outskirts of the biggest metro areas.

"The emergence of tailor-made new urban developments is a definite trend, despite the cost of establishing them. They have become necessary because of the difficulties that rampant urbanisation is causing in the traditional big cities,” the magazine says. For example, Kenya has plans to decentralise its urban growth and has six new cities on the drawing board. Already, a private initiative – Konza Tech City – is breaking ground about 60km out of Nairobi. Konza draws on the success of Ebene Cyber City in Mauritius, a purpose-built metro near the capital of Port Louis.

In Egypt, the government has plans for a new capital adjacent to Cairo. It will have 1.1-million homes housing at least five million residents. In Nigeria’s oil hub of Port Harcourt, a new city is being built around the edges of the old to provide infrastructure for the future. The original city was built to accommodate 5 000 people but now houses around two million residents.

 "Marketers who can look beyond the biggest cities will often find ample opportunity in the new urban centres – where consumers are frequently more affluent and better urban planning makes for better logistics,” the magazine says.

Original Article by African Marketing Confederation