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WAJENZI : 10 African trends for 2015


In a previous post, we shared our excitement for what this year was going to be for Africa. We came across a Trendwatching’s free bulletin that was giving forecasts and insights about what the trends in business and consumption will be in Africa for 2015. It was basically the most interesting document we’ve read lately and we thought we should absolutely share it with you.

2015 will be an exciting year for African brands and consumers as changing demands and expectations rise from the hundreds of millions of individuals on the continent eager to participate in – and benefit from – new opportunities.

Let’s take a look at these trends.



Tangible, visible and wearable manifestations of cultural heritage

How cultural ‘storysellers’ will win the hearts (and sleeves) of proudly African consumers in 2015.

Africans are flaunting their cultural heritage in a new way. That phenomenon will hit new heights in 2015.

In fields like fashion, we will witness bolder, more expressive statements reinforcing important facets of local cultures and deeper beliefs.

A perfect example of this trend is the Legacy Collection by South African Charmaine Taylor who created a limited edition range of art and jewellery pieces fabricated from the Robben Island prison fence that held Nelson Mandela captive for 18 years.



Fun, novel and unconventional information channels will be welcomed in 2015.

This year will also see a change in how Africans tell their stories to the world. No more boredom, contrived, controlled or dull information.

A new generation of journalists, bloggers and startups will be delivering useful, necessary and engaging information in ground-breaking and creative ways like le JT Rappé, a Senegalese online newspaper which delivers local weekly news via YouTube rap videos in both French and Wolof. As of November 2014, there were over 2 million views of the channel.





Because in 2015, ‘being nice’ pays

Time to flip the social hierarchy in 2015 and serve the African masses.

Is 2015 the year of a better brand/ consumer relationship in Africa? It will seem so.

The expanding middle classes across Africa as well as rising numbers will demand that brands become ‘nicer’ to their customers, not only to the affluent or political classes as it used to be the case but also to the African masses that until now have been ignored at best and maltreated as worse.

Last year for example, Coca-Cola and BT Global Services opened the path and began offering free Wi-Fi Internet access to those living in impoverished communities of the Eastern Cape using Coke’s vending machines.



Intra-continental tourism explodes

In 2015, smart brands will welcome and cater to African tourists.

Feeling like visiting other African countries? African intra-continental tourism is set to explode in 2015.

Africa is becoming an attractive destination for African tourists and this trend will continue to grow this year. Some countries like Mauritius have already started working to boost tourism on their soil since a couple of years by relaxing visa regime to other African countries.

Also, last year, the Ivory Coast Minister of Tourism announced plans to partner with Nigeria’s La Campagne Tropicana, in order to replicate their African cultural beach resorts in 20 locations across the Ivory Coast.



Bettering the continent, one ‘tech’ at a time

2015 will see even more forward-thinking, empowering applications of technology.

In a previous post, we announced technology as one field to watch this year in Africa. Turned out others are thinking the same. In 2015, Africa will experience a forward-thinking technology as empowering and smarter applications will truly improve the lives of millions of Africans through the continent.

To illustrate this, let’s consider Backup Memory a mobile app downloadable since July 2014 which was developed by Samsung Tunisia and the Tunisian Alzheimer’s Association to help sufferers of Alzheimer’s connect with and remember loved ones.


Collaboration. Curation. Creation

In 2015, African nations will strike creative partnerships with those outside the continent.

Forget competition! It’s so 2014. This year is the year of partnership.

In 2015, African brands will strike creative partnerships in and outside the continent especially in creative fields such as media and entertainment which suffer with lack of professional equipment, promotional channels and project funding. Trendwatching suggests that brands looking for opportunity “Creatively cross-pollinate with an African country and fund, collaborate with or contribute to the continent’s creative economies”.

As example to this burgeoning partnership trend is the NollywoodWeek Film Festival whose second edition took place in Paris in June 2014. The festival is a collaboration with the Nigerian government and screens seven of the most talked about Nigerian films over a four-day period.


Rethaka Schoolbags-jewanda

Sexy, sustainable solutions for 2015 & beyond

Why African-made, sustainable solutions will rule for 2015’s eco-conscious consumer.

Going green will be hype in 2015. Long-considered as being backwards, a growing number of Africans and brands now embrace ecology as a mean to demonstrate respect for their environment.

That trend unfolds through new attitudes and consumption habits that improves the quality of life and pushes forward new, local eco-brands with innovative solutions like Rethaka, a South African female-owned ‘green innovations’ company which launches Repurpose Schoolbags: 100% recycled, solar-powered backpacks that can be used as study lamps at night.


Empowering the laity

African workers will demand an invitation to the African growth party in 2015.

African workers will be demanding to benefit from African growth this year.

With a growth in sub-Saharan Africa forecasted to accelerate to 5.8% in 2015 (IMF, October 2014), the African hard-workers will be seeking for better education, deeper mobile penetration, greater access to credit, and more so as to contribute and benefit from the expected growth.

Brands too will grasp the trend just like Tomato Jos, a Nigerian startup which empowers local farmers through education, logistics and resources that ensure tomato production is a more sustainable and profitable endeavour.



The ‘Uberfication’ of everything arrives in Africa

Since 2000, the middle classes of Africa’s 11 largest economies have grown from 4.6 million households to 15 million today (Standard Bank, August 2014).

In 2015, according to Trendwatching, these time-stricken, middle class Africans will expect the ability to tap an app or login to an online platform and outsource routine tasks.

They’ll embrace the greater transparency and quality control allowed by outsourcing platforms and apps that change from stressful and inefficient serviced to which they were accustomed until now.

Brands are quick to understand that opportunity like Washist, that provides on-demand laundry service for Lagosians for NGN 10,000 per month, Capetonian-based WumDrop which pick-ups, deliveries and similar courier services on-demand and Cameroonian, CarDispo which links taxi-drivers to customers.



Brands call out corruption in 2015

In 2015, African brands will finally take a stand against corruption.

Pointed out as one of African most pressing issues, corruption is expected to see a setback in 2015 as local brands will stand against it.

Some African brands are already addressing the issue in humorously manner and the increasing popularity of their campaigns prove that consumers will look up to and support brands who are brutally honest about corruption.

In the run-up to South Africa’s national and provincial elections in May 2014, Nando’s Every Party Needs a Puppet campaign caricatured real life party candidates. The campaign encouraged viewers to buy finger puppets and tweet open letters to party leaders who they believed were behaving ‘like a muppet’.




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Qui est Jodelle Mayoda ?

jodelle-mayoda-Business-Wajenzi-JewandaDiplômée en relations publiques, Jodelle Mayoda a eu l’opportunité dans son parcours de côtoyer et de collaborer avec de nombreux entrepreneurs dans différents domaines : technologie, mode, media, etc.
De cette proximité est né un immense respect pour ces hommes et femmes qui se donnent les moyens de réaliser leurs rêves et de changer leurs communautés. Ces rencontres ont également engendré une fascination qu’elle n’a pas tardé à partager à travers un blog qu’elle tient depuis 2011.
Comprendre les entrepreneurs et les mécanismes de l’entrepreneuriat en Afrique est devenu plus qu’une curiosité mais une véritable passion.
Avec Wajenzi, Jodelle Mayoda explore tous les contours de l’entrepreneuriat en Afrique et suit d’encore plus près les évolutions, les innovations, les idées et les succès qui changent le continent.

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