Africa – Great demand for plastics

Many countries on the African continent are still considered developing countries. However, with a population of more than 1.1 billion and tremendous potential for long-term economic growth, the African market has become the focus of many international companies.

In the last five to ten years, Africa has become one of the fastest growing markets for plastics and plastic processing machines. According to a EUROMAP study published in September 2015, world-wide exports of plastic and rubber machines to Africa increased from € 500 million in 2009 to € 799 million in 2014. And the trend shows no sign of weakening. The development potential in this segment is illustrated by a per capita consumption of plastics: at 16 kg, the states of Africa and the Mid-East lie far below the global average of 45 kg.

Big differences
However, the African market is very complex and the market conditions in the individual regions are very different. While the northern and southern African markets are quite developed, the industrial infrastructure in most sub-Saharan countries are only at the beginning.

Ethiopia booms
With annual growth of up to 10 percent, the east African state of Ethiopia is currently going through a growth boom and is thus interesting not only to investors from India and China. Under the motto ”German Technology – Tailor Made for Foodstuff Processing & Packaging”, Kautex Maschinenbau and 12 other members of the VDMA presented themselves to 130 representatives of the Ethiopian economy in Addis Ababa in February of this year. The subsequent market research trip led the German industry representatives to numerous companies in the Ethiopian food industry where they held many promising sales negotiations.

Despite the positive development, economy experts agree that in the coming years, the consumer demand on the African continent will have to be covered by imports since in many countries the necessary industrial infrastructure still does not exist.

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