By Conrad Onyango, bird
As Africa’s rapidly growing super-rich splurge to satisfy a desire for the finer things in life, their tastes and preferences are building one of the continent’s fastest growing business segments – luxury.
Africa is now home to at least 130,000 USD millionaires and 22 USD billionaires, with huge prospects for many more to join the list, according to the Africa’s Wealth Report 2021.
The growing number of Africans with cash on hand translates into continent-wide splurges for high-end cars, bespoke clothing and accessory brands, as this group drinks and dines in some of the hotels, resorts, clubs and lounges.
In the process, they are developing the continent’s luxury market – a market which, although dominated by international brands, is seeing a growing number of African brands.
The African luxury sector was valued at $ 6.1 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow rapidly, making it attractive to a wide range of luxury brands and experience suppliers.
“With a growing young population coupled with rapid urbanization and rapidly growing consumer spending, Africa offers attractive opportunities for entities wishing to expand into new frontier markets,” says research firm Euromonitor International.
The total wealth held by Africans is expected to increase by 30% over the next decade, reaching $ 2.6 trillion by 2030, according to the Africa Wealth Report 2021, offering wealthy individuals greater purchasing power to splurge on luxury.
Tourist destinations are where wealthy Africans spend most of their wealth, pushing investment in the hotel industry to new heights, with hotel brands built to international standards now dotting most parts of the continent. This sector also attracts wealthy people from abroad, which helps ensure that high-end luxury experiences are available for Africans who can afford the high prices.
“The luxury hospitality sector is one of the most important sectors in Africa as it brings a large amount of foreign exchange spending to the continent,” the report says.
Wilderness Safaris, Red Carnation, & Beyond, Sanctuary Retreats, Belmond, Virgin Limited Edition, The Royal Portfolio, and Singita are some of the hotel groups popular with high net worth individuals in Africa.
The main luxury tourist destinations on the continent are Cape Town, Umhlanga, Franschhoek and Kruger Park, all located in South Africa, according to the report.
Rich Africans don’t buy just any car, they are going to have a spectacular experience in the most extravagant and luxurious cars. In South Africa, you’ll find more premium car brands than any other place on the continent, including Porsche, Bentley, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, and McLaren.
Of the roughly 2,000 cars that Porsche sells on the continent each year, 1,200 units are sold in South Africa through a local dealership agreement, according to the report.
Second and third luxury markets, Kenya and Morocco also have local dealers for these high-end car models, as wealthy locals seek out the best frequent travelers money can buy. Porsche, Bentley and Ferrari now have dealerships in Morocco, while Kenya enjoys similar access to Porsche and Bentley car brands.
Sport utility vehicles have also gained popularity due to their generous cargo space and rugged styling. “The Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Bentley Bentayga, Aston Martin DBX and Lamborghini Urus are currently the most expensive SUVs on the market,” according to New World Wealth, the authors of the report.
African millionaires and billionaires have also revamped their wardrobes. It is now easier to spot wealthy Africans adorned with premium global brands like Zegna, Louis Vuitton, Paul Smith, Gucci, Jimmy Choo and Dolce & Gabbana. Most of these brands have exclusive stores in Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and Morocco. In other mainland markets, local stores stock these premium brands as resellers.