Status and prospects of the furniture industry in Africa
With 1.13 billion inhabitants and a per capita GNP of about US$ 1,700, Africa has a total household consumption of US$ 1,400 billion. Consumer demand has grown rapidly in the last decade, thanks to an increase in real income.
With 16% of world’s total population, Africa contributes for only 3% to world GDP but, according to IMF projections, per capita GDP between 2019 and 2023 will grow faster in Africa than in all other world regions, except Asia.
According to CSIL, apparent furniture consumption in Africa amounts to US$ 9.8 billion. Africa accounts for 2% of world furniture consumption in 2017, with a per capita furniture consumption of US$ 8. Main markets with furniture consumption exceeding US$ 500 million are South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Sudan. North Africa, West Africa and South Africa are the main consuming regions, showing the highest per capita furniture consumption.
In Africa, there are 59 metropolitan areas with a population of more than 1 million inhabitants. Despite political instability and relatively poor infrastructure level, there is evidence of develop of urban centres, which offer the potential for growth of the furniture market. These cities are increasingly diversifying their economy.
In recent years, large investments have been made in real estate, tourism and hospitality industry, culture and entertainment, which are boosting demand for the furniture sector.
Total furniture imports into Africa (both from other African countries and other areas of the world) are worth about US$ 3 billion in 2017. About 32% of furniture consumed in Africa is imported.
Southern Africa and North Africa are the areas with the highest level of imports among the African regions.
Considering the share of imports on total furniture consumption, East Africa records the highest share with 47% of furniture consumption coming from foreign suppliers, while North Africa recorded an incidence of imports on the consumption of 26%.
In the Southern region, the largest furniture importer is South Africa (importing from China, Germany, and Italy). South Africa imports account for about 34% of total furniture consumption in the country, while Angola records an import/consumption share of around 76%.
In North Africa, the largest furniture importer is Morocco (which imports mostly from China, Spain, France and Italy), followed by Algeria, Egypt and Libya. Morocco imports about one half of the furniture sold in the country and ranks second among African Countries. About 45% of African imports come from China, followed at a distance by Italy and Turkey.
Almost 70% of the total furniture market in Africa is satisfied by local manufacturers. Total Africa furniture production amounts to US$ 7.5 billion and only 10% of furniture manufactured in Africa is exported (main exporting countries are Egypt, South Africa, Morocco and Tunisia). Several African countries have good potential for developing their furniture industry, both for internal consumption and for exports.
For Africa as a whole, a 2.4% growth of furniture consumption in real terms is expected for the year 2020.
SOURCE: CSIL Market Research Report 'Africa Furniture Outlook’, March 2019