Will Africa’s growing urban population have a taste for US poultry?

US poultry producers, keen to find new markets, have an eye on the growth in Africa’s urban population and its discretionary spending.

Will this become the African century? For decades, prognosticators have looked ahead to Africa’s economic emergence as being just around the corner. It hasn’t happened, but now a number of industry economists and consultants are saying that Africa might soon become an important destination for U.S. poultry products.

Africa’s growth accelerated after 2000, making it the world’s third-fastest growing region behind emerging Asia and the Middle East. Growing disposable incomes on the continent, as people begin to move upward on the economic ladder, make this region of the world a prime market for inexpensive poultry protein. By 2020 more than half of African households will have discretionary spending power.

Top 10 potential new markets for US poultry  

The USA Poultry & Egg Export Council has compiled a list of the top 10 potential new markets for U.S. poultry exports. The markets, from all over the world, were ranked for their potential based on domestic poultry production and consumption and other factors. Five of the top 10 potential new country markets are in Africa: Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Mauritius and Botswana.

Africa’s economic potential  

Zelda Sharp, a USA Poultry & Egg Export Council consultant, presented other eye-opening facts from the McKinsey Global Institute about Africa’s progress and economic potential:


  • Africa has 60 percent of the world’s uncultivated, arable land.
  • Africa collective GDP at only $1.6 trillion in 2008 is forecast to grow to $2.6 trillion by 2020.
  • Africa’s consumer spending at only $860 billion in 2008 is expected to rise to $1.4 trillion by 2020.
  • The number of Africans of working age in 2040 is forecast to be 1.1 billion.


Africa’s urban population growth  

Two other noteworthy statistics possibly foreshadow the nature of Africa’s future demand for poultry:


  • There are 52 African cities with more than 1 million people each
  • The portion of Africans living in cities by 2030 is forecast to be 50 percent


Know these future destinations for US poultry?  

The six fastest-growing major cities in Africa might become well-known to you as future destinations for U.S. poultry products:


  • Dar es Salaam – Tanzania’s largest urban area with a population over 3 million and projected to grow by over 80 percent by 2025
  • Nairobi – Most populous urban area in East Africa with a population of 3.1 million, this Kenyan city is one of Africa’s most prominent, financially and politically
  • Kinshasa – The capital city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the second largest in Sub-Saharan Africa and the third largest in the whole continent after Lagos and Cairo
  • Luanda – This Angolan city of over 5 million is the world’s third-most-populous Portuguese-speaking city. It is forecast to grow by 70 percent by 2025
  • Addis Abba – Capital city of Ethiopia has a population of over 3.4 million, which is expected to grow by over 60 percent by 2025
  • Abidjan – With a population over 5 million in its metro area, the largest city of Ivory Coast is a cultural hub of West Africa

Where are the other five, non-African, markets with top 10 potential for U.S. poultry exports? According to the study, they are India, Iran, Indonesia, Maldives and Bhutan.