Beauty markets: is Africa the next Asia?

By Lucy Whitehouse contact

- Last updated on GMT

Beauty markets: is Africa the next Asia?

Related tags: Africa, Asia, Regulation

Is Africa, with its growing middle class, the ‘continent of the future’ for consumer goods industries like beauty?

In a recently released market report, ‘Shifting Market Frontiers: Africa Rising’​, market research provider Euromonitor International suggests there is a rising economic potential to Africa’s emerging markets.

The potential in Africa formed a focus of one session at the recent Cosmetics Europe​ Annual Conference industry knowledge-sharing event in Brussels.

The speakers were:

  • Olivier Coupleux, Head of Section Economics and Governance, DG TRADE, European Commission
  • Jean-Paul Dechesne, Worldwide Director Regulatory Affairs, Colgate Palmolive
  • Elsa Dietrich, International Relations Manager, Cosmetics Europe

Session highlights

Here are the key session highlights from the event, as compiled by CEAC organisers:

The session aimed to discuss the opportunities and challenges faced by the cosmetic industry in Africa and identify synergies between industry aspiration for regulatory convergence and the European Commission workplan.

Not a single market

Africa cannot be seen as a single market; a regional or country by country approach is much more relevant.

If Africa can claim to be the continent of the future with a growing middle class, it is also the continent of the uncertainties with different economic and political contexts, sometimes unstable, and heterogeneous regulatory regimes hard to decrypt for companies.

Some African countries do not even have any regulation for cosmetics.

Safety first

The cosmetic industry objective is not only to guarantee an easy access to the market but, first and foremost, ensure a high level of safety for the consumers. No regulation is therefore not a response.

Therefore, Cosmetics Europe main objective is to work closely with the authorities in different countries to share with them the best regulatory practices. This will:

(1) help to work towards highest possible consumer safety

(2) allow EU industry to rely on a regulatory system aligned with international practices

(3) encourage local manufacturers to progressively adopt those best practices

(4) by meeting the international requirements, stimulate their export at the international level.

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