Rwanda has a market of over 11 million people with a rapidly growing middle class and is an important hub for integrating the EAC Common Market and Customs Union, with market potential of over 125 million people, in the business activities of RWANDA CLOTHING.

More than half of Rwanda’s population is under 25-years-old, with 15- to 24-year-olds accounting for nearly a quarter (UNFPA). The total median age is 19 years, the estimated population growth rate for 2014 is 2,63%. Rwanda’s urban population is 27,8% of the total population (2014) but the country has one of the world’s highest annual rate of change of urbanization with 6,43% (2010-2015 est.) (CIA publication: “The World Factbook“). More and more Rwandan’s migrating to the cities and especially to the capital Kigali, which has more than a million inhabitants (1.223 million in 2014).

Rwanda’s young population is extremely optimistic in their outlook to the future and very motivated to work and earn money and is expected to show strong consumer behavior

Rwanda’s young population is extremely optimistic in their outlook to the future and very motivated to work and earn money. This, together with the sustained economic increase in Rwanda, indicates that the strong growth of the Rwandan middle class is expected to continue at a high rate.

The rise of a middle class in Rwanda and whole Africa will produce a new type of African consumer for RWANDA CLOTHING by changing the traditional consumer behavior.
The attitude of Rwandan consumers has undergone a major transformation over the last few years. The increase of the Rwandan middle class, due to the fact that people are fast shifting from agriculture to the services and industry sector where growth prospects are reasonably high as compared to the agriculture sector which is showing slow growth, has provided a big boost to the consumer culture during the recent past.

The tastes and preferences of the current generation are also changing rapidly. Young Rwandans today, who have a higher income per capita and are financial independence at a younger age, want to lead a life full of luxury and comfort orientated towards a more international lifestyle which is very fashion orientated. They are strongly interested in earning money and spending money for consumption, especially for clothing.
The current generation does not mind paying extra for better facilities and ambience or the prestige of wearing special designer’s clothing.

Over the past decade, the number of middle class consumers in Africa has expanded to 355 million, according to a report from the African Development Bank Group (AfDB report: “ Africa in 50 Years’ Time“, Sept. 2011). In 2010, the continent’s 355 million-person middle class – those who spend between $4 and $20 a day – comprised about 34% of the population. This middle class will continue to grow, from 355 million in 2010 to 1.1 billion (42%) in 2060, the bank says (AfDB, 2011 page 13). And this increase in the size of the African middle class is the key to Africa’s future prosperity and RWANDA CLOTHING’s home market success.

The study brings into focus a potentially huge and enticing market for RWANDA CLOTHING. Africa’s emerging middle class, and the accompanying consumer demand also for clothing, is seen as an increasingly powerful economic engine, one that can complement the continent’s traditional reliance on agricultural, energy and mineral production and exports. Africa is a continent on the move with a huge potential for investors, thanks also to more open markets and a greater degree of political stability.

Middle-class Africans, the main costumers of RWANDA CLOTHING, are young, nearly 70 percent of them are under the age of 40, have disposable income and are demanding an increasing amount of goods and services that contribute to the overall well-being of society.

In a separate report from Feb. 2011 (“Out of Africa: A generation of consumers on the rise“), McKinsey & Company estimated that by 2020 there will be 128 million households in Africa making $5,000 or more a year (up from about 85 million in 2011), which is the level at which shopping involves choices, not just necessity. Private consumption on the continent has grown by $275 billion since 2000 – more than in either Brazil or India. Consumer spending in Africa is projected by the McKinsey Global Institute to reach $1.4 trillion in 2020.

Decisions by major consumer retail chains such as Walmart to establish a presence in Africa reflect this global confidence in the economic impetus which can be expect from the African middle class consumers.

These consumers will be easier to reach as more Africans move to cities. In the last 10 years, Africa has added 15 cities, including Kigali, with a population of 1 million or more. Another 19 will join this group by 2020 – by which time there will be total 71 such cities in Africa. More than 117 million Africans have migrated to cities in the last decade (McKinsey, 2011 page 1).

Rwanda already shows how the future of the African middle class could look like. Inspired by the prospect of integrating with the global economy and connected with the global community via internet, young Rwandans own entrepreneurial thinking and acting and are very ambitious in using latest technologies to start new businesses.

Consumption in Rwanda will increase in the next years due to the change and growth of the Rwandan credit culture

Another major factor that will lead to increased consumption in Rwanda in the next years is the change and growth of the Rwandan credit culture. The new Rwandan consumer does not feel shy to purchase products on credit and pay tomorrow for what they use or buy today. This tendency has already led to a tremendous increase in purchase of homes, cars and consumer goods and will strongly support the sale of RWANDA CLOTHING in its home market. The Rwandan market for luxury products, like high-priced fashion and accessories, has also already reached a high level compared to a decade ago when it was almost negligible.

Today, the price of a product is not the only consideration for the purchasing decision of a Rwandan consumer as it was a few years ago when prices played a major role in purchasing.

In their consuming behavior this new Rwandan middle class goes to restaurants and clubs at the weekend, spends money for luxury goods but unfortunately still prefers to shop in stores abroad (e.g. Kenya, Dubai, Uganda) because of the limited choice in Rwanda.

The RWANDA CLOTHING brand strives to capture this ever increasing Rwandan middle class which forms the most important part of consumers in Rwanda. Our goal is to make young Rwandans becoming more interested in the Rwandan fashion market, to use their purchasing power and to offer to them what they expect to purchase.

Young urban middle class Rwandans are well educated, cosmopolitan and open-minded, and they are looking for something different and new, buy exclusive products, follow trends and are very brand-conscious

Young urban middle class Rwandans are well educated, cosmopolitan and open-minded, and they are looking for something different and new, buy exclusive products, follow trends and are very brand-conscious.
They are global in their worldwide view and, unlike their parents, have been exposed to enormous information through the new medias and were born in a consumption-friendly and consumption encouraging Rwandan society. They are expected to be at the forefront of creating a new, modern, west-embracing consumer environment, as well as push the demographic change that will drive economic growth.

The number of working women has especially increased tremendously by the last decades in Rwanda. This part of society has offered new opportunities for the Rwandan retailers. The working woman today has grown out of her long-standing image of being just housewife. Working women have good incomes, their own mind in decision to purchase the products that appeal to them and build one of the most important customer groups for RWANDA CLOTHING in Rwanda. Here in Rwanda, woman are dominating the daily life and have the biggest influence and impact on the social development of the country where more than the half of all Members of Parliament are female. Therefore RWANDA CLOTHING especially focuses on having female Rwandans as longtime customers.

The rural Rwandan consumers are also showing signs of change and their standard of living is improving through socio-economic programs set up by the government and international organizations. They are also shifting towards industrial and services sector and their purchasing power is increasing. For this reason, RWANDA CLOTHING will also focus towards rural Rwanda to capture untapped rural market.

The environmental awareness in Rwanda has started affecting marketing of products based upon their eco-friendliness. In general, Rwandan consumers are likely to buy environmentally responsible products and packaging. The future key for marketing is for RWANDA CLOTHING to produce and promote ethical and ecological responsible products and packaging.
Our customers should not have to decide between their environmental concerns and their commercial considerations.

The current urban middle class Rwandan consumer buying behavior to a large extent has western influence

The current urban middle class Rwandan consumer buying behavior to a large extent has western influence. There is an increase in positive attitude towards western trends. The Rwandan consumer has become much more open-minded and experimental in her/his perspective. There is now an exponential growth of western trend reaching the Rwandan consumer by way of the media and a strong Rwandan diaspora working abroad. Foreign brands have gained wide consumer acceptance in Rwanda.

But the proud and patriotic Rwandan consumers still follow their Rwandan culture, tradition and values, which causes that foreign companies are forced to give a Rwandan/African touch to their marketing strategies in order to enter the Rwandan market. RWANDA CLOTHING is a domestic Rwandan brand, producing and selling in Rwanda and that will be one of our greatest strengths to succeed in Rwanda and Africa.

In our opinion the new generation of consumers in Rwanda will prefer brands that are launched during their growing up years. They will not prefer brands that are very old in the market. This will make it easier for new brands like ours, to cement their place in the market and run successfully. We also believe that the young consumers must be treated with respect: they appreciate smart and unusual marketing campaigns and they have to see a true benefit of purchasing the product before spending their money. For us customer and consumer care is essential. We truly love our customers.

Author of this Article:

avatar for Roman SchulzRoman Schulz

I'm writing for this blog as one of the Co-Founders of RWANDA CLOTHING giving you background information and sharing my opinions about business

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