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Understanding the role of religion in Africa

Our latest Roper Need to Know report covers four key markets in Sub Saharan Africa. In this article we look at the important role religion plays in the markets. African consumers are devout people, and the continent is home to many different religious traditions. Almost two thirds (63%) of the population considers faith as an important value. This makes a stark contrast with Western Europe where religion is a topic of interest for only 9% of the population.

In order to be successful, brands and marketers need to understand the variety of religions and small communities which exist in Africa and ensure that their communications and strategies are sensitive to those different groups. Taking the example of South Africa, there are 11 official languages spoken in the country among a population composed of Christian, Muslim, Hindu, animist and other beliefs. Depending on their religion, their community and the language they speak, consumers share different values. It is important for a company to take everyone’s beliefs and values into account and at the same time make sure there is no preferential treatment for one community compared to another.

By understanding the values linked to particular beliefs and communities, as well as their personal values, attitudes and behaviour towards life in general, brands are able to align their strategy to the specific needs of their target consumer.

Read more blogs on our Africa Need to Know reports here.

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