AFRICA FOCUS Richard Scott – Editor, Personal Care Magazine

The continent of Africa is the second- most populous continent in the world after Asia. With 1.3 billion people living within its 54 countries, Africa offers a huge amount of potential for Africa- based and international companies willing to address the specific skin care, hair care and beauty needs of its wide range of ethnicities.

According to Beauty Africa, the overall beauty and cosmetics market across the continent was worth €7.5 billion in 2018, a figure which is predicted to increase at a rate of 8% and 10% per year against a global market growth rate of close to 4%. The figure is predicted to reach €12 billion by 2022. South Africa is the largest market

in sub-Saharan Africa with €3.5 billion of revenue in 2018. Nigeria, is seen as a rising star with a potential €3.2 billion of revenue by 2022.

Land of youth Africa has been a key focus for many leading futurists for some time now as the continent bucks the global trend for ageing populations, which has been a concern for many businesses. In his book ‘2030’, author Mauro Guillen writes: “Africa is about to witness a dual agricultural and industrial revolution akin to what happened in Europe, the Americas and East Asia in centuries past…” as a result of its birth rate and sweeping adoption of mobile communications. Even if this only turns out to be half true, the continent will be the scene of dramatic change and development, offering rich potential for agile businesses looking to serve a booming consumer market.

Nigeria The West African country of Nigeria is made up of 36 states and includes the city of Lagos, one of the largest metropolitan centres in the world and an influential African hub. Gaining independence from

Britain in 1960, it is now the most populous country in Africa (approx. 206 million) with a wide range of ethnic groups, languages and customs. At the end of 2020, The

International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists (IFSCC) welcomed the Society of Cosmetic Scientists, Nigeria (NICOS) as its 50th Member Society. Inspired by the rapidly

expanding Nigerian cosmetic market, NICOS founders Grace Abamba (President, NICOS) and Olusola Ojo (Vice President, NICOS) decided to formally register NICOS. On joining the IFSCC: Grace

Abamba commented: “This milestone has been achieved at a turbulent time for Nigeria but it is important to celebrate it as we hope for a brighter future. Personal care and beauty is really important to Nigerians and this is reflected in the growing value of the market.” Personal Care spoke to Grace

Abamba to discover more about this exciting market.

PERSONAL CARE: NICOS became the latest full member of the IFSCC a few months ago. Could you explain what sort of impact you hope this will have for cosmetics industry in the country?

GRACE ABAMBA: We were very excited to become the 50th member of the IFSCC at the last congress organised

by Japan in October 2020. It was really disappointing not to have been there in person, nevertheless a memorable occasion for all of us! The Society of Cosmetic Scientists Nigeria, NICOS, is a professional community for scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to promote and encourage education, research and sustainable growth of the African cosmetics and personal



Beauty and science in the spotlight

care market worldwide. ‘Elevating African Beauty through Science’ is our ultimate mission.

PC: What types of products have historically performed well in the Nigerian cosmetics market? GA: Historically personal skin care products such as moisturisers and baby products under global brands by multinationals including Unilever, P&G, and PZ Cussons are seen as commodity. Skin lighteners are still a very

strong category where consumers are looking for a more even skin tone. However as in many markets around the world, there is a real battle to keep products containing illegal actives out of the marketplace.

PC: How is the cosmetics market in Nigeria currently structured? GA: Is it dominated by large manufacturers or many smaller businesses? It is still dominated by large multinationals, yet in the last 10 years, local SMEs and independent formulators are becoming more important.

PC: What current issues are cosmetic companies currently having to deal with? Has COVID been a major factor? GA: Building reliable supply chains in terms of raw material sourcing and product testing can be a challenge. In terms of COVID let us not forget that Nigeria successfully battled Ebola in 2014 so people were well versed in measures/


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