Ten African consumer trends to run with – and profit from – in 2015

6. Creative cross-polynations: striking creative partnerships with those outside the continent

Africa’s media and entertainment sector faces hurdles in terms of professional equipment, promotional channels and project funding. These challenges can be overcome through greater collaboration between organisations in Africa and developed-world countries.

Veve, a Kenyan thriller released in 2014 is a collaboration between African film production companies and the German government. Last year the NollywoodWeek Film Festival’s second edition took place in Paris. The festival screened seven of the most talked-about Nigerian films over a four-day period.

7. Eco-reverence: environmentally-friendly products that truly offer value

A growing number of Africans today want to show respect for the environment through the products they consume. However, many are now realising that going green doesn’t necessarily mean ‘backwards’, no-frills solutions.

South African enterprise Rethaka has launched environmentally-friendly schoolbags made from recycled plastic shopping bags. They feature built-in solar technology that charges during the day and transforms into a light for schoolchildren to study after dark in homes without electricity. The bags are also designed with reflective material to increase visibility and pedestrian safety for children walking to and from school.

Sustainability is also at the heart of Nigerian fashion brand Dumebi Clothing’s business. It treats its workers well, and minimises its environmental impact.

8. New African deal: workers want an invitation to the African growth party

Africa’s strong economic growth over the past years has not trickled down to the average man on the street, and many still live in poverty. Workers are increasingly demanding tangible benefits from the continent’s ascent. “In 2015, smart brands will heed the call of the masses and supercharge rising Africa by letting everyone join the party,” says Trendwatching.

Tomato Jos is a Nigerian-based agricultural production start-up that aims to produce a variety of tomato products. It empowers tomato farmers with whom it works through education, logistics and resources.

Similarly, Coca-Cola sponsors the Lady Mechanic Initiative that equips Nigerian women with mechanical and technical skills to become competent and qualified professionals in the field of automotive repairs.

9. On-demand delight: the Uberfication of everything arrives in Africa

Accustomed to stressful and inefficient services, Africans are embracing the ability to outsource everyday day tasks to online or app-based service providers. A number of African companies are now offering such on-demand services.

Nigerian start-up Washist is an on-demand laundry service. The company collects dirty laundry from a specific address, and delivers the cleaned clothes back a few days later. Orders can be placed online or telephonically. For a monthly subscription of ₦10,000 (about $55), customers get a maximum of three pick-ups a month.

South African company SweepSouth is a platform for booking home cleaning services online from a laptop, phone or tablet. SweepSouth connects its customers with an experienced, insured and vetted cleaner in minutes.

10. Brand stands: taking a stand against corruption

In 2015, African brands will finally take a stand against corruption, says Trendwatching. “Consumers will look up to, and support, brands who are brutally honest about corruption.”

South African fast-food chain Nando’s has been a leader in this regard with its humorous advertisements that address issues such as governance, politics and corruption. One example is its Blue Light Brigade video which mocks the controversial government convoys.