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Africa tops world AC growth forecastsFebruary 2019

Saziye Dickson Global Research Manager

Hot-off-the-press: in 2018, the total African AC market for the continent grew by 4 per cent in volume from 2017. The market is forecast to grow at around 5.5 per cent CAGR between 2017-2023, by volume, which exceeds the global forecast of 4.9 per cent for the same period. This is according to the first ever African air conditioning study released by BSRIA.

The countries with the strongest growth forecast are: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania.

The main drivers are: growth in population, better performing economies, more stable governments, new construction, urbanisation and rising disposable income.

There are still a myriad of challenges faced by the countries in the region, including a recovering economy in Egypt with strong growth in construction and a planned new capital city; economic stagnation in the run-up to the passing of the “Expropriation Bill” in South Africa; shortage of foreign currency in Ethiopia and economic reforms in Tanzania restricting imports, as well as tough economic conditions challenging the growth of the Tunisian AC market.

Many African countries are looking to “diversify and develop” their economies. This should help them to cope with “the storms of global trade wars and protectionism” which currently threatens the world.

Saziye Dickson, Research Manager – Air Conditioning, Ventilation & Refrigeration, Worldwide Market Intelligence, BSRIA, said:

“In spite of its political uncertainty and economic challenges, the continent continues to attract investors’ attention, especially from China. Chinese interest is evident with Chinese AC manufacturers accounting for a significant market share in 2018, followed by the South Korean players.

The main reason behind the growing interest in the region is its strong economic growth. According to the latest Oxford Economics forecast, GDP growth for Africa is set to outstrip that of any other world region from 2012 to 2030. This is driven by rapid economic and population growth, resulting in faster urbanisation than any other continent over this period.

BSRIA’s strong relationship with global HVAC manufacturers and its expert researchers enable the company to provide valuable insight into market dynamics, as well as reliable market sizing and forecasts.

The annual sale of 2.8m units a year mostly consists of single un-ducted splits which enjoy the strongest forecasted growth (6 per cent) due to demand from residential and light commercial projects. The VRF sector (4 per cent growth) is the second fastest growth area in Africa.

It is still early days as the contractors and installers are slowly trained regarding these systems and the industry needs more specialist knowledge to make the right choices in selecting a HVAC system. The growth of 3 per cent CAGR (2017 – 2023) in the chiller market is matching the growth levels of the Americas and the European AC market.

The research also found that most Global HVAC manufactures are present through independent dealers instead of having a presence with their own sales offices. However, this is slowly changing as companies figure out their entry strategy into these markets. This investment should help to develop growth in the AC sector, as marketing and sales spend starts to drive the market.”

Total AC growth by region CAGR - 2017 - 2023 units

The study covers 10 key country markets in detail and offers the HVAC industry with a “much-needed” total African market data by estimating the remaining countries in a further five separate regions.

  • The regions: Central Africa, Eastern Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa and Western Africa.
  • The countries: Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Tunisia.

New Africa Air Conditioning reports:

For more detail on the size, trends and key issues in the Africa and Middle-Eastern markets, call to discuss your options with our international sales teams: Tina Fahmy on 01344 465 510 or

BSRIA's Worldwide Market Intelligence (WMI) division is a leading provider of a regularly released authoritative portfolio of published market reports and hot topics, in addition to bespoke studies and management consultancy. A wide range of off-the-shelf solutions includes: HVAC, energy service and smart homes, renewable technology, refrigeration, structured cabling, lighting, security, fire detection and building controls.

BSRIA WMI also offers highly valued market consultancy to the building and HVAC&R market stakeholders building on its comprehensive data base of information, its profound expertise of the market’s competitive environment, its technical knowledge and strong analytical power.

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