It‘s not surprising that batteries are one of the most-purchased items, especially in Africa‘s rural areas. Torchlights and radios are the common uses for the popular disposable batteries. Although there is a growing preference for rechargeable battery-powered devices over disposable batteries, the severe power shortages often make it impossible to recharge them.
Nevertheless, more appliances which never used to be battery-powered are now arriving on African markets with battery options. Of particular interest to me at this point is a battery-powered electric fan I bought a couple of months ago. During the hot afternoons and sweaty nights when people need electric fans the most, my new battery-powered fan has been marvelous! When fully charged, the battery can power the fan for up to six hours, often lasting throughout an entire night!
I have also come across battery-powered kitchen blenders and hair clippers. These devices, gadgets and home appliances which provide power on demand hold tremendous value and are very attractive to the African market.
Again the concept will simply be based on importing these goods and selling them, either to existing retailers or directly to households and businesses.
However, be aware while there is currently a huge market for this, billions have been allocated to improve the electricity situation in Africa. The power availability that you witness now in a particular city or country may look completely different five to 10 years down the line. It is therefore best to exploit this opportunity with quick imports while diversifying at the same time – e.g. by adding solar-powered appliances to your product range. They will sell long into the future.
Top Countries & Policy Guidance
This is a business that would work best in Africa‘s large and dynamic cities where people have enough spending power to indulge in battery-powered appliances. It would obviously work best in cities with chronic power cuts, so make sure you focus on those.
Action & Tips
When importing it is often difficult to get small shipments, but it may really be wise to get just a few samples and test the market in your given area.