Markets & Finance

PwC survey says Nairobi tops Africa in entertainment spend


Revellers at the New Florida Night Club after it was reopened recently. Nairobi residents have the fastest growing spending in entertainment in Africa underlining rising disposable income in the city. PHOTO | COURTESY

Nairobi residents have the fastest growing spending in entertainment in Africa underlining rising disposable income in the city, a survey by international audit and advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) shows.

PwC said Nairobi’s current 12.5 per cent growth in entertainment and media expenditure is expected to continue up to 2018 as the middle class seeks to catch up on many of the products and services that urban dwellers in developed countries have long enjoyed.

“It is an indication of Nairobi’s dynamic development, and that of many other African cities, that its companies and consumers have the highest rate of growth in entertainment and media spending of any other city in the world among the 30 covered in PwC’s recent study,” reads part of the report.

PwC indicated Nairobi’s pace of growth in entertainment spending was likely to be among the highest globally.

“Another of our African Cities of Opportunity, Johannesburg, comes in third in global entertainment and media spending, just behind Beijing and Mumbai – and ahead of Shanghai,” said the report.

Nairobians topped in discretionary spending for technology and homes while coming second in prioritising books, movies, and games.

READ: Middle class Kenyans splash cash on trendy gadgets and new clothes

The survey looks at different social, economic and infrastructural aspects that make a city suitable to exploit opportunities.

Overall, considering all the aspects considered in the survey, Nairobi was ranked seventh in the survey in a list dominated by North African cities with Cairo taking the lead followed by Tunis. Among sub-Saharan countries, Nairobi ranked third after Johannesburg and Accra.

Kenya’s capital is ranked tops among the 30 cities in attracting foreign direct investment. Foreign investors are major participants in the Nairobi Securities Exchange. Their active participation has been attributed to ease of entry and exit in the market.

READ: Treasury bets on foreign investors to bridge balance of trade gap

The city ranked poorly in infrastructure especially in traffic management. The congestion in the city was attributed to inability of heavy, long-distance traffic to bypass Nairobi.

Last week, the Nairobi county government announced short-term measures to deal with the traffic mess, including the removal of five roundabouts which are said to contribute to the gridlock.

READ: Roundabouts to go as Kidero tackles Nairobi traffic

Coffee shops, restaurants and fast-food joints have been opening new outlets in the city in a race to tap into Nairobi’s emerging entertainment culture.

International outlets are setting up shop in the city to slake Nairobians’ thirst to be associated with their brands.

READ: Kenya’s shifting middle class tastes draw in luxury brands

Japan-based international fast-food restaurant chain, Teriyaki, opened its outlet along Mama Ngina Street last week. The chain has witnessed long queues of customers spilling to the street since its opening.

Other international players that have opened shop recently include American fast-food chains Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Subway and Cold Stone.
Movie halls and night clubs have also been upgrading their premises to attract the growing middle class.

PwC also marks Nairobi as a hub for financial services together with Johannesburg. The government has been putting in place measures to ensure Nairobi’s status as an international financial centre.

Recently it formed a committee including three Cabinet secretaries, the Attorney-General, Central Bank of Kenya and Capital Markets Authority to implement measures to work towards meeting this target.