Africa is rich in raw materials: cotton, gold, oil, cocoa, and coffee. One of the main challenges of African countries in the coming years is to successfully transform, on the continent, these raw materials into manufactured products with added value. Thus, Africa will no longer be solely a reservoir of natural resources, but also a new versatile player in international trade. This is one of the objectives of the coffee chain Neo held by two brothers: Ngozi and Chijoke Dozie. The Nigerian company, which imports coffee from Rwanda, one of the best producers of coffee beans in the world, aims to be the African version of “Starbucks.”
Neo in Tswana (Botswana language) means “Gift” and “New” in Latin. Ngozi Dozie explains that this is a “new approach to the consumption of coffee when African drink coffee that their land was offered to them as a gift.”With already three coffee shops opened in Lagos and Kigali, Neo wants to double that figure and wants to hold nearly 30 stores in Nigeria within the next four years. With an elaborate visual identity, an offer that meets the growing demand, a service of quality and an international ambition, Neo is a company that seems to have everything to succeed.
This promising company started in an area that will surely be very attractive in the future. In recent years there has been a considerable increase in the number of “returnees” on the African continent. In other words, all the young Africans who emigrated for education or for the start of their professional lives, gradually decide to return to their country of origin. This layer of society represents 99% of their clients according to the manager of Neo. This information indicates to me that the target is not actually African lambdas, or at least not in the medium term, but the elders of the diaspora who with their mobility, bring back in their suitcases practices that are not unique to Africa. Drinking Arabica or latte in a cozy environment while listening to Jazz, is not part of the average African customs. However, the emerging middle class that according to research by Standard Bank represents 4,100,000 households in Nigeria, traveled, studied and worked in London, Paris or New York and is requesting such services. These Afropolitans are potential consumers and could ensure success for the Dozie brothers.