PARIS, July 26 — In Nigeria, the country with the largest population on the African continent, more than three quarters of Gen Z and Millennials say they are ready to try plant-based protein as an alternative to meat.

And this could be no bad thing, considering that Africa will account for a quarter of the world’s population by 2050.

According to forecasts by the French Institute for Demographic Studies (INED), Nigeria will be the third most populous country in the world in 2050, with more than 400 million inhabitants, far behind India and China.

Ethiopia will be 8th with more than 200 million inhabitants, Congo 9th (195 million), Egypt 11th (160 million), Tanzania 15th (130 million) and Kenya 20th (91 million).

In 2050, scientists estimate that a quarter of the world’s population will live in Africa, compared to one person in six today.

This development raises the question of how to feed so many people.

Recent research, conducted by the American company North Mountain Consulting Group in collaboration with the Credence Institute in South Africa, offers a first answer by exploring the idea of a plant-based diet.

Indeed, younger generations appear to be particularly inclined to swapping their steaks for products made with soy, chickpeas and other plant-based alternatives.

In Kenya, 72 per cent of young people report that they are highly likely to buy plant-based meat, along with 63 per cent in Nigeria and 46 per cent in Egypt.

In general, many of the young people surveyed report that they are highly likely to try plant-based meat, whether in Nigeria (76 per cent), Kenya (80 per cent) or Egypt (62 per cent).

These figures are all the more significant since Nigerians are generally big meat eaters, the report says.

“The high degree of openness to plant-based, cultivated, and hybrid products signals an opportunity to reduce reliance on conventional meat, improving public health, environmental, and animal welfare outcomes,” Dr Keri Szejda, Principal Research Scientist, North Mountain Consulting Group, concludes in a statement. — ETX Studio