The penetration potential for Toastmasters into Southern Africa.
District 74 has 156 clubs and a little over 3 000 members (based on 6 855 member payments during 2013/14). There are over 110 million inhabitants in the 9 countries that make up District 74. There is 1 Toastmaster for every 36 666 inhabitants.
The home of Toastmasters International, the USA, has 11 000 clubs and a population of over 330 million. Let’s take an average of 20 members per club; this gives us 220 000 Toastmasters. These is about 1 Toastmaster for every 1 500 inhabitants.
If District 74 could have the same penetration as the USA we would have 3 666 clubs and 73 333 Toastmasters in District 74.
New Zealand, two little islands at the end of the world, has a population of 4.2 million inhabitants. There are 250 clubs in New Zealand. There is about 1 Toastmaster for every 800 inhabitants.
If District 74 could have the same penetration as the New Zealand we would have 6875 clubs and 137 500 Toastmasters in District 74.
BUT these are 1st world countries, so how can we compare Southern Africa to these countries?
The Caribbean Sea has a chain of islands of which Cuba is the largest. This chain runs parallel to the coast of South America. The 3rd most westward of these islands is Curaçao. It has a population of 152 000 inhabitants. They are all of African origin, the major language is Papiamentu with English being very much a minority language, the unemployment rate is 13% and the average income is about R11 000 per month. This tiny island is a Division of 20 clubs or about 400 Toastmasters. There is about 1 Toastmaster for every 380 inhabitants.
If District 74 could have the same penetration as the Curaçao we would have 14 470 clubs and 289 000 Toastmasters in District 74.
What do these first and third world countries know that we have yet to discover?
What penetration level do we want to achieve in Southern Africa?
Could we aim at 1 Toastmaster in 20 000 inhabitants?
We would then have 275 clubs, two Districts and 5 500 Toastmasters.
What if every current Toastmaster took upon him/herself the challenge of adding one new member (over and above the natural attrition we experience of 8 members lost in every club in every year)?
This would mean adding 28 new members to every club in this year.
Compiled by John-Peter Gernaat DTM ; District Public Relations Officer, District 74