As a longterm project partner, africon inaugurates the new Azuri production plant

Sonja Mattfeld inaugurates the new Dried Mango production plant

In 2013, German trade fair Messe Dusseldorf and SAVE FOOD initiative hired africon, to perform research on the Kenyan food market. The study revealed a dramatic statistic: 300,000 tons of the mango harvest is lost because the fruits are not picked in time or cannot be processed quickly enough.

After an analysis of the reasons of losses and a deep insight into the Kenyan mango sector and its few processing techniques (mango pulp, mango juice, dried mangoes), africon together with Messe Dusseldorf and committed members of the SAVE FOOD initiative formed an active group and chose the Kenyan company Azuri Health Ltd. as their local partner in actually tackling the problem and invest in the niche market of dried mangoes.

This year on 8th February Azuri Health could, as a result of the successful business implementation, open a bigger production plant. Here, the production staff doubled from 5 to 10 persons and additional 25 casual workers during the peak production periods. Also, in terms of production capacity, the new plant evaluated to from 2 to 10 tons of dried mango per month.

Sonja Mattfeld, Partner at africon and Project Manager of “The Mango Project” was invited to hold a speech and cut the ribbon at the inauguration of the new plant. Just as was Dr. Clemens Schütte, Director of International Business at Messe Düsseldorf, a long standing partner of africon and “The Mango Project”.

Tei Mukunya, Founder and CEO of Azuri, states: “The Mango project is indeed the much awaited solution. They came to Kenya asked the right questions and realized what was needed.”


africon participates in the GABF

“The GABF aims at bringing together shrewd entrepreneurs, key opinion leaders and social influencers, CEO’s and selected politicians and non-governmental organisations to develop fresh commercial and social concepts that shape business, as well as economic thought and institutions.” (GABF)

The German-Africa Business Forum is a one-day event enabling exchange between German and African business communities. New potentials for cooperation can be identified during these days but also the interaction between economic, political and social development is discussed. Side by side with African and German politicians and businessmen Marc-Peter Zander, CEO of africon, will be speaking about opportunities of investment in Africa and share his experiences from the private sector.

The GABF will take place on the 23rd of March in the Adlon Kempinski Hotel in Berlin.



German-African Business Summit (GABS)

The German-African Business Summit goes into its second round. This time the summit will take place in Nairobi, Kenya where africon will also be present with some of our clients. The event is organised by SAFRI, the “German Initiative for Sub-Saharan Africa” and counts many high positioned celebrities such as the German Ministers Sigmar Gabriel and Gerd Müller. It is announced as a “perfect platform for decision-makers in business and politics from Germany and the African continent.” Further information can be found on the according website.

Marc Zander, CEO africon speaks on Africa conference in Dortmund

More than 300 representatives from Germany and world wide attended the 4th Africa conference on “investment potential in Africa for German companies” in Dortmund. The conference brought together various speakers and company representatives from all over the world.

Marc Zander, CEO and Partner of africon GmbH has been invited as key note speaker and spoke on various topics being chances for German companies in Africa, the food value chains in Africa and most importantly on opportunities in more than 54 countries.

As a supporting paper for the conference africon was contracted to publish a German study on the chances of companies in Africa. The study can be found a download here.


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africon publishes study for 4th German-African economic forum in Dortmund

Spätestens seit der Jahrtausendwende befindet sich das Bild Afrikas, des vormaligen ‚Kontinents der Kriege und Katastrophen‘, in einem radikalen Wandel.

Africon at the AGBF in Dubai

The CEO & Partner of Africon Ltd. Marc Zander, visited the AGBF in Dubai to discuss investment in Africa with various investors. Outcome of the discussion has been that the African markets are a key focus of various investors in the Middle East region.

Marc Zander, CEO & Partner Africon speaks at ALN Conference

The conference brought together approximately 500 thought leaders on investing and doing business in Africa to discuss the sectors and regions in Africa that provide the greatest opportunities for foreign investors, while analysing the legal and regulatory implications of doing business on the continent. Marc Zander spoke on the opportunities for FMCG companies in Africa being an expert in the Nigerian FMCG markets. Read more about the conference!

Marc Zander speaks at A.D.A.N Network on market entry strategies for Germany SME

XCOM Africa has been key note speaker on “Market entry in Africa” during the A.D.A.N meeting in Frankfurt. More on:


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XCOM Africa at HARVARD Business School

XCOM Africa was recently invited to participate as one of a few selected panelists at the 15th Africa Business Conference, organized by the Harvard Business School in Boston, MA. The conference aimed to showcase those who continue to shape and influence the African story through business and enterprises, and to create an environment for like-minded individuals to meet, exchange ideas and spur one another on to action. The event was attended by over 1.300 visitors from all around the world.

Marc-Peter Zander, CEO & Managing Partner of XCOM Africa, participated as a panelist at the ‘Foreign Investment, Global Responsibility: Investment from Foreign States and Multinational Corporations’ debate. He put emphasis on the vast opportunities the continent and in particular countries such as Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya are providing. He furthermore highlighted the importance of businesses to start acknowledging the potential of Africa and to gain of it. His 15 years of living and work experience on the continent provided a strong foundation for the debates.


Marc Zander, Speaker at Munich Business School

Insider information on one of the most expensive business projects in world history, a live connection to South Africa, insights into the geostrategic power games for the African continent, an exciting panel discussion with experienced Africa experts and the possibility of being actively involved in a role play or simulation game: the first Africa Business Day at Munich Business School offered a multitude of interesting events to the participants. The idea of focusing on only one topic during a whole day of teaching at the university was thus successfully put into practice.
It quickly became clear after Prof. Dr. Arnd Albrecht’s (lecturer for International Management at MBS) welcome address: Europeans do not know much about the African economy. It was therefore particularly fitting that Dr. Benedikt Franke provided the introduction into the Africa Business Day at Munich Business School, since his knowledge about the economic situation and the geopolitical relationships around Africa are probably unsurpassed in Germany. As an employee of the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, he was able to gain deep insights into Africa-related topics, and he continues to be involved in the annual publishing of the Africa Progress Report (further information on the Africa Progress Report can be found here), a detailed overview of the economic development in the 54 countries of the African continent. Apart from Kofi Annan, the former IMF director Michel Camdessus, the former US treasury secretary Robert Rubin and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus contribute to the report, for example.
This is Dr. Benedikt Franke’s core thesis in one sentence: The development in Africa poses some risks for German companies and the German economy as a whole, but it also offers great opportunities, which at the moment are not made use of because there is no German strategy with regard to the continent. China is one step ahead of Germany with its result-oriented Africa strategy, but also countries such as Brazil or Mexico.
Dr. Franke’s statements were confirmed from an African point of view by Roland Nwancha, Managing Director of the Transformanz consulting firm. Nwancha mainly talked about the financing structures within the African economy, but also pointed out opportunities for German companies and entrepreneurs in various African countries and regions. According to him, the sectors of infrastructure, agriculture or education could offer good business possibilities if approached correctly.

Africa Business Consultant Marc-Peter Zander worked together with the participants of a workshop which dealt with the cornerstones for a market entry strategy to find out how this should be done in detail. At the same time, Dr. Christian Schmidkonz organized a role play on the Chinese strategy on the African continent.
After the lunch break, the participants were able to take part in the video web conference with the University of South Africa, in which Professor Darrell Myrick presented the concept of a manager training via Open Distance Learning. This event was organized by Prof. Dr. Albrecht. At the same time, DII representatives Jutta Kleymann and Franca Diechtl gave a presentation with background information on the current status and the challenges of the Desertec project, which, with its planned investment volume of €400 billion, belongs to the largest business projects in human history.
The panel discussion was the highlight and the closing event of the Africa Business Day. Lead by Silvia Liebrich, business editor at Süddeutschen Zeitung, Walter Englert, Vice President of the Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft (German-African Business Association), Club-of-Rome member Frithjof Finkbeiner as well as the consultants Marc-Peter Zander and Roland Nwancha discussed the perspectives for German companies in various African region as well as different industries.

The event was hosted by Anne-Marie Binette, who made a significant contribution to the success of the event with her sound preparation of the topic and her precise transitions.