Slide of the month March – Kenyan mobile money transfers

Mobile money has become the most important money transfer system in Kenya by far, in contrast to the European continent where people mostly stay suspicious to such paying systems. africon GmbH with its long-term experience in the payment sector did a research for a leading manufacturer of chip for payment cards. In this context, the Kenyan market of banking and credit cards has been analysed and an important data base including information from more than 50 expert interviews in Nigeria and Kenya with banks, personalisation bureaus, distributors and other key organisations was constituted. Thanks to this extensive research, africon can resume that the Kenyan banking market is saturated. Investments into this sector can hardly be profitable besides banks and telcos who still buy payment cards. The Nigerian market currently shows a strong margin drop for payment chips and new technologies are being explored by banks and payment providers. Nevertheless, the dynamic development of mobile money is an important opportunity for the IT sector and internet security companies.

 

Germany Africa Business Forum

On the 23rd of March 2017, Marc Zander, CEO of africon, participated in the Germany Africa Business Forum (GABF) as the moderator of the panel discussion “Germany grows abroad – venturing to Africa for new markets”. In the presence of high ranked African politicians such as the former president of the Republic of Benin, Boni Yayi and the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea Gabriel M. O. Lima, German and African business men and women came together in the prestigious Adlon Kempinski Hotel.

In absence of German politicians, one could assist to very openminded and trustful discussions. So, Mr. Lima expressed his wish that Germans should be “as aggressive as the other nations to show to the Africans that they are interested”. Also, Mr. J.H. Muhindo, Deputy Head of Mission of the embassy of Uganda, stressed the wish of his country that Germany would rather invest into Uganda’s industrialisation than continuing paying traditional development aid as there are many graduated young people in Uganda who were not able to gain suitable jobs. Altogether, the image of a strong and innovative Africa was drawn during the GABF, that stands in extreme contrast to generally published image of a poor continent in need. This was mainly due to the presence of modern and successful African business people such as Erick Yong, Onyeche Tifase or Rebecca Enonchong.

Between the panels, there were many occasions for exchange between the participants of the forum so that newcomers in the German African business scene could benefit from the experiences of established players.

Watch here a video-summary of the fair:

 

Vision and Mission

New Vision and Mission for africon GmbH
After six years of existence, africon’s long-term strategy was reviewed. That was done at the beginning of 2017, including the consultancy of an external specialist. The new vision of the company is: ‘Bridging Potentials’.

Bridging for us means building bridges – with Africa, the rest of the world and within the continent. We connect companies, ideas, projects as well as people and offer them a bridge to develop their potentials together in cooperation with us.

We believe in the African potential. These potentials are in the connection to and from Africa as well as within the continent. Potentials are defined for us as all possibilities to create an added value. Those can be personal as well as financial added values. With enthusiasm, we search, discover and promote these potentials.

The mission of africon as a company and each member of the team is to become the leading European consulting company delivering solutions for Africa to companies worldwide by 2030.
Our first step will be achieved in 5 years as a short-term goal. In 2022, we strive to be a leading European consulting company delivering solutions for Africa to companies in our key markets. Our solutions include market research, developing strategies and local implementation with our representations in key African markets. Using our networks and hands-on approach we create tailor-made solutions together with our customers. Our added value is the reduction of time, costs and risk.

Our staff is highly motivated. They are the trusted partners of their customers. The international and local teams are specialized and understand the African markets. A key factor of motivation is our company culture.

Our owners take an active role in the business. We grow constantly, profit oriented and are financially independent.

This is how we bridge potentials.

 

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.”

 

Slide of the month February – Segmentation of the Nigerian sanitary market

The slide of the month January showed that Western Africa is a very active region for hotel development. The rise of the construction sector also drives the need of interior design and sanitary products. Two third of the total Nigerian turnover in sanitary products come from retail business. Only one third of the products are sold in construction projects such as hotels or office buildings. Whereas, when it comes to high-end class, the ratio changes and project business dominates the selling of sanitary and interior decor. Key to success in Nigeria is the identification of key players.

The segmentation of the Nigerian market illustrated by the sanitary sector is typical for Africa. Small distributors and unofficial markets dominate. Still, africon sees an opportunity for large contracts in high-end projects. A successful market entry must cover the whole distribution chain.