Presenting the “Mittelstandsindex Afrika” in Berlin

German economic exchange with Africa today lags behind its potential. Only around 2% of German foreign trade is with Africa and German investment on the continent stands only at a fraction of that from many of its’ European neighbours. Over the past years various players in the German economy, from corporations to government entities and associations, have taken steps to enhance this engagement. The German “Mittelstand” (small and medium sized enterprises) as the backbone of the German economy will also have a crucial role to play. In order to support this drive, africon contributed to the development of the “Mittelstandsindex Afrika” and presented it as part of a panel organised by the “Agentur für Wirtschaftliche Entwicklung (AWE)” in Berlin on Oct 24, 2019. Erik Deitersen, Senior Consultant with africon, thereby represented the development team of the index (BRS Institute, BVMW and Nexia) on the panel and shared perspectives on the “Mittelstand’s” engagement in Africa.

We thank the organisers for providing us with the platform to share our tool and perspectives.

Learn more here

Slide of the month (SOTM) October. Construction sector performance in South Africa

South Africa has a large construction sector which is actually one of the largest in Africa currently worth about 15 billion USD, and also contributing 4% to the country’s GDP in 2018. Sadly, the construction sector has been in recession since 2017 and the overall growth rate in the past decade has been quite low at a rate of 2.47% between 2009 and 2018.

A struggling economy and 12% reduced spending on infrastructure by the government have greatly affected the sector’s growth over the past few years, and even in the current year 2019, some players in the sector report that business is shrinking further.

africon did some local research in the South African market, and this was aimed at achieving further insights about the construction industry as well as identifying suitable business partners in South Africa for our client.

Despite the current situation, there is likely to be an upturn soon because there are still many planned projects and the government has recently established a 27.5 billion USD infrastructure fund, with an expected infrastructure spending of 59 billion USD over the next 3 years.

Slide of the month (SOTM) September. Consumer goods distributors in Ethiopia

The impressive growth of Ethiopia over the past decade has put the country on the map in the consumer goods business.

Even though East Africa Holding did not make it to the shortlist of the most interesting potential partners, africon was impressed by the company’s strong local networks and standing in the market. Its focus on own manufactured goods provide a strong asset in times of Ethiopia’s forex crisis – even though it (at least presently) reduces the company’s priority on imported foreign brands.

africon identified and recommended potential distribution partners for our client locally. After meeting approximately 20 consumer goods distributors, africon rated and ranked the firms according to key performance indicators previously agreed upon with our client.

If you would like to know more about consumer goods and FCMG in Ethiopia or other parts in Africa, do not hesitate to get in touch with our team.

Enormous potential for Africa’s wire, cable & tube industries

Africa boasts enormous potential for increased trade in wire & cable, tube & pipe related industries. Market observers have noted that in many African markets the business environment is improving, and the implementation of structural reforms is leading to increased business confidence.

Those were some of the ideas discussed at this year’s Africa Wire, Cable & Tube Conference.

CRU and the Southern Africa-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK), along with leading global trade shows, Wire & Tube as lead sponsor, held the Africa Wire, Cable & Tube Conference, on 11-13 November in Johannesburg, South Africa.

This important inaugural event is an opportunity for the local industry and stakeholders to meet with the international supply chain, and discuss the main trends impacting the global market and how they can be applied to the opportunities and challenges being faced across the continent.

To see the agenda, check here

The event brought together people from all over the globe with an interest in the wire, cable and tube industry.

Some of the topics addressed included

  1. Understanding Africa’s wire & cable, tube & pipe production, trade and supply chain
  2. The importance of the industry’s reliance on wire, cable, tube and pipe for African development
  3. Update on the expected consumption trends in Africa, of high wire and tube consuming industries: Mining, Utilities, Oil & Gas, Construction & Infrastructure
  4. Latest global technological advances in wire, cable, tube and pipe manufacturing, and how they can be applied in African operations
  5. Key considerations for the global wire, cable, tube and pipe supply chain when considering investing in African operations/distribution
  6. Technical agenda dedicated to technical showcases that highlight wire & cable or tube & pipe technology advances relevant to African operations

The africon team was very present as a supporting sponsor. CEO and Partner Mr. Zander also spoke about the Potential for growth in Africa in wire and cable or tube and pipe industries.

To see more insights about topics, speakers and the overall conference, see here

Slide of the month (SOTM) August. Real estate projects in South Africa

The real estate industry in South Africa has been growing steadily in the last few years. Looking at the industry’s three main segments, i.e. residential, commercial, and additions/alterations, it is apparent that South Africa´s residential developments have increased the most in value, at a growth rate of 11.37% between 2015 and 2018. Similarly, additions and alterations have increased at a growth rate of 7.92% in the same period. The growth in these two segments can however be accredited to the country’s growing urban population.

Although commercial projects are the second largest in South Africa’s real estate industry, there has been a decline between 2017 and 2018. Commercial projects increased in value from 1.15 billion USD in 2015 to 1.8 billion USD in 2017 and declined to 1.3 billion USD in the year 2018, making this the slowest growing segment in the last few years. The main reason for this decline is the current economic performance of the country which is currently quite low after recovering from a recession in the year 2017.

For more questions and comments, do not hesitate to contact us.