Our March newsletter is out. Read about our latest news, projects and developments.

Our March newsletter is out! We have had a great start to the first quarter of the year. We trust that you have too. Despite recent global turbulence, we have so far seen strong interest in the African continent and its potential, which is making us look forward to a promising rest of the year. The past months have seen some very interesting developments for africon.

Read all that and more here  

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Project reference: Success of Bodo Möller Chemie in Africa 

At africon, interested companies, organisations or stakeholders frequently ask us questions, such as “How can you create value for us?”, “What was the outcome of this clients´ project you worked on?” or “Can you tell us about a sample project of yours?”. For this edition of our newsletter, we took the opportunity to speak to one of our long-standing clients and provide you with insightful answers.
We interviewed Mr. Volker Oehl, Global Business Development Manager at Bodo Möller Chemie, to tell us about BMC’s experience in working with africon.

As a leading specialty chemicals distributor, Bodo Möller Chemie offers top products of renowned chemical companies. BMC is the expert for adhesive systems and partner for electro-casting as well as composites and tooling materials. Additives, pigments, binders and dyes, provide high-quality solutions for the production and processing of paints and coatings, plastics, building materials, lubricants and textiles. Bodo Möller Chemie is continuously expanding its global branch and logistics network – today, customers in more than 60 countries are served from their 30 international locations.

What were the challenges/tasks you faced before working with africon?
Mr. Oehl: Africa offers plenty of opportunities. However, the large number of countries and differences in types of key industries, degree of industrialization, ease of doing business and other factors are a big challenge, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
BMC has a historic presence in Egypt, the Maghreb countries and South Africa. Even though these are some of the major hubs, there are plenty of opportunities outside those countries. Large economies, large population and above average growth exist in East and West Africa.
africon’s assistance was appreciated especially for sub-Saharan Africa. Investment decisions needed to be made based on market insights, competitive situation, economic data and our principals’ coverage of African markets. Bodo Möller Chemie prides itself as a speciality chemical distributor with global reach, the geographic gap in sub-Saharan Africa needed to be closed.

Question: Why did you start working with africon?
Mr. Oehl: africon has an attractive offer and capabilities much beyond market research. Its presence in Africa and consultants with practical experience of working in several African countries was important to Bodo Möller Chemie.

Question: How did africon support you?
Mr. Oehl: africon provided solid market data and insights as a support to BMC when communicating with principals. For example, on the adhesives market, a clear understanding of focus countries, primary market segments and the competitive situation was provided. This enabled an excellent, solid, data-based business case including insights such as ease of doing business to help investment decisions.
africon also assisted in building up presences in “new” geographies. Through various services, africon enabled BMC to start sales efforts in key countries significantly faster while BMC was working on establishing own local presences and legal entities. When hiring new employees in new countries, africon identified candidates, facilitated the hiring process, managed the onboarding and provided office space.

Question: What has been the outcome, comparing the “status quo ante” and the situation now? [How have your sales in Africa developed?] (How) has your “footprint” on the continent changed?
Mr. Oehl: BMC has established itself in sub-Saharan Africa with offices in Kenya, servicing also neighbouring countries, and Nigeria. This is an expansion utilizing the successful hub concept. It opens opportunities not only in the originally targeted markets but far beyond. BMC started with products for textile industries and with silicones. Now we are moving rapidly into the coatings and plastics industries. With the expanded geographic coverage, we are an attractive partner for our principals, and we can serve local customers efficiently.

Slide of the month (SOTM) February. Obtaining finance in Côte d’Ivoire

Over the past years, a strong reform drive has helped the Ivory Coast to become one of West Africa’s most interesting markets. Growth rates of consistently more than 7% p.a. make the country a promising target market for suppliers of all kinds of industrial machinery. However, when managing market entry, it is important to not just look for potential partners but to also understand the context. In this case, africon was asked to investigate the topic of “obtaining finance” as a key constraint for potential Ivorian customers of the client. Luckily, conditions on the ground are relatively favourable, making other factors more critical for potential customers locally.

Slide of the month (SOTM) January. Internet speeds across Africa

For an increasingly digital world, fast internet is a key driver of growth. As anywhere else, internet speeds in Africa vary greatly between countries as this slide shows: while for example Madagascar has a download speed of around 32 Mb/s, faster than that of the UK, and countries like Ghana and South Africa have speeds of above 20 Mb/s, others still lag behind.

In the project this slide stems from, a client of africon and digital services company was looking for potential future sourcing locations in Africa. africon analysed indicators such as the above to prioritize countries according to their sourcing potential for the client. Though internet speed was an important determinant, a critical factor was to also consider further KPIs, such as the cost and availability of other means of production. An analysis of a mix of various critical indicators finally led to an East African country being ranked as number one. The next target is now to jointly establish a local presence in this country for the client.

Read other SOTMs (Slides of the month) here.

Slide of the month (SOTM) December. Automotive market in Uganda

Slide of the month (SOTM) November. Chemicals application sectors in Nigeria

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

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

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

Messe Düsseldorf postpones proprietary events (ProWein, wire, Tube, Beauty, Top Hair and Energy Storage Europe.)

Messe Düsseldorf GmbH is postponing the trade fairs ProWeinwireTubeBeautyTop Hair and Energy Storage Europe. In close coordination with all partners involved, the company will promptly discuss alternative trade fair dates in order to guarantee planning can reliably proceed.

Read the full press release here