Pro Wein- africon at the Worlds No. 1 International Trade Fair for Wines and Spirits

From 18th to 20th March 2018, anyone who is anyone in the Wines and Spirits industry was heading to “ProWein”, the Worlds No. 1 International Trade Fair for Wines and Spirits at the trade fair of Dusseldorf in Germany.

This year africon GmbH, the foreign representative of Messe Düsseldorf for East Africa, was given the great opportunity to recommend an east African journalist and wine blogger. Mrs Jean Wandimi from Kenya, our journalist of choice, then was invited by Messe Düsseldorf together with 19 other exclusive international journalists to visit “ProWein” and take part in an additional 3-day press trip to Nahe and Ahr Region.

Jean Wandimi was thus given the great opportunity to see over 6,870 exhibitors from 64 countries around the globe and walk the fair along with 60,000 other visitors, of which approximately 50% come from abroad. “I have never been to such a grand fair in my life. I have attended Cape Wine in 2015 but this was like that in the concept but scaled to 100 in size.” she commented absolutely stunned by the size and style of “ProWein”.

When it comes to attendance, the quality of each booth as well as the level of expertise were outstanding. All exhibitors visited by Jean were very open and keen to explain about their products to their east African visitor. But for any person in this industry, not only east Africans, the quality of leads and networking options afforded by this gathering were phenomenal.

“I tasted a total of 383 Wines during my 1 week in Germany. I remember a fellow Wine & Spirits Journalist mentioned that this was like speed dating.” Jean told africon, smiling from ear to ear, when we met to say good-bye at the airport.

Slide of the month December – Water Industry in sub-Saharan-Africa

The share of investments in the water sector in SSA is relatively small at 9.7% compared to other infrastructure sectoral financing according to the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (2016). The region’s water access flounders at 40% (World Bank 2017).  Whereas industrial wastewater is aiding the deterioration in water quality, resulting in reduced biodiversity in rivers, lakes and wetlands by about one-third in the region, finds a UN brief on Water Management (2017). This overall, complicates Africa’s development efforts to achieve both industrialization and sustainability.

Primarily, a combination of water technologies and investments can implicitly unlock much of Africa’s stagnant efforts, largely driven by the private sector. However, something was missing. At africon we studied what additional forces could attract more technology providers to enter the market. Our findings show that countries equipped with engineering capacity and environmental legislation had a favorable environment for water technologies. Added to that, water scarcity coupled with industrial activity and investment trends were stark signals of strong market demand for water solutions.

As a result of our market analysis, the top 5 countries were: South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Ethiopia.

Slide of the month November – Aluminium foil

After growing its expertize in the African packaging markets throughout the last 5 years, africon supported a leading aluminium foil supplier to the flexible-, laminated carton, cigarette- and blister packaging industry with the development of its Africa strategy.

53 key industrial players were interviewed, including 11 packaging manufacturers in South Africa and 12 packaging manufacturers in Nigeria. In terms of market attractiveness, the South African market outscored the Nigerian market. However, given the well established long term relations many South African companies have with their suppliers, the Nigerian market offered a far bigger accessible market than the South African.

Only by meeting the local key players personally in Nigeria and South Africa, africon was able to identify which companies signalled interest in a future cooperation with the client. The africon hands-on approach was therefore once again essential for the development of a successful Africa strategy.

 

 

Slide of the month October – Automotive industry in sub-saharan Africa

In the past three years, africon has conducted extensive market research projects on the automotive industry in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2017, the market for automotive filtration in Kenya and Tanzania was analysed in detail. During the project, 60 senior level industry players from authorities, key automobile traders and leading parts distributors, more than 300 consumers, around 70 workshops and 100 parts traders in Kenya and Tanzania were interviewed.

In terms of vehicles in operation (VIO), Kenya and Tanzania belong to the countries with the highest stock of VIO in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Through a fast-growing local assembly industry, Kenya promises to stay the local automotive hub in East Africa. This also reflects in a growing local spare parts industry ranging from automotive batteries to tires. Also the automotive market in Tanzania, with a first local assembly line for agricultural vehicles in place and various spare parts manufacturers operating successfully, promises to continue growing in the next years.

Apart from the activities in Kenya and Tanzania, africon has been active in the Nigerian automotive market since 2015. With the new insights from Kenya and Tanzania gathered in 2017, the africon expertise regarding the African automotive market grew decisively.

 

 

Slide of the month September – Woodworking machinery importation

During a recent project conducted by africon with focus on the wood working machinery market in Nigeria, africon GmbH identified 107 furniture manufacturing companies and 14 machine distributors focusing specifically on the furniture manufacturing market.

By holding expert interviews with a big number of manufacturers and distributors it became quite clear that the furniture manufacturing sector in Nigeria is very much quality oriented when it comes to purchasing machinery. This stands in contrast to many other industrial sectors that are clearly driven by price when it comes to purchasing e.g. in the steel industries.

The slide of the month August 2017 shows that during economically difficult periods price is starting to become the underlaying factor even though quality is still considered to be very important. Therefore, the countries exporting high quality machinery have lost a big market share to countries exporting low price machinery. Consequently, it would be important for high quality machinery suppliers to widen their portfolio containing a lower priced machine that still meets all basic quality requirements.

 

Sonja Mattfeld was allowed to moderate the panel on FOOD SECURITY & AGRO-TECHNOLOGY on November, 28th, in Munich

After africon’s successful participation in the first German Africa Business Forum in March 2017 we had the opportunity to participate also in the second edition in Munich on 28th November 2017. Interesting and lively discussions were held with participants from African business and governments. It was an honor that Sonja Mattfeld was allowed to moderated the panel on FOOD SECURITY & AGRO-TECHNOLOGY with a focus on the question how Germany’s enterprises can contribute throughout the value chain in order to minimize food waste. The mango-project initiated by africon and the SAVE FOOD initiative served here as a sample business case.

Find out more about the panel here.

Find out more about the Mango project here.

Slide of the month August – Plastic Pipes

 

During a period of 3 years africon GmbH conducted more than 140 interviews with manufacturers of plastic pipes as well as distributors, hardware stores, construction companies and contractors in 11 countries in west and east Africa. Through all these interviews africon gathered extensive knowledge on the local manufacturing market of plastic pipes, the importation as well as the trends of different materials in different countries.

The following slide shows very well that when entering the African market a company needs a clear strategy for different regions of the continent since trends, developments and market sizes can differ quite a lot between the different regions of this vast continent.

Slide of the month August – Plastic Pipes

During a period of 3 years africon GmbH conducted more than 140 interviews with manufacturers of plastic pipes as well as distributors, hardware stores, construction companies and contractors in 11 countries in west and east Africa. Through all these interviews africon gathered extensive knowledge on the local manufacturing market of plastic pipes, the importation as well as the trends of different materials in different countries.

The following slide shows very well that when entering the African market a company needs a clear strategy for different regions of the continent since trends, developments and market sizes can differ quite a lot between the different regions of this vast continent.

 

For the 3rd time africon has been contracted by the German Federal State of Rhineland-Palatinate to organize and conduct a business delegation. This time visiting Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

For the third time in 3 years africon won the public invitation from the German Federal State of Rhineland-Palatinate to organize a business delegation trip. This time the delegation visited Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

From August 27th to August 30th 2017 the delegation of our longstanding client the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Transport, Agriculture and Viniculture of Rhineland-Palatinate, consisting of three very different companies and being led by Dr. Richard Auernheimer, State Secretary A.D. visited Addis Ababa.

The three delegates are specialized in feed additives for animal feed, in chemicals for paints, varnishes and solvent mixtures and in communication & information solutions for Air traffic, Defense, Maritime, Public Transport, Public Safety.

 

The first day of the business trip, africon organized a city tour through Addis to familiarize the business people with the town and the rich culture and history of Ethiopia. In the evening Stephan Wendt, First Secretary – Head of Economic & Cultural Sections of the German Embassy welcomed all with a briefing note and valuable background knowledge on “How to do Business in Ethiopia” in one of the leading restaurants of Addis Ababa. Rounding up the cultural program of the day with economic knowledge.

On Monday the whole day was reserved for a B2B Event at the Radisson Blue Hotel. During which each of the delegates was presented with a number of arranged meetings with specifically chosen Ethiopian business representatives that matched the German’s individual business interests.

During the first part of the event in the morning leading Ethiopian business associations like “Chamber of Commerce”, “Ethiopian Investment Commission” as well as a representative of a law firm specialized on business law, were giving short presentations on their fields of expertise. Again providing the delegation with valuable knowledge on facts and figures to be aware of when planning on doing business in Ethiopia.

All speakers were invited to the following lunch break giving the delegates the chance to get involved into one-on-one discussions.

After the B2B meetings in the afternoon the day was rounded up perfectly by the invitation of the newly assigned Ambassador of Germany H.E. Brita Wagener to her residency. During this evening reception wine from the state of Rhineland-Palatinate which was sponsored by the Ministry was served and the delegates could mingle and chat with a number of Ethiopian, German and international business representatives, deepening the impressions and knowledge of the Ethiopian business community.

The third day, africon reserved the morning for official meetings at the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectorial Associations, the Ministry of Industry as well as the Ministry of Mining.

Later on same day, drove 45 minutes outside of Addis Ababa to visit one of the many Industrial Zones: The “Eastern Industry Zone Park”. Here an introduction of the benefits and the general way of working as well as a tour around of the Industrial Park was given by the Park’s management.

The delegation also got the chance of visiting the production site of two of the companies who have set up their business in the Industrial Zone. One of the being Unilever who gave us a very interesting tour around their manufacturing grounds.

Early in the morning on Wednesday the delegation then left for the airport to proceed their trip to Rwanda. And from all e-mails exchanged after our trip as well as direct talks during the delegation, we can proudly say that we as africon have now for the third time 100% fulfilled the expectations of our longstanding client, the Ministry of Rhineland-Palatinate as well as their delegates. Each delegate got profound information concerning the Ethiopian business environment as well as business contacts – which made the trip a success for them – which then again makes their trip a success for africon.

 

“Germany Touts Africa Investment as Signature Issue at G-20 Meeting”

A new approach to foreign investment and aid in Africa by the world’s richest nations is being called for by Germany’s chancellor, before she hosts a meeting of the world’s 20 wealthiest nations next month. The so-called “Merkel plan” calls for more investment in Africa, as a way of stemming African migration to Europe. Marc Zander, CEO of africon was asked by VOA News from America to comment on the current interest of German companies on Africa. Read the full Article.