slide of the month August

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.

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“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.

 

africon on Interpack

From 4th to 10th May 2017 africon GmbH was present with a stand at the worldwide leading trade fair on packaging solutions – the „interpack“ in Düsseldorf, Germany. There, africon had the chance to proof itself in three roles: presenting as itself, being one of the leading consulting companies with sole focus on the Sub-Saharan region, as the new official foreign representative of Messe Düsseldorf for the East African region and as one of the major partners of Messe Düsseldorf in the organisation of the “Food Processing and Packaging Exposyum” (FPPE). In all three roles interpack was a major success for africon. Being able personally meet quite a number of international companies that were very much interested in the African market in general and in participating in FPPE in particular. Read more

Marc-Peter Zander in the interview with Forbes Afrique

Marc-Peter Zander,

PDG du cabinet Africon

A la tête d’Africon, un cabinet qui conseille les entreprises allemandes souhaitant s’implanter en Afrique, Marc Zander figurait dans le panel des intervenants du Germany-Africa Business Forum, qui s’est tenu fin mars à Francfort. Pour Forbes Afrique, il évoque les opportunités d’affaires qu’offre le continent, tout autant que la grande prudence des investisseurs allemands. Morceaux choisis.

PAR PATRICK NELLE

(Marc-Peter Zander,
CEO of africon
At the head of africon, a company that advises German companies that want to settle in Africa, Marc Zander presented himself to the trade fair participants of the Germany-Africa Business Forum, which was held in Frankfurt at the end of March. For Forbes Africa, he discusses the business opportunities offered by the continent as well as the caution of German investors. Excerpts.
BY PATRICKNELLE)

Find the original articel here Read more

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.”

 

africon in “Märkte weltweit”

africon has published its slide of the month in the economic daily paper “Märkte Weltweit”. In the article, difficulties of doing market research in African countries are underlined and an “African approach” is presented. This has been illustrated on the example of a big IAM automotive aftermarket study.

German investors are still cautious when it comes to the African market. Differences in culture and doing business are big and scare many companies. Corruption and the importance of the black market seem to be unmeasurable. For these reasons, African business seems to be unpredictable. However, the africon article shows that extensive research on the ground can complete lacks in traditional statistical studies. The slide of the month that was published in “Märkte Weltweit” indicates that about 59 % of the spare parts in automotive aftermarket in Nigeria come from the open market. In order to raising reliable numbers, africon visited about 150 workshops and interviewed 48 experts as well as 500 consumers. Also, we created our own data base on the existing automotive brands evaluating more than 12 500 photos of the cars in Nigeria’s streets. That’s what we call an African approach for a study on the African market. And that is the reason why the regional knowledge and presence on the ground are that important when it comes to business in Africa. For a market entry, German companies should have partners with a very good knowledge of the African continent by their sides. That is one of the strengths of africon.

Slide of the month November – steel industry and governmental decisions

While the slide of the month October showed an increasing demand of steel in African countries, the slide of the month November analyses the government’s role in steel projects. A serie of 101 interviews with executive managers in the steel industry showed, that in countries having an incentive program for steel projects, politicians have real influence on the sector’s decisions. Politics and economy can be linked strongly in these countries, a factor that must be considered when choosing geographical centers for the market entry of your company.