Fish waste in ghana

SOTM September. Fish Waste In Ghana

For this slide of the month our West Africa team has done in-depth research on the fish sector in Ghana.

The value chain analysis shows that despite partly very modern and efficient fish production there is still a huge food loss during processing, packaging and logistics. This challenge means also a great potential for investments to reduce food waste where africon together with the SAVE FOOD initiative are strongly committed.

Please do not hesitate to contact us directly for any further information on this opportunity!

write your thesis with us

Write Your Thesis With africon

As a company and employer, we know of the importance of well trained, educated and skilled staff. Since our mission is “Bridging potentials”, we clearly see our own obligation in not only asking for such qualities in our own staff members but also to help build them up in the employees of tomorrow.

Therefore, we offer German and international Bachelor and Master students the opportunity to write their final thesis with us.

Our support:

  • Discuss your thesis topic of choice and sharpen it if needed
  • Assist with contact to local companies, associations, institutions etc. in Sub Sahara Africa
  • Feedback discussions
  • Act as an examiner and grade your thesis if requested by your university

What we ask of you:

  • Approach us with a clear first thesis idea
  • Drive your research, analysis and writing process independently
  • A one-page summary of your final thesis of which we are allowed to use the content

Business in Africa 2.0 – IHK Saarland

After the success of the first event, IHK Saarland has invited africon GmbH for the 2nd time to the topic Africa. This time the theme of the event was “Business in Africa 2.0” to which companies from Saarland were invited.

Mr. Zander, Partner and CEO of africon GmbH was invited as a speaker and presented concrete opportunities in Africa and recommendations for German SMEs on market entry of Africa Strategy. In the later exchange with the participants questions were discussed how to find the right partner in Africa, which countries have the greatest potential and how should a medium-sized company plan its Africa Strategy.

SOTM August. East Africa BOPP Demand

This slide of the month tries to shed some light on the BOPP market in East Africa.  BOPP demand has been growing at a remarkable pace of over the past decade driven mainly by the booming food industry, rapid urbanization and modernization of retail channels.  BOPP use more than doubled from 2010 to 2016 and is expected to maintain the trend and double again onto 2022.

Kenya is the biggest BOPP market dwarfing all the other East African countries. This can be attributed to its more mature manufacturing sector and the higher penetration of modern retail channels that drive the demand for sophisticated packaging.

BRS Market Attractivness Index

The signing ceremony of the Market Attractiveness Index for SME’s

The BRS Market Attractiveness Index is intended to help companies select attractive African markets for potential market entries and raises awareness for the African continent. The index will support companies in the early stages of their market entry decision with profound knowledge and helps them plan the next steps of their market entry.

The index uses the combined knowledge of the following parties who officially signed the co-operation document:

  • BRS Institute of International Studies – representing the academic research
  • africon GmbH – representing the local market knowledge in Africa as well as the consulting expertise with having supported more than 60 clients on their way to Africa
  • BVMW, the Federal Association of SMEs in Germany, – representing the interests and expectations from German SMEs
  • Ebner Stolz – representing tax and accountancy research

The BMAISA (BRS Market Attractiveness Index SME Africa) will fill the market gap between consultancies and publicly available information. It provides more customized market information, as companies become more involved in a market entry.

Prior to the signing ceremony, the World Café workshop was held in collaboration with the four parties signing the contract during the event to give the opportunity to participants to discuss the important issues for the development of a German SME specific index and how such an index can support companies in ways that are currently not available.
The workshop provided insights on the following questions:

  • What are key skills and resource constrains faced by SMEs when entering the African Markets?
  • What are key advantages of SMEs compared to larger firms
  • Which aspects of market environments in African countries are particularly important for a successful market entry

The index through its unique features will offer SMEs a perfect start to plan a successful market entry to Africa.

Successful conducted projects on the plastic sector in East and West Africa

In the past months africon conducted two market assessment projects and one very successful business trip to Kenya for major international players of the plastic packaging sector.

Promising future market in Nigeria

The two market assessment projects had Nigeria as their focus market and more than 100 interviews were conducted with all relevant players of the plastic packaging sector locally.
The results concluded from the analysis of all interviews and market data in Nigeria is very clear: the plastic (packaging) sector in Nigeria is very vivid and growing at a high pace. Nevertheless, the Nigerian market is highly cost conscious. Competition is set on pricing strategy: the cheaper the product, the more sales a company makes. Most manufacturers still shy away from cost increases even marginally. The majority of consumers do not care much about quality as they do have an open eye for the cost.

At the same time the future is certain to come with changes. The upper middle class is expanding and there’s a growing awareness on quality products among Nigerian consumers generally.Any high quality / high price level company entering the Nigerian market will need a targeted product awareness campaign to help realize the market potential for their products. Both end users and converters need some form of education on the use of the products.

Modest expectations in Kenya

For Kenya, which has only a quarter of the population that Nigeria has and which’s BIP is 5 times smaller, the picture looks a bit different. The local production of BOPP film is for example not meeting its expectation in terms of capacity as it stands at around 30,0000 tons per year in Nigeria. Also, the import of machinery to manufacture plastic film stands at $ 87m in Nigeria but only at $ 38m in Kenya. But with the growing food manufacturing sector in both countries it is expected for the plastic packaging industry to grow as well. Since importing ready-made plastic film comes definitely more costly at one point than local production.

For any questions regarding this project please feel free to contact our practice leader Ms Lena Schwoerer.

africon CEO Mr. Zander moderates the panel of the day in Bonn

The conference took place at our partner the Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg on the 13th and 14th of last month.

africon’s Managing Director, Marc Zander, moderated and led the panel of discussion of the first day ” To what extent can universities facilitate market entry for industries” with panelists representing different business fields and academic backgrounds. The panel of discussion highlighted multiple important points about private sector in Africa:

  • Opportunities of cooperation between universities and businesses
  • Entrepreneurship and development in Africa
  • International business between Germany and Africa
  • Development of enterprises and training and recruitment of qualified personnel

After covering those important points, the audience was given an adequate time to ask questions related to the panel. At the end of this successful day and panel, the signing ceremony of BRS Market Attractiveness Index SME Africa took place.

The Manifestation of Interest. Kenyan-German TVET Intiative


africon GmbH signs the Manifestation of Interest along with many other multinational organisations such as Siemens, VW Group, Robert Bosch and Toyota.

The manifestation of interest is a cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Kenya, German Financial and Technical Cooperation and the Private sector Companies and Associations.  The agreement is originated during the bilateral government negotiations in September 2016 in Berlin, the Kenyan and the German delegation agreed to establish “Sustainable, Economic, Development – promotion of Youth Employment and TVET” as a new priority area of cooperation. The objective of the Kenyan-German initiative is to boost youth employment in Kenya by offering industry oriented technical and vocational training in close cooperation with the private sector.

The private sector companies agree to contribute by defining training contents and participating actively in the development of industry specific vocational standards. Furthermore, the private sector will assist with further training of vocational teachers from the network and provide opportunities for practical training of students through a combination of industrial attachments, work-based learning and prospectively apprenticeships.

africon is very happy and proud to be part of this initiative and is looking forward to participating the next steps with contributions to the training guidelines as well as with potential workshops and seminars and, of course, own inhouse training within the company.

BRS Market Attractiveness Index for SME in Africa

Over the past decades, Africa has started its way to become a major emerging market. For companies from Africa and all over the world, this creates substantial opportunities. Unfortunately, the German “Mittelstand”, the backbone of its economy and proud ambassadors of the “Made in Germany” logo all around the world, still lacks behind with its engagement on the continent. Just over 1.000 companies from Germany are active in Africa. Reasons are manifold, but one is especially widespread and within our abilities to tackle: the difficulty of German “Mittelstand” firms to develop a structured approach to market entry strategies into Africa.

As many of these firms have never done business on the continent, questions such as “Where should we start?”, “Which countries do we need to consider?”, “What are the opportunities and risks of certain countries?” are key hurdles at an early stage of the market entry. To alleviate this challenge, BRS Institute of Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, together with africon GmbH have decided to develop a country index designed specifically tailored to the unique requirements of “Mittelstand” firms. The index, named the “BRS Market Attractiveness Index SME Africa”, gives companies a comprehensive overview on African markets on various levels of detail to create awareness of opportunities, risks and potential starting points for a market entry. It thereby provides a vital starting point, from which a structured market entry strategy can be developed.

If this index interests you, come and join us at this year´s conferenceUniversities, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development in Africa” in Sankt Augustin, Germany, on from 13th to 14th September. Apart from a formal signing ceremony and the welcoming of further exciting project partners to the index team, the event will feature a speech on the African FMCG markets by africon CEO Marc Zander, as well as a range of other interesting agenda points.

We look forward to meeting you!