africon’s presence at PROPAK West Africa

The annual PROPAK West Africa event (the largest exhibition for the packaging, plastics, print, food processing & labeling industry in the region) took place in Lagos, Nigeria, a few weeks ago. africon was part of the visitors in attendance and was well represented by Ms. Yeni Fowotade, a Junior Consultant from our Nigeria team. Over 80 exhibitors consisting mainly of manufacturers from Europe and Asia were present to display sophisticated technology solutions for local players.

Yeni shared that the event was “a well-attended fair with interesting and insightful sessions that offered many opportunities for professional exchange. It also provided a positive outlook on the development of Nigeria’s processing, plastics, and packaging industry”.

At africon, we were happy to share insights and have discussions with industry experts in the sector.

 

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

 

Our September newsletter is out!

In this newsletter we cover;

  • Our project references
  • Our new team members
  • Our latest news
  • Our slides of the month (SOTMs)
  • Upcoming events and much more.

As always, this newsletter gives only a short overview of our activities. In case you desire more information on a specific topic, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be pleased to give you more insights.

Read all that and more here.  

Subscribe here.

Sven Moeller joins africon GmbH as Principal

 

africon is delighted to add another member, Sven Moeller, to the team as a principal. With our “bridging potentials” philosophy, we have been strengthening our team in Africa. The africon team constitutes professionals with unparalleled skills and experience. Sven Moeller embodies significant long-term Africa working and living experience and will be instrumental in supporting africon in its growth trajectory.

Sven specializes in trade between developed and emerging markets, with 26 years’ experience in African – German bilateral trade in both public & private sectors. His core competencies and responsibilities include industrial plant technology (e.g. petrochemical, mining & marine), public-private partnerships, sub-Saharan Africa market penetration strategies, and diplomatic & political engagements, among others.

Sven holds a Master of Business Administration from Manchester Metropolitan University and attended Strategic Management and Leadership studies at the Chartered Management Institute. He was formerly the Regional CEO of sub-Saharan Africa at ThyssenKrupp AG, the Managing Director at Bow Wave Advisory, and is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Witwatersrand. He has held various leadership positions, including the Elected President of the Southern African German Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“Emerging markets demand the attention of any corporate mind envisioning growth. Africa certainly captures our imagination but, all too often, trepidation deters action. I aim to foster this curiosity and mitigate risk by creating bespoke and multifaceted expansion strategies for commercial giants, SMEs, and dynamic start-ups alike. Drawing on my over two decades of fostering trade between Germany and sub-Saharan Africa, I continue to serve africon’s clients in honour of their personal, corporate individuality, just as I wished for such support in my early days pondering trade opportunities in Africa. I have travelled, I have failed, I have succeeded, and I have grown. I have created vast networks among dear friends and trusted colleagues from many walks of life across this extraordinary continent – all of which I share with my colleagues and clients demonstrating my great love for this captivating continent which is alive with opportunities”, Sven notes.

 

Claudia Krüger joins africon as the Head of Finance & Administration (Germany).

The africon vision is to create possibilities not only for international companies wanting to do business in Africa but also for those wanting to expand within the continent and internationally. Based on our philosophy of “bridging potentials”, we have expanded our footprint in Germany by hiring Claudia Krüger as the Head of Finance & Administration.

Claudia studied business management majoring in tourism and international business at the University of Applied Sciences in Stralsund, Germany, and Estonian Business School Tallinn in Estonia. She has seven years of experience as a unit manager for an international company focusing on corporate management, HR, and organization.

“I am convinced of the potential that the African markets hold and of the services we as africon offer to our customers! It inspires me every day to be part of this international team,” she says.

Aschalew Worku joins africon as a Business Analyst in Ethiopia

With our philosophy of “bridging potentials”, we are strengthening our team in East Africa. To help us continue providing the best services for our clients, we brought on one new team member from Ethiopia. Ethiopia is the second most populous nation in Africa after  Nigeria,  and has one of the fastest growing economies in the continent.

Aschalew Worku joined africon GmbH as a Business Analyst in September 2021. He studied Economics and Business Administration. Before joining africon, Mr. Worku acquired a decade of experience in conducting research in various sectors for local and international consultancies in Ethiopia. Moreover, he has experience in managing different projects. He is currently working on a project in the construction sector in Ethiopia. He will be supporting clients in project work in Ethiopia and assist the team with other tasks.

“I am delighted and motivated to join africon and bring my knowledge and expertise to project work in the continent. I look forward to exploring the African markets and deepening my knowledge in various sectors,” he notes.

Slide of the month (SOTM) September. The Nigerian rail industry

Africa’s booming population is creating vast opportunities, including significant demand for robust infrastructure. Consequent to this development, governments of many African countries have become more intentional about investing in improving and diversifying transport infrastructure. One of the most conspicuous areas is the railway sector, which has attracted many global players who seek to benefit from the emerging opportunities.

As experts on Africa business development, africon was consulted by a notable global leader in rail components manufacturing to explicate the existing rail system operations and current or future business opportunities in Nigeria. To get the best insights and evaluate the progress so far, we visited numerous railway sites with operating lines and ongoing construction projects across Nigeria. We also conducted targeted interviews with relevant stakeholders in the railway system.

As a result, africon was able to create a clear picture of the Nigerian railway system for our client. Our data included a view of the country’s historical railway development, key influencers in the sector, mapping of existing and planned rail lines across the country (drawn from the railway master plan), analysis of budgets, financing and expenditure trends, analysis of rolling stock fleet in detail, equipment, components demand as well as long-term demand projections. In addition, we looked closer into the system’s challenges and potential gaps that foreign players could potentially fill. Most importantly, africon charted the most effective route-to-market strategy for our client to be very competitive and well established in the market. We also identified reliable local partners for them to work with to achieve this even faster.

Overall, the railway system in Nigeria is gaining traction with a lot more attention and investments from the government. There are many ongoing and upcoming rail lines in the country. Though the Chinese firm’s interests are well represented, the Nigerian Railway Corporation and Federal Ministry of Transportation state that they are open and welcoming to more foreign suppliers and investors interested in the country’s railway business.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact us at info@africon.de

Read previous SOTMs (Slides of the month) here.

Slide of the month (SOTM) August. The Nigerian automotive industry

Slide of the month (SOTM) July. The age of vehicles in operation in Nigeria

Slide of the month (SOTM) June. Labtech imports in East Africa

Slide of the month (SOTM) May: The logistics sector in Rwanda and Ethiopia

Slide of the month (SOTM) April. Overview of the tech scene in select countries in Africa

 

Slide of the month (SOTM) August. The Nigerian automotive industry

The Nigerian automotive industry stands out compared to other African automotive industries – in almost every way, sometimes positively, sometimes negatively. The country is home to one of the largest vehicle parks on the continent with nearly 12 million units – around six times Kenya’s fleet. On the other hand, the country’s automotive industry is, in large parts, significantly more informal than that of peers such as South Africa and Egypt. This circumstance makes it a very challenging place to do business for many international automotive firms. However, the potential rewards for those succeeding in it are enormous.

We have completed many private sector projects in this space, including the latest one for a large multilateral organization. africon interviewed executives from more than 60 companies and conducted multiple surveys locally to identify funding/ engagement opportunities for the client.

Local manufacturing of both vehicles and components in Nigeria is presently in many areas complicated due to insufficient or poorly implemented regulation. However, some segments of the industry enjoy more favorable conditions, allowing for growing local manufacturing activity. The deciding factor is most often protection from cheap imports. Luckily, large parts of the market want a “natural” level of protection: neither domestic parts trade nor various workshops and digital services can effectively be imported. In most cases, local firms reap significant benefits, while international investors often perceive the risk to be too high.

Ultimately, africon presented a list and assessments of approximately 20 expansion projects in Nigeria, with which the client can engage to promote industry growth, job creation, and development. These projects include both local and international firms, early-stage ideas up until ready-to-invest undertakings. We hope to see many of these grow into shining examples of effectively utilized opportunities in Nigeria soon.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact us at info@africon.de

Read previous SOTMs (Slides of the month) here.

Slide of the month (SOTM) July. The age of vehicles in operation in Nigeria

Slide of the month (SOTM) June. Labtech imports in East Africa

Slide of the month (SOTM) May: The logistics sector in Rwanda and Ethiopia

Slide of the month (SOTM) April. Overview of the tech scene in select countries in Africa

Slide of the month (SOTM) March. Operational and upcoming railway lines in Nigeria

 

 

Slide of the month (SOTM) July. The age of vehicles in operation in Nigeria

While Africa’s automotive market contains great opportunities, numerous international automotive firms face challenges when doing business on the continent. A key reason is the very significant differences in the business environments in Africa, vis-à-vis those in other global markets.

africon recently completed a project on the Nigeria automotive industry, commissioned by a multilateral organization. A critical question that emerged was the age of vehicles in Nigeria. As many large component producers do not provide coverage for cars beyond a certain age, this metric is a crucial market determinant for many international companies. With an average age of 16 years, a large portion of the Nigerian vehicle fleet is “too old.” This highlights the need for holistic data on African markets to sufficiently understand market potentials.

After putting these market forces into consideration, africon provided the client with a comprehensive overview of the market and a list of potential opportunities locally.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact us at info@africon.de

Read previous SOTMs (Slides of the month) here.

Slide of the month (SOTM) June. Labtech imports in East Africa

Slide of the month (SOTM) May: The logistics sector in Rwanda and Ethiopia

Slide of the month (SOTM) April. Overview of the tech scene in select countries in Africa

Slide of the month (SOTM) March. Operational and upcoming railway lines in Nigeria

Slide of the month (SOTM) February. Import statistics of medical equipment in East African Community (EAC)

Slide of the month (SOTM) June. Labtech imports in East Africa

Various markets in Africa offer great possibilities for international medical companies. africon recently completed a multi-country analysis to investigate the opportunities in medical equipment supply for a German manufacturer. A specific question that emerged was on the source of Labtech equipment in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda. We found out that Germany was the leading supplier of Labtech products in 2020 for these countries.

Based on these and other findings, we shared the opportunities, insights, and tactical recommendations that would guide entry and sales in the health care market.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact us at info@africon.de

Read previous SOTMs (Slides of the month) here.

Slide of the month (SOTM) May: The logistics sector in Rwanda and Ethiopia

Slide of the month (SOTM) April. Overview of the tech scene in select countries in Africa

Slide of the month (SOTM) March. Operational and upcoming railway lines in Nigeria

Slide of the month (SOTM) February. Import statistics of medical equipment in East African Community (EAC)

Slide of the month (SOTM) January. The market for commercial vehicles in Kenya

“Women celebrating achievements in the workplace and beyond” session with Ms. Roshni Walia

Self-promotion is a vital tool for any career advancement. In order for people to grow in their career, they need to be visible and promote their skills and expertise. Studies have found that women promote themselves less often in the workplace. According to a National Bureau of Economic Research paper, women graded themselves lower than their actual capabilities on test performances even though they had good average scores. Minimized self-promotion, visibility, and ratings have affected women in terms of pay and roles in the work place.

africon constantly drives initiatives towards women empowerment within the company, and this month, we invited Ms. Roshni Walia, who is a Chief of Staff at Maisha Meds, to share some vital tips on encouraging women towards active self-promotion at work. The event had Ms.Tei Mukunya (CEO of NatureLock and an advisory board member at africon), and the wonderful women of africon in attendance.

After the discussion, we were able to break limitations around the perception of self-promotion, thereby encouraging the women to use their voices more. As most companies are now working virtually, self-promotion is even more difficult to actualize. We have been addressing this through consistent support and reassurance towards our women, and we will continue to help them grow their potentials at work.