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.

Mohammed Al-Salafi as a visiting instructor at the Beni American University

Mohammed Al-Salafi, Business Analyst and Country Manager for Nigeria, held a Strategic Management class for the online Beni American University on the 17th of February. The university offers executive programs where Mohammed will be teaching a Strategic Management program as a visiting instructor every semester.
This program is designed to help expand the strategic mindset, understand the hows of business strategy in African markets, and ultimately apply strategy for business growth. It introduces relevant insights, tools, and real-world case studies of strategic management.

africon GmbH held its first client workshop

On February 6. 2018, africon GmbH’s first Africa workshop took place in the Congress Center Düsseldorf. 44 customers followed the invitation as well as companions and partners of africon GmbH. Reason to launch this event was among others the occasion of africon GmbH’s seven-year existence.


After the welcome by the shareholders Mr Marc Zander and Mrs Sonja Mattfeld, the two also gave the audience a short review on the past seven years of africon. Mr Thomas Dohse, Deputy Director of interpack and also the representative of the host Messe Düsseldorf, welcomed the attendees of the workshop with warm words and spoke also about the experiences of the trade fair company in Africa.


Subsequently, Mr Hans Stoisser, author of the book “The Black Tiger – What we can learn from Africa”, delivered a vivid talk on the need for German and European companies to work on their Africa strategies. In his keynote he campaigned for a new perception towards the European neighboring continent Africa.

Above all, Mr Stoisser emphasized the dynamics and new opportunities that develop in African countries through the great creativity and above all though the rapid pace of development and growth. Even though today’s market sizes may still seem marginal to many companies, they should not do the mistake to ignore these innovative growth markets.

After a short coffee break, two separate workshop groups were formed. Each group had interesting and vivid discussions as well as exchange of ideas about two different topics. One group discussed on the question “How to sell investment goods in Africa?” and the other discussed on challenges concerning “How to manage partners in Africa?”.


It was a pleasure that Günter Nooke, the personal Africa-adviser of the German chancellor as well as the BMZ’s Africa representative, complemented the discussions in a very interesting way with adding some perceptions from a political point of view.

Mr Nooke specifically mentioned the progress in terms trade stimulation and the efforts of the European Union to promote economic integration, for example through free trade areas on the continent. He also emphasized the successful promotion of initiatives to improve investment conditions in African countries. Here he exemplified BMZ investment programs to promote job partnerships and industrial parks in Ethiopia.


The aim of the event was to facilitate a lively dialogue between companies that are already active in Africa and those who want to expand their activities on the continent in future. The interesting and diverse program as well as reciprocal recommendations, networking and exchange of experience and ideas among the attendees lead to a very positive feedback and calls for a continuation in the coming year 2019.




Marc Zander, Partner of africon presents in Sweden

Doing business in the Middle Eastern and African region delivers results when you have the right information and tools at hand. Marc Zander, Partner at africon spoke in Sweden on the set up of distribution in Africa. At the MEA Summit visitors got the chance to directly engage with prominent business leaders and industry experts with extensive experience from doing business in the region.

MEA Summit is Sweden’s largest business event geared towards the MEA region, delivering insights, tools and clues as to how market transformation in the region will place future demands on business innovation. During two days in Stockholm, participants engaged in presentations from world-renowned speakers, panel discussions and interactive workshops with top executives and industry experts as well and met with an estimated 200 other Swedish companies who share your interest in the region.



Cédrick Lukusa participates in panel of Africa Business Forum in Cologne

Cédrick Lukusa, Principal at africon participated as panalist in the 5th Africa Business Forum. Within the discussion on Africa Mr. Lukusa shared insights of ongoing projects, news on latest company Africa strategies and shared sector insights related to the steel and aluminium industry.

The Forum brought together government, business and finance leaders from acrooss Africa and Germany/EU to explore how the can work together in finding and leveraging business opportunity.


The forum has organized in partnership with the Association of German Family-Owned Businesses BJU/ASU - and Africa 2.0 -

The target was to establish business partnerships via engagement and business exchange between African and German/EU companies and entrepreneurs. Thanks to the strategic support of the German Chamber of Commerce and the Federal Parliarment, the forum has an extensive outreach which includes the 4000  members of the Die Familienunternehmer.


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

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: