africon and Wolk After Sales Experts join forces for Africa

We are proud to announce that africon GmbH and Wolk After Sales Experts are joining forces for Africa.

Both German consulting companies are leaders in their respective fields, namely global automotive after sales industry and African business environment. Together Wolk and africon will be able to provide clients with comprehensive information and consulting support across the continent.

Since the beginning of its operations in 1994 Wolk After Sales Experts has grown into a consulting powerhouse well known to both vehicle manufacturers and independent aftermarket operators. Thanks to carefully built network of partners across Europe, Wolk monitors automotive markets in 35 countries – from Portugal to Russia and from Norway to Turkey.

In one world economy our clients need support not only in Europe, but on the other markets as well. Our cooperation with africon will allow us to include data from Sub-Saharan Africa into our AFTER SALES ACCESS aftermarket business intelligence tool. This will be a major asset for any automotive company aiming at creating or improving its distribution network in Africa” explains Zoran Nikolic, Managing Director at Wolk After Sales Experts.

africon GmbH, established in Germany in 2011, currently has offices in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. The company employs a team consisting of 7 nationalities speaking more than 10 local languages while running a network of more than 50 consultants in the African region. Over the past 5 years africon conducted more than 20 automotive projects in Africa.

The African automotive markets have been growing with more than 6% over the past years and offer great chances for global operating companies. After various independent aftermarket projects in Africa, africon could obtain significant data and know-how on African markets like Nigeria and Kenya which we are happy to offer to the excellent network of Wolk After Sales Experts” states Marc-Peter Zander, CEO & Partner at africon GmbH. Mr. Zander will be also a keynote speaker during upcoming Aftermarket Forum 2019: Going global! It is a top-level automotive industry event taking place on April 17th in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and organized by Wolk After Sales Experts. This year’s edition will focus on market snapshots of different regions of the world and Sub-Saharan Africa will be covered by the representative of africon.

In day-to-day business operations Wolk After Sales Experts and africon together will provide clients with exclusive market research, market intelligence and consulting projects in African countries.

africon presents on “Independent Aftermarket” in Frankfurt

Over the past 4 years africon has been supporting IAM (Independent After Market) automotive clients with their Africa growth strategies, providing research and data. A clear focus has been on the markets Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya where africon supported clients in the markets of filters, spark plugs and engine parts to grow their business.

Within a forum organised by the company Wolk After Sales Experts, Marc Zander, CEO & Partner at africon presented the chances in Africa for IAM companies and recommended the following key points to observe with a market entry into Africa: Increasing know how on the African market to understand the market value chain; increasing sales efforts to be closer to clients and partners; selection of key distributors who also serve the informal markets.

“Over the past 5 years Africa has been growing with more than 6%. This offers great chances for automotive companies in the IAM sector”, concludes Marc Zander.

africon presence in agrofood & plastprintpack Ethiopia

According to Jean Wandimi, africon Kenya, the international trade fair “agrofood & plastprintpack Ethiopia” was again very successful. africon Kenya is already active in the East African agricultural sector. Our experts therefore visited the fair in Addis Ababa, which this year took place in May for the third time. The fair unites the two topics Agriculture and PPP (Plastics, Printing, Packaging). The focus is on the agricultural sector. Main topic of this year’s fair was food safety and recycling. Many presentations and panel discussions focused on topics such as reducing food waste and waste, increasing agricultural productivity through innovation, but also highlights such as financing for SMEs were presented.

The africon Kenya team draws a positive balance after the visit: a well-attended fair with interesting and insightful events that offered many opportunities for professional exchange, with a positive outlook on the future development of the East African agricultural sector.

If you have any questions, please contact Jean Wandimi, africon Kenya.

africon GmbH won their first tender with GIZ

africon GmbH won their first tender with GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH) – The official German association for international cooperation. africon was then invited to organize the program of a Tunisian delegation visiting Germany from 24-26th April of this year.

During their time in Germany the Tunisian companies met with German companies of the food & beverage sector to create valuable and fruitful contacts in order to create long lasting partnerships for the purpose of entering African markets with joint forces.

The delegation trip was part of the 4-year GIZ project PEMA (Promotion des exportations créatrice d’emploi dans des nouveaux marchés africains), which aims at supporting export activities to Africa and to further job creation. The Tunisian delegation consisted of 7 food processing companies and visited Germany for 2 days.

The core piece of the delegation’s trip was a B2B Workshop at the Congress Center Düsseldorf on Thursday, 25 April 2019. During this event the German and Tunisian companies received very good insights into the Tunisian as well as Sub Saharan African markets of food & beverage processing through overview presentations given by africon GmbH and Deloitte Tunisia (the local Tunisian partner of GIZ). 

After these introductory presentations the participants exchanged ideas & interests in individual discussions while sharing coffee and lunch.

All participants (Tunisian & German) said that the B2B event, including the presentations, was very satisfying and useful.

During their first day, on 24. April 2019 the Tunisian delegates received the opportunity to visit one of the largest German non-alcoholic beverage manufacturers “Sinalco” (Deutsche Sinalco GmbH Markengetränke & Co. KG).

During this site visit a presentation about the history of Sinalco was given and Sinalco presented their production facilities to the delegation. This gave the Tunisian company representatives the opportunity to experience one of the largest German beverage manufacturers “in action”.

GIZ Delegation

In case you missed the B2B event but are interested in learning more about the Tunisian companies, please don’t hesitate to contact us or Mr. Fabian Schuster.

africon presence at agrofood event in Lagos, Nigeria

The agrofood event took place alongside the plastprintpack event from the 26th to 28th of March, 2019, featuring over 120 exhibitors from 24 countries. Africon was part of the 2,094 visitors in attendance, and was well represented by our Nigerian team.

Asides the display of new technologies and products by exhibitors, the event included a very insightful 3-day conference, where industry experts shared their knowledge and foresight about different topics relating to the food and beverage processing, plastics and packaging business in Nigeria.

According to africon representatives, it was such an interesting and insightful event, and they had great  interactions with many exhibitors and visitors .

africon publishes African steel insights on the ITA Journal.

Last October and in the International Tube Association 3rd journal edition, africon published an article about the Steel industry in East Africa. The article started by portraying the image of Africa that is perceived by the rest of the world. Many countries in the continent have started to change their image from a crisis centre to a potential emerging market. The macro economic factors strongly indicate positive changes that will lead the continent to be the next emerging market. The growing young population together with economic growth on the continent lead to a growing labour force and cities which lead to a significant increase in middle class. Furthermore, the continent is pushing towards manufacturing and automation as this sector remains as the continent weakest link. Also, constant rise in foreign direct investment over the past decades is further boosting the economy not only in financial terms but as well in terms of knowledge, expertise and technology.  Industries of almost all kind will experience a rapid growth due to this economic boom, however the African market is still very diverse as the continent host 54 countries.

East Africa currently distinguish itself by economical growth and political stability in the region and the least dependent on commodities such as gold or oil. The region was projected to capture the highest regional economic growth over the past year in Africa. The article went in depth to analyse those macro-economic factors and focused on the drivers of steel industry that promote economic growth in Africa and especially in East Africa

Overall, Africa does host enormous opportunities for firms from around the world. With its diversity and complicity however comes the need to evaluate closely where they are and how to make use of the it.

To access the full article, please use the link below:
The East African Steel Industry

africon CEO Mr. Marc Zander – Interview ” Investors lack info”

CT Executive Search Specializes in senior recruitment in the emerging markets, leveraging its proprietary research capacities in Moscow at a network of partners in Asia, Africa and Eurasian Economic Union. CT Executive interviewed africon GmbH CEO and Partner Mr. Zander last October to share insights about investors information and relations in Africa.

The interview started by covering African countries with most financial demand and highest potential. Mr Zander outlined the most important factors that drive Foreign Direct Investment FDIs, and  emphasised on the African regions that promote those factors. The interview then covered how to best enter the African market. Mr Zander recommended a detailed study of the market in order to enter with best fit African Market Entry strategy.

For the full interview please use the link below to gain more insights about investors lack of information in Africa: Interview https://www.ct-executive.de/download-file?file_id=472&file_code=de37e6d523

Automotive projects conducted by africon

Over the past years, more and more automotive firms have shown increasing interest in Africa. Even though OEMs like VW and Nissan have dominated the news with their announcement of establishing assembly plants in Africa, the largest immediate automotive business potential lies elsewhere: in the automotive aftermarket.

With more than 12,7 million vehicles on the road in Nigeria, more than 6 million in Egypt and almost 2 million in Kenya, more and more automotive parts are sold in Africa. The main challenge especially for global aftermarket leaders from Europe and Japan: the sector requires large amount of data to efficiently and effectively increase sales. With data availability in Africa being a major challenge, africon has successfully plugged this gap and supported aftermarket firms from around the world and in different product segments on their Africa strategy.  Amongst other points, we supported firms with market sizes, details on vehicles in operation, suitable import partners and even research on specific part numbers. For the upcoming years, africon has set an increased focus on the sector and expects more companies to follow current early movers to the continent.

africon interviews 184 IT partners for the communication sector

africon was contracted to carry out a suitable go-to market Africa strategy for a major international player in the two-way radio communication industry (LMR). The project covered 7 countries where a total of 184 interviews were conducted with relevant players in the industry. The results concluded from the analysis of all interviews and market data was clear; South Africa dwarfs its counterparts in terms of market size with at market of more than 30 mio Euro. Nigeria, Kenya and Angola on the other hand offer the greatest growth potential going forward. Quality was found to be the key determining criteria for consumers when purchasing two-way radios. This was due to fact that the main users of two-way radios use them in critical situations where quality cannot be compromised including law enforcement, private security, mining, oil and gas. Customers in these sectors are willing to pay a premium for the guarantee of a reliable products. These still hold a market share of more than 80% compared to cheap products from China. Another finding has been that local system partners are key to success where africon identified more than 30 locally in key markets

africon active in training and education in the African context

Beside the longstanding partnership with the Hochschule Bonn Rhein Sieg, the engagement in the TVET initiative in Kenya and the permanent supervision of student’s thesis, africon continues its engagement in the field of training and education also in the city of its new headquarter Bremen.

In November 2018, Sonja Mattfeld was invited to speak in front of a class of international students at the Hochschule Bremen in the study program of Global Management. In her presentation she raised not only the awareness for the huge business potential in Africa and motivated the students to look for careers in that growing market, but also shared insights of research projects and taught some research and analysis techniques. The lecture was part of their business administration curriculum and will in close cooperation with the professor directly enable the students to apply their knowledge in their exams. 

africon is always happy to assist international students and universities, give lectures and support with mentoring of projects related to Africa. For any questions on this please do not hesitate to contact our HR development manager Lena Schwoerer