Intergune 2022, the internationalization forum of the Basque Country

Organised by SPRI Group, the Basque Business Development Agency, Intergune 2022, the internationalization forum of the Basque Country took place from 26th to 28th October 2022 in Bilbao, Spain.

As the official representative for Basque Trade and Investment in Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania, africon attended the event. It brought together Basque companies and international representatives from all over the world to discuss the market potential world-wide and in Africa.

africon’s Founder and CEO, Marc-Peter Zander, was at Intergune 2022 and notes that it was “a well-attended event with informative forums and it provided a great opportunity for us to network and share insights on opportunities for Basque companies in Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya”.

With our proven track record of helping companies successfully create their Africa strategies, we look forward to providing business intelligence for Basque companies interested in the countries that we represent.

africon’s presence in Big 5 Construct Nigeria

Construction projects in Nigeria are not only getting bigger but more complex in nature. Some key drivers for the growth of the construction industry are economic development, urbanization, industrialization, and the expansion of the middle class. We have worked on more than 20 projects in the construction market across Africa over the last few years. Our key project sectors that intersect with construction are mechanical engineering and building materials. Our Nigerian team, represented by Taiwo Kehinde, visited the Big 5 Construct which took place from 27th – 29th September 2022 in Landmark Centre, Lagos.

Big 5 Construct Nigeria brought together companies in fields such as building interiors, finishes, building materials, digital construction and smart buildings and buildings services. It also contained talks from professionals in the business. Exhibitors included local and foreign companies (from countries such as Italy, India, Turkey, Spain and Poland).

The Nigerian team leveraged the opportunity to share insights and discuss with industry experts. Mr. Kehinde notes that, “the event provided a positive outlook on the development of Nigeria’s construction industries”. We look forward to more engagements.

Slide of the month (SOTM) November. Number of trade fairs in Africa

How is the trade fair business developing in Africa, and what is expected in 2023?

That was one of the key questions for one of our clients in the sector. To answer this, we looked at the number of active trade fairs in the continent in 2022-2023. The top 4 countries, South Africa, Morocco, Kenya, and Nigeria, comprise almost 50% of all 455 trade shows. It is essential to know that African countries are non-homogenous, which is reflected in each country’s specific trade fair portfolio. Exhibitions range from food, packaging, construction, automotive, industrial goods, healthcare, and mechanical engineering, among other vital industries in Africa.
africon provided our client with a comprehensive overview of the market, multi-country analysis and prioritization, and strategic recommendations for future sales efforts on the continent.

Read previous SOTMs (Slides of the month) here

Slide of the month (SOTM) September. Agricultural exports from Africa

Slide of the month (SOTM) August. Beer production in Africa

Slide of the month (SOTM) July. The growth of consumer markets in Africa

Slide of the month (SOTM) June. Blood transfusion landscape in Tanzania

Slide of the month (SOTM) May. Construction projects in Africa

africon selected as the official representative for Basque Trade and Investment in Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana

After successful cooperation in 2021 and 2022, africon is happy to be selected yet again by Basque Trade and Investment as their official representative in Kenya, Tanzania, and Ghana for 2023.
International companies have been looking for opportunities in Africa’s burgeoning markets. In the race for competitiveness in a highly globalised economy, the Basque Country is privileged to access global markets thanks to its strategic location in the centre of the European Atlantic Axis. Many companies in the Basque Country have already prioritised Africa as part of their internationalization strategy.
The region represents over 400 companies in multiple locations, with 800+ overseas production plants and facilities. Basque Country has consolidated itself as a reference for knowledge and innovation, with a solid base and high technological content and is open to international markets.
We look forward to fruitful cooperation by assisting Basque companies with their Africa strategies. We will continue to create value for the companies by analysing and assessing African markets, delivering market entry strategies, and introducing them to potential partners and projects.


africon as a cooperation partner for the East African delegation to K trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany

africon as a cooperation partner for the East African delegation to K trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany

africon as a cooperation partner for the East African delegation to K trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany

As the official representative for Messe Duesseldorf in East Africa, africon supported the organisation of an East African delegation to K trade fair.

K, the world’s no. 1 trade fair for plastics and rubber, is a trade fair by Messe Düsseldorf, which took place from 19-26 October 2022. The main themes at the K trade fair were Circular Economy, Digitalization and Climate Protection. At K, companies from all over the globe presented their latest products in categories such as raw materials, auxiliaries, machinery and equipment, plastics, products and processing, services, research and science.

The delegation posed a vital opportunity for East African companies to network with sector experts, inform themselves about the latest global technologies and source machinery from Germany. The participants were representatives of 13 companies from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania, and most of them were women-led. The focus topics for the delegation were recycling management, efficient processing, waste avoidance, and environmental pollution prevention.

The delegation started with a warm welcome from Messe Düsseldorf, and was followed by presentations from the NRW Ministry of Economic Affairs, Circular Valley, VDMA, PreVent Waste Initiative and the East African Business Council. The program included guided tours to different exhibitors. At the Covestro booth, the focus was on the many possible uses of polymers with special references to the area of ​​application in East Africa. At Krones, participants were given an overview of the entire plastic bottle cycle (‘from bottle to bottle’). At the Kautex booth, intelligent production solutions in the field of extrusion blow moulding technology were presented. Examples of other companies that the delegates visited were EREMA, Vecoplan and Arburg.

africon organised some meetings and accompanied the delegation to all the appointments and company visits. Participating companies had a good overview of the K trade fair, and in the following days, they visited other booths and events independently. The delegation was successful as the East African companies learned about circular economy solutions and innovation in sustainable plastic processing and material usage. They also networked with other global companies.

About the delegation

The East African delegation to the K trade fair happened from 19th to 26th October 2022, in Messe Düsseldorf and was organized by the Business Scouts for Development program on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), which is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The Business Scouts are development experts, located in Germany and more than 30 other countries around the world. In cooperation with the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and local partners the program aims to strengthen industries in East Africa and create sustainable perspectives and partnerships. The cooperation partners for this delegation were Messe Düsseldorf and africon.


africon featured in the HOFFNUNG IST KEINE STRATEGIE podcast

Over the past 11 years, africon advised more than 150 companies on their Africa strategy which motivated Christian Underwood to invite our CEO, Marc-Peter Zander, to a talk about how German companies develop their Africa strategy. In the podcast HOFFNUNG IST KEINE STRATEGIE, Christian and Marc discussed the following questions:

• Where can German medium-sized companies focus today?
• Which regional growth strategies and markets can German medium-sized companies take?
• Is Africa the last great frontier?
• How can you leverage hidden potential for your company with an Africa strategy?

If you would also like to get some insights into our work in Africa, this is an exciting episode to listen to. Explore this and more in the podcast.

You can also consume the podcast in a written form here.

If you have any questions, you can write us at

George Watakah joins africon as a Visiting Associate in Kenya

In line with our mission, ‘to be the leading European consulting company delivering solutions for Africa to companies worldwide by 2030’, we are happy to bring on additional in-country or sector-specific professionals from different regions in Africa. East Africa is one of the fastest-growing economic blocs in Africa, and many international companies are interested in the region. We are strengthening our team in East Africa by hiring a new team member, George Watakah, in Nairobi, Kenya.

Kenya is the largest economy in the East African region and the third largest in sub-Saharan Africa. Over the past decade, the country has made remarkable progress in enhancing economic growth. This high level of performance is underpinned by a stable macroeconomic environment, improved security perceptions, and ongoing structural reforms.

George holds a bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Science from the University of Nairobi. After his studies, he worked as a Growth Analyst at Yusudi Limited Africa where his role was to inform key business decisions and drive long-term impact for companies. In his capacity, he gained experience in driving significant and sustainable growth across the business cycle for companies in Kenya. Being a data enthusiast, he gets excited about opportunities where he can turn data into easy-to-digest content & reports for large & small businesses.
‘I am excited to be part of a highly motivated and dynamic team where I will be able to help Africa achieve its enormous potential by building bridges between the continent and the rest of the world’, he says.

So far, George has already started working on a project in the printing industry in Africa and we are delighted to have him on the team.

Read more about the africon team here.

Slide of the month (SOTM) October. Automotive battery markets in Africa

Africa’s automotive markets present significant opportunities for international companies. The COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected the market as it interrupted supply chains after governments set up travel restrictions.

Over the last decade, africon has implemented numerous projects in the automotive sector. Some of our clients have tasked us with analyzing the battery markets for commercial and personal vehicles. From our latest data, South Africa is the largest single market for automotive batteries, but sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) also presents a sizeable opportunity. The average automotive battery imports per year were USD 135 million for North Africa, USD 188 million for SSA, and USD 93 million for South Africa. These figures are average imports from 2019 to 2021. The leading suppliers were France, Spain, China, Germany, Turkey, and Korea. It is also worth noting that a few local automotive battery manufacturers exist in Kenya and South Africa.

africon provides automotive clients with comprehensive market overviews and helps them to identify and access opportunities in new application areas or product segments. We also give practical recommendations on penetrating the market.

Read previous SOTMs (Slides of the month) here

Slide of the month (SOTM) September. Agricultural exports from Africa

Slide of the month (SOTM) August. Beer production in Africa

Slide of the month (SOTM) July. The growth of consumer markets in Africa

Slide of the month (SOTM) June. Blood transfusion landscape in Tanzania

Slide of the month (SOTM) May. Construction projects in Africa


Slide of the month (SOTM) September. Agricultural exports from Africa

One of the most vital sectors in Africa is agriculture because it provides employment for more than half of the population and food. The continent also has the most unutilized arable land in the world.

africon has executed many projects in the farming sector in the last decade. One common question we receive from our clients is about the exports of agricultural products from Africa to other parts of the world. Our findings reveal that, Cote d’Ivoire is the top country exporting cocoa, nuts, rubber and fruits. South Africa, Ghana and Kenya also follow, each country with its product category mix. The top exports from Africa are coffee, tea, cocoa, and cotton & Europe has been a principal landing place for this produce.

Many African governments have prioritized the growth of the agriculture sector. The rapidly growing population and economic activities in additional industrial sectors pose an excellent opportunity for international firms.

africon provides international companies a comprehension of the market challenges and offers solutions to position these companies optimally. We devise market strategies and give recommendations to companies interested in key markets in Africa.

Read previous SOTMs (Slides of the month) here.

Slide of the month (SOTM) August. Beer production in Africa

Slide of the month (SOTM) July. The growth of consumer markets in Africa

Slide of the month (SOTM) June. Blood transfusion landscape in Tanzania

Slide of the month (SOTM) May. Construction projects in Africa

Slide of the month (SOTM) April. Demand for heavy machinery in Africa

Automechanika Dubai: africon outlines growth for Ghana and Ivory Coast auto aftermarkets

We have worked on more than 30 projects in the automotive sector across Africa in the last few years. We produced a new report on the growth of Ghana and Ivory Coast auto aftermarkets.

Ivory Coast is the economic center and a significant player in Francophone West Africa. On the other hand, Ghana has been one of the most stable and fastest growing economies in West Africa. In this report, we covered data on the total vehicle imports and the spare parts market in the two countries.

We highlighted that with growing market sizes, the two are likely to be the focus countries for many international spare parts manufacturers.

For more insights, download the report here.

Other reports that we have written.

Automechanika Dubai: africon presents new report that signposts opportunity in Africa’s diverse aftermarket parts business

Automechanika Dubai: africon sheds light on the Egyptian Automotive Aftermarket