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

The digital economy in Africa continues to grow with some countries having significant digital infrastructure. Due to our vast experience and project work in Africa, we were recently invited to share relevant insights on the topic, “Opportunities in Africa’s rising digital economy”, at the Global DIGITAL FUTUREcongress Virtual on 25.02.2021.

Our presentation focused on the general growth drivers as well as the opportunities that exist in the thriving internet economy of Africa. We gave an overview of the tech scene on the continent which is an interesting market for German and European companies. One such insight was that Nigeria and Kenya have the largest tech sectors while Rwanda and Ethiopia are growth markets.

We were also able to share more tactical recommendations and insights that would guide prospective entrants into the market.

If you have any questions about the sector or would like to discuss more, please contact us at

Read previous SOTMs (Slides of the month) here.

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

Slide of the month (SOTM) December. The food, beverage and tobacco manufacturing industry in Nigeria

Slide of the month (SOTM) November. The construction industry in Africa


Slide of the month (SOTM) February. Obtaining finance in Côte d’Ivoire

Over the past years, a strong reform drive has helped the Ivory Coast to become one of West Africa’s most interesting markets. Growth rates of consistently more than 7% p.a. make the country a promising target market for suppliers of all kinds of industrial machinery. However, when managing market entry, it is important to not just look for potential partners but to also understand the context. In this case, africon was asked to investigate the topic of “obtaining finance” as a key constraint for potential Ivorian customers of the client. Luckily, conditions on the ground are relatively favourable, making other factors more critical for potential customers locally.

Read other SOTMs (Slides of the month) here.

Slide of the month (SOTM) January. Internet speeds across Africa

Slide of the month (SOTM) December. Automotive market in Uganda

Slide of the month (SOTM) November. Chemicals application sectors in Nigeria

Slide of the month (SOTM) October. Construction sector performance in South Africa

Slide of the month (SOTM) September. Consumer goods distributors in Ethiopia

Slide of the month (SOTM) January. Internet speeds across Africa

For an increasingly digital world, fast internet is a key driver of growth. As anywhere else, internet speeds in Africa vary greatly between countries as this slide shows: while for example Madagascar has a download speed of around 32 Mb/s, faster than that of the UK, and countries like Ghana and South Africa have speeds of above 20 Mb/s, others still lag behind.

In the project this slide stems from, a client of africon and digital services company was looking for potential future sourcing locations in Africa. africon analysed indicators such as the above to prioritize countries according to their sourcing potential for the client. Though internet speed was an important determinant, a critical factor was to also consider further KPIs, such as the cost and availability of other means of production. An analysis of a mix of various critical indicators finally led to an East African country being ranked as number one. The next target is now to jointly establish a local presence in this country for the client.

Read other SOTMs (Slides of the month) here.

Slide of the month (SOTM) December. Automotive market in Uganda

Slide of the month (SOTM) November. Chemicals application sectors in Nigeria

Slide of the month (SOTM) October. Construction sector performance in South Africa

Slide of the month (SOTM) September. Consumer goods distributors in Ethiopia

Slide of the month (SOTM) August. Real estate projects in South Africa

Slide of the month (SOTM) November. Market entry project for a US communication company

Market entry project

When it comes to the two-way radio communication industry, South Africa dwarfs its counterparts in terms of market size and market maturity. Nigeria, Kenya and Angola on the other hand offer the greatest potential going into the future. Quality was found to be the key determining criteria for consumers when purchasing two-way radios. This is mainly due to the fact that main users of two way radios tend to be in critical sectors where quality cannot be compromised including law enforcement, private security, mining, oil and gas. Customers in this sectors are willing to pay a premium for the guarantee of a reliable product.

africon can provide value to other radio communication companies by evaluating the market potential for their product, analyze the value chain and identify suitable distribution partners in the key market Africa.

Slide of the month (SOTM) January. Prices of chips used in card payment in Nigeria

We did an overview on the debit and credit card market in Nigeria in a bid to understand the key personalisation bureaus in Africa, the market potential for payment modules and local pricing. Within 60 interviews with banks, personalisation bureaus, IT companies and experts in the market africon could gain extensive know how on the local pricing of Gemalto, G&D and Union Pay. The key learning is that the local pricing has strongly declined in a short period of time due to the strong pressure from the market.


Slide of the month (SOTM) March. Kenyan mobile money transfers

Mobile money has become the most important money transfer system in Kenya by far, in contrast to the European continent where people mostly stay suspicious to such paying systems. africon GmbH with its long-term experience in the payment sector did a research for a leading manufacturer of chip for payment cards. In this context, the Kenyan market of banking and credit cards has been analysed and an important data base including information from more than 50 expert interviews in Nigeria and Kenya with banks, personalization bureaus, distributors and other key organisations was constituted. Thanks to this extensive research, africon can resume that the Kenyan banking market is saturated. Investments into this sector can hardly be profitable besides banks and telcos who still buy payment cards. The Nigerian market currently shows a strong margin drop for payment chips and new technologies are being explored by banks and payment providers. Nevertheless, the dynamic development of mobile money is an important opportunity for the IT sector and internet security companies.



Slide of the month (SOTM) July. Payment cards in Nigeria


2016_08_03_Slide of the month_July

The slide of the month July shows continuous growth of more than 20% in payment cards for Nigeria. At the moment the total market has got about 42 million cards according to various sources. The major share of payment cards in Nigeria are debit cards with almost 98%. Credit cards have not been popular in the market. Verve, a national payment scheme still holds the strongest position however with sincere competition from Mastercard. The bank with the most cards in the market is First Bank, followed by UBA and Ecobank.

At the moment the following trends can be observed:

  1. Strong marketing activities to push China Union Products to come by end of 2016
  2. Mobile solutions on the rise with payment cards being a commodity product
  3. Growth in agent networks resulting in the need for more solutions

Over the past 2 years africon has developed a strong understanding of the Nigerian payment cards market and would be happy to answer all questions on