Archive d’étiquettes pour : management

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.

Slide of the month (SOTM) March. Kenya’s construction and real estate sector

africon GmbH was contracted by one of our clients and we successfully conducted a research on the aluminium industry in Kenya. We found out that the key drivers of this industry are the construction and real estate sectors in Kenya. Findings revealed that these sectors have experienced positive growth rates within the last five years and are expected to expand even further.

Kenya’s construction sector expanded by 8.6% and contributed approximately 6% to the country’s GDP in 2017. It is also one of the major sectors attracting foreign investors to the country. 

According to Deloitte’s construction trends report, Kenya has remained the leading country with the highest number of projects in East Africa for four consecutive years, with projects increasing by 78% from 23 projects in 2017 to 41 projects worth $38.2 billion in 2018. The major construction projects are in real estate, energy and power, and transport, sources also reveal that the Kenyan government is spending billions of dollars on transport projects as Kenya is expected to become the logistics hub of East Africa.

Challenges to this Kenya’s construction sector include: the frequent use of substandard materials, long procurement procedures, low project completion rates, and low technological knowledge. Despite these apparent challenges, continuous growth is expected in the sector as the Kenyan government plans to build 500,000 houses by 2022, and also to reduce corporate tax for developers who construct at least 400 units per year.

Kenya’s real estate sector is the 6th largest contributor to Kenya’s GDP, and was valued at $5.5 billion in 2017. The sector expanded by 6.1% in 2017 compared to 8.8% in 2016, and this slowed growth rate is due to the elections and reduced credit supply (as a result of capped interest rates). The construction of new private residential buildings in Nairobi increased from 9,054 in 2015 to 10,002 in 2016, while new public residential buildings rose from 45 in 2015 to 1,062 in 2016. Some of the challenges faced by Kenya’s real estate sector include inadequate sources of funding, high land costs, and infrastructure development costs. However, government initiatives such as digitization of the land ministry, removal of land search fees, and inclusion of affordable housing as part of Kenya’s big four agenda is likely to boost real estate development over the next few years

For more information, check out our other slides of the month and do not hesitate to contact us.


africon’s editorial publication in the ITA journal

last October africon published its first editorial addressing the future of the Steel industry in East Africa at the 3rd journal edition of the International Tube Association. The article started by highlighting how East Africa distinguishes itself by economical growth and political stability in the region and being the least dependent on primary commodities such as gold or oil in comparison with other african regions. The East African region was projected to capture the highest regional economic growth over the past year in Africa. The article then 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.

Now you can read the full version of the editorial here or download it as a white paper

Slide of the month (SOTM) February. Automotive parts imports in sub-Saharan Africa

Automotive parts import Sub-Saharan Africa.

Let us look at the automotive market in sub-Saharan Africa narrowing down to the aggregate value of three main automotive service parts which are: Filters (consisting of air filters for internal combustion engines, as well as Oil or petrol filters for internal combustion engines), Spark plugs, and Brake parts. The total combined import value of these automotive parts in sub-Saharan Africa was $753 million in year 2017. Brake parts recorded the highest import value worth $388 million which is 52% of the total import value of the three selected automotive parts combined, while spark plugs were the least of the imports valued at $58 million.

Based on our analysis of the available data on automotive parts imports in sub-Saharan Africa, we found that South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Kenya, and Ghana were the top five importers of filters, spark plugs and brake plugs into sub-Saharan Africa in the year 2017. South Africa being the largest market, accounted for 47% of these automotive parts imports worth $355 million, while Ghana being the fifth largest market was worth $21 million.

The major export partners were China, Germany, South Africa, Belgium and USA. However, the data from year 2007 shows that Germany was the largest exporter of these automotive parts to the Sub Saharan Africa region until 2013 when China took over as the largest exporter to the region. Brake parts were also the largest exports (of the three parts) from China and Germany while Filters were the largest exports from South Africa, Belgium and USA.

Slide of the month (SOTM) January. The automotive parts market in Nigeria

SOTM. January

The Nigerian automotive industry appears to be an interesting market, as our research on the automotive parts market shows that the market size is worth USD 4.4bn or more.

The total vehicles in operation in Nigeria is currently estimated at 12.7 million, and Nigerian drivers spend an average of USD 350 on automotive parts per year.

Interviews conducted with various automotive experts in Nigeria also confirmed that the market for service parts accounts for the biggest share of the automotive market.

Slide of the month (SOTM) December. Aluminium market growth in sub-Saharan Africa

SOTM December

The Aluminium market in sub-Saharan Africa has been experiencing a steady growth in the past decade.

The major contribution to this, is the increased import of hollow profiles of aluminium alloys into sub-Saharan Africa which has grown by 467%, from 23 million tonnes to 107 million tonnes between 2008 and 2017, compared to other profiles.

The non-alloyed profiles which has the lowest contribution seems to be dwindling in import size, as they only increased between 2009 and 2012, after which they began to decline.

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.

africon GmbH has founded a new branch in Bremen

New year, new places: africon GmbH has decided to establish a broader regional presence and therefore opened a branch in Bremen’s heart on January, 1st, 2018. Right next to the Bremen Town Musicians is africon’s office:

in the Carl-Ronning-Straße 1, 28195 Bremen.

In Bremen sits the administration with focus on accounting, personnel administration and general administration.

Your prinicipal contact in Bremen is our Administrative Manager Karolin Heinrich.


africon GmbH announces formation of advisory board



Düsseldorf, 21.09.2016

africon GmbH, a specialized consulting company with sole focus on Africa, is happy to announce its new advisory board with immediate effect. The advisory board which has significant long term Africa experience will guide and advise africon GmbH in its current growth phase and contribute with ideas, contacts and local know how.

africon is happy to officially welcome Mr. Dennis Awori, Mr. Alastair Newton and Mrs. Tei Mukunya on board.

Mr. Awori is Chairman of Toyota Tsusho East Africa, Kenya Airways Ltd and the Bank of Africa Kenya Ltd. Moreover, Mr Awori is Chairman of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (the umbrella body for Kenya’s private sector) and a Trustee of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. From 2003 to 2009 he was appointed the Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya to Japan and Korea where he built strong relations between Kenya and the two countries, especially through their private sectors, keeping in mind his prior experience in multinationals in the motor industry across East Africa. Mr. Awori will support africon with its sound industry expertise and African business network.

Mr. Newton is Co-Founder and Director of Alavan Business Advisory Ltd. since 2015. Prior to Alavan Alastair Newton was career diplomat (1985-2005) who went on to work as a political analyst in the City from 2005 to 2015. As a British diplomat he served in Africa, Paris and New York. In London, he had spells in intelligence liaison, policy planning and coordinating the prime minister’s G7 team. Additionally, he joined Frankfurt-listed African Development Corporation in 2008, first as an advisor to the Supervisory Board then as a member. He took over the chair in 2013, from which position he successfully oversaw the fund’s acquisition by Atlas Mara in 2014. Mr. Newton will assist africon with his long political expertise in Africa.

Mrs. Mukunya is owner and founder of Azuri Health Ltd. She is also a Director of Midas Golden Academy a private elementary school. Prior to this she built 6 years of experience running Touchstone Consultancy Services in developing and marketing products for cooperatives and groups. She worked with GIZ, SNV, ACDA-VOCA, EU-CDTF and USAID in capacity building on business development and marketing for women and youth. Prior to that she started her corporate career at British American Tobacco serving in various marketing roles including Trade and Marketing, Marketing Operations, and Brand Marketing for the Horn of Africa markets; Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan and Somalia. Mrs. Mukunya will support africon with her long term marketing and start-up experience.

“We are happy and proud to have such a highly experienced advisory board. Since we are still a relatively young team we look forward to a continuous exchange with the advisory board to support the growth of our company.” Marc Zander, Managing Partner & CEO of africon GmbH.

Official Press Release for Africon GmbH

Since the 19th of November 2015 XCOM Africa GmbH operates under the name Africon GmbH. Over the past 5 years XCOM Africa has been growing to one of the key consulting companies worldwide with sole focus on the African continent. We have supported more than 35 companies – from SMEs to multinationals on their way to discover the potential in sub-Saharan-Africa.


After having taken the chance of a management buy-out of the XCOM AG shares Marc-Peter Zander and Sonja Mattfeld are now the sole shareholders of the company and changed the name to Africon GmbH. Marc-Peter Zander, CEO Africon GmbH: ”2015 has been our most successful year. More than 10 companies trusted us on their Africa strategy. Thus, we could achieve our largest revenue and increase the team size. In 2016 Africa as business location will play even a more important role for companies driven by strong local growth but also due to the crises in other regions, e.g. Asia and the Middle East.”


The new name Africon does not only imply the African continent in the wording, but shows also the focus of the company: consulting and connecting our international clients to and within Africa. This growth story will now continue as Africon being even a stronger brand and allowing further international expansion. Download the press release here: 2016_01_04__Pressemitteilung_Africon