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

Mohammed Al-Salafi, Business Analyst und der Länderaufbetragte für Nigera, hielt am 17.02.2018 als Gastdozent einen Vortrag zum Thema Strategisches Management an der Online Beni American University. Die Universität bietet verschiedene Programme an, darunter auch Strategisches Management, welches dieses Semester von Herrn Al-Salafi durchgefüht wurde. Mohammed Al-Salafi wird von nun an jedes Semester dieses Programm unterrichten.

Das Programm soll dazu dienen strategische Denkweisen, sowie die benötigten Fähigkeiten und Methoden zu erlernen die benötigt werden, um kompetente und professionelle Entscheidungen in der Geschäftswelt treffen zu können. Es werden relevante Konzepte, Werkzeuge und Fallbeispiele des Strategischen Managements vorgestellt.

 

Slide of the month (SOTM) October. Automotive industry in sub-Saharan Africa

In 2017, we analysed the market for automotive filtration in Kenya and Tanzania in detail. During the project, 60 senior level industry players from authorities, key automobile traders and leading parts distributors, more than 300 consumers, around 70 workshops and 100 parts traders in Kenya and Tanzania were interviewed.

In terms of vehicles in operation (VIO), Kenya and Tanzania belong to the countries with the highest stock of VIO in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Through a fast-growing local assembly industry, Kenya promises to stay the local automotive hub in East Africa. This also reflects in a growing local spare parts industry ranging from automotive batteries to tires. Also the automotive market in Tanzania, with a first local assembly line for agricultural vehicles in place and various spare parts manufacturers operating successfully, promises to continue growing in the next years.

Apart from the activities in Kenya and Tanzania, africon has been active in the Nigerian automotive market since 2015. With the new insights from Kenya and Tanzania gathered in 2017, the africon expertise regarding the African automotive market grew decisively.

 

Slide of the month (SOTM) November. Aluminium foil

After growing its expertise in the African packaging markets throughout the last 5 years, africon supported a leading aluminium foil supplier to the flexible-, laminated carton, cigarette- and blister packaging industry with the development of its Africa strategy.

53 key industrial players were interviewed, including 11 packaging manufacturers in South Africa and 12 packaging manufacturers in Nigeria. In terms of market attractiveness, the South African market outscored the Nigerian market. However, given the well established long term relations many South African companies have with their suppliers, the Nigerian market offered a far bigger accessible market than the South African.

Only by meeting the local key players personally in Nigeria and South Africa, africon was able to identify which companies signaled interest in a future cooperation with the client. The africon hands-on approach was therefore once again essential for the development of a successful Africa strategy.

 

 

 

Slide of the month (SOTM) September. Woodworking machinery importation

During a recent project conducted by africon with focus on the wood working machinery market in Nigeria, africon GmbH identified 107 furniture manufacturing companies and 14 machine distributors focusing specifically on the furniture manufacturing market.

By holding expert interviews with a big number of manufacturers and distributors it became quite clear that the furniture manufacturing sector in Nigeria is very much quality oriented when it comes to purchasing machinery. This stands in contrast to many other industrial sectors that are clearly driven by price when it comes to purchasing e.g. in the steel industries.

The slide of the month August 2017 shows that during economically difficult periods price is starting to become the underlying factor even though quality is still considered to be very important. Therefore, the countries exporting high quality machinery have lost a big market share to countries exporting low price machinery. Consequently, it would be important for high quality machinery suppliers to widen their portfolio containing a lower priced machine that still meets all basic quality requirements.

 

 

Slide of the month (SOTM) August. Plastic pipes

During a period of 3 years africon GmbH conducted more than 140 interviews with manufacturers of plastic pipes as well as distributors, hardware stores, construction companies and contractors in 11 countries in west and east Africa. Through all these interviews africon gathered extensive knowledge on the local manufacturing market of plastic pipes, the importation as well as the trends of different materials in different countries.

The following slide shows very well that when entering the African market a company needs a clear strategy for different regions of the continent since trends, developments and market sizes can differ quite a lot between the different regions of this vast continent.

 

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.

 

 

Slide of the month (SOTM) July. Investment horizon in Africa

africon GmbH has made over 130 interviews with sub-Saharan African steel manufacturers between 2016-2017. In these interviews, one of the key issues holding back Western manufacturers was the risk perception of management, reflected in the preferred payback periods of the machinery. The management of steel companies was hesitant to make too large investments in machinery that would require long payback periods, mainly because of political, regulatory and other economic risks. The preferred payback horizon is 2-5 years, whereas most high-end Western equipment requires 8-12 years of payback time in Africa. Providing machines that fits risk perception or intended payback period is one of the main challenges of western engineering companies.

 

 

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 -http://www.familienunternehmer.eu- and Africa 2.0 -http://www.africa2point0.org.

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.

 

Slide of the month (SOTM) May. Steel investment Africa

During 2016 – 2017 africon GmbH conducted over 130 interviews with the management of sub-Saharan African steel manufacturers. In these interviews, we were able to discover that the current steel plant equipment and machinery market is dominated by low-price segment mainly consisting of Chinese and second-hand equipment. However, discussion with top managers on future investments in the next 10 years, the steel plant equipment landscape will change dramatically. Most of the new growth will come from mid-high price segment, with a total market share of over 50 % by 2025. This will open up great opportunities for steel plant engineering companies in sub-Saharan Africa.

 

 

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.

 

 

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