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For the 3rd time africon has been contracted by the German Federal State of Rhineland-Palatinate to organize and conduct a business delegation. This time visiting Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

For the third time in 3 years africon won the public invitation from the German Federal State of Rhineland-Palatinate to organize a business delegation trip. This time the delegation visited Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

From August 27th to August 30th 2017 the delegation of our longstanding client the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Transport, Agriculture and Viniculture of Rhineland-Palatinate, consisting of three very different companies and being led by Dr. Richard Auernheimer, State Secretary A.D. visited Addis Ababa.

The three delegates are specialized in feed additives for animal feed, in chemicals for paints, varnishes and solvent mixtures and in communication & information solutions for Air traffic, Defense, Maritime, Public Transport, Public Safety.

 

The first day of the business trip, africon organized a city tour through Addis to familiarize the business people with the town and the rich culture and history of Ethiopia. In the evening Stephan Wendt, First Secretary – Head of Economic & Cultural Sections of the German Embassy welcomed all with a briefing note and valuable background knowledge on “How to do Business in Ethiopia” in one of the leading restaurants of Addis Ababa. Rounding up the cultural program of the day with economic knowledge.

On Monday the whole day was reserved for a B2B Event at the Radisson Blue Hotel. During which each of the delegates was presented with a number of arranged meetings with specifically chosen Ethiopian business representatives that matched the German’s individual business interests.

During the first part of the event in the morning leading Ethiopian business associations like “Chamber of Commerce”, “Ethiopian Investment Commission” as well as a representative of a law firm specialized on business law, were giving short presentations on their fields of expertise. Again providing the delegation with valuable knowledge on facts and figures to be aware of when planning on doing business in Ethiopia.

All speakers were invited to the following lunch break giving the delegates the chance to get involved into one-on-one discussions.

After the B2B meetings in the afternoon the day was rounded up perfectly by the invitation of the newly assigned Ambassador of Germany H.E. Brita Wagener to her residency. During this evening reception wine from the state of Rhineland-Palatinate which was sponsored by the Ministry was served and the delegates could mingle and chat with a number of Ethiopian, German and international business representatives, deepening the impressions and knowledge of the Ethiopian business community.

The third day, africon reserved the morning for official meetings at the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectorial Associations, the Ministry of Industry as well as the Ministry of Mining.

Later on same day, drove 45 minutes outside of Addis Ababa to visit one of the many Industrial Zones: The “Eastern Industry Zone Park”. Here an introduction of the benefits and the general way of working as well as a tour around of the Industrial Park was given by the Park’s management.

The delegation also got the chance of visiting the production site of two of the companies who have set up their business in the Industrial Zone. One of the being Unilever who gave us a very interesting tour around their manufacturing grounds.

Early in the morning on Wednesday the delegation then left for the airport to proceed their trip to Rwanda. And from all e-mails exchanged after our trip as well as direct talks during the delegation, we can proudly say that we as africon have now for the third time 100% fulfilled the expectations of our longstanding client, the Ministry of Rhineland-Palatinate as well as their delegates. Each delegate got profound information concerning the Ethiopian business environment as well as business contacts – which made the trip a success for them – which then again makes their trip a success for africon.

 

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 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 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.

 

“Germany Touts Africa Investment as Signature Issue at G-20 Meeting”

A new approach to foreign investment and aid in Africa by the world’s richest nations is being called for by Germany’s chancellor, before she hosts a meeting of the world’s 20 wealthiest nations next month. The so-called “Merkel plan” calls for more investment in Africa, as a way of stemming African migration to Europe. Marc Zander, CEO of africon was asked by VOA News from America to comment on the current interest of German companies on Africa. Read the full Article.

 

Marc-Peter Zander in the interview with Forbes Afrique

Marc-Peter Zander,

PDG du cabinet Africon

A la tête d’Africon, un cabinet qui conseille les entreprises allemandes souhaitant s’implanter en Afrique, Marc Zander figurait dans le panel des intervenants du Germany-Africa Business Forum, qui s’est tenu fin mars à Francfort. Pour Forbes Afrique, il évoque les opportunités d’affaires qu’offre le continent, tout autant que la grande prudence des investisseurs allemands. Morceaux choisis.

PAR PATRICK NELLE

(Marc-Peter Zander,
CEO of africon
At the head of africon, a company that advises German companies that want to settle in Africa, Marc Zander presented himself to the trade fair participants of the Germany-Africa Business Forum, which was held in Frankfurt at the end of March. For Forbes Africa, he discusses the business opportunities offered by the continent as well as the caution of German investors. Excerpts.
BY PATRICKNELLE)

Find the original articel here Read more

Slide of the month 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, personalisation 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.

 

Germany Africa Business Forum

On the 23rd of March 2017, Marc Zander, CEO of africon, participated in the Germany Africa Business Forum (GABF) as the moderator of the panel discussion “Germany grows abroad – venturing to Africa for new markets”. In the presence of high ranked African politicians such as the former president of the Republic of Benin, Boni Yayi and the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea Gabriel M. O. Lima, German and African business men and women came together in the prestigious Adlon Kempinski Hotel.

In absence of German politicians, one could assist to very openminded and trustful discussions. So, Mr. Lima expressed his wish that Germans should be “as aggressive as the other nations to show to the Africans that they are interested”. Also, Mr. J.H. Muhindo, Deputy Head of Mission of the embassy of Uganda, stressed the wish of his country that Germany would rather invest into Uganda’s industrialisation than continuing paying traditional development aid as there are many graduated young people in Uganda who were not able to gain suitable jobs. Altogether, the image of a strong and innovative Africa was drawn during the GABF, that stands in extreme contrast to generally published image of a poor continent in need. This was mainly due to the presence of modern and successful African business people such as Erick Yong, Onyeche Tifase or Rebecca Enonchong.

Between the panels, there were many occasions for exchange between the participants of the forum so that newcomers in the German African business scene could benefit from the experiences of established players.

Watch here a video-summary of the fair:

 

Slide of the month February – Segmentation of the Nigerian sanitary market

The slide of the month January showed that Western Africa is a very active region for hotel development. The rise of the construction sector also drives the need of interior design and sanitary products. Two third of the total Nigerian turnover in sanitary products come from retail business. Only one third of the products are sold in construction projects such as hotels or office buildings. Whereas, when it comes to high-end class, the ratio changes and project business dominates the selling of sanitary and interior decor. Key to success in Nigeria is the identification of key players.

The segmentation of the Nigerian market illustrated by the sanitary sector is typical for Africa. Small distributors and unofficial markets dominate. Still, africon sees an opportunity for large contracts in high-end projects. A successful market entry must cover the whole distribution chain.

 

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