africon on Interpack

From 4th to 10th May 2017 africon GmbH was present with a stand at the worldwide leading trade fair on packaging solutions – the „interpack“ in Düsseldorf, Germany. There, africon had the chance to proof itself in three roles: presenting as itself, being one of the leading consulting companies with sole focus on the African region, as the new official foreign representative of Messe Düsseldorf for the East African region and as one of the major partners of Messe Düsseldorf in the organisation of the “Food Processing and Packaging Exposyum” (FPPE). In all three roles interpack was a major success for africon. Being able personally meet quite a number of international companies that were very much interested in the African market in general and in participating in FPPE in particular. Read more

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:


As a longterm project partner, africon inaugurates the new Azuri production plant

Sonja Mattfeld inaugurates the new Dried Mango production plant

In 2013, German trade fair Messe Dusseldorf and SAVE FOOD initiative hired africon, to perform research on the Kenyan food market. The study revealed a dramatic statistic: 300,000 tons of the mango harvest is lost because the fruits are not picked in time or cannot be processed quickly enough.

After an analysis of the reasons of losses and a deep insight into the Kenyan mango sector and its few processing techniques (mango pulp, mango juice, dried mangoes), africon together with Messe Dusseldorf and committed members of the SAVE FOOD initiative formed an active group and chose the Kenyan company Azuri Health Ltd. as their local partner in actually tackling the problem and invest in the niche market of dried mangoes.

This year on 8th February Azuri Health could, as a result of the successful business implementation, open a bigger production plant. Here, the production staff doubled from 5 to 10 persons and additional 25 casual workers during the peak production periods. Also, in terms of production capacity, the new plant evaluated to from 2 to 10 tons of dried mango per month.

Sonja Mattfeld, Partner at africon and Project Manager of “The Mango Project” was invited to hold a speech and cut the ribbon at the inauguration of the new plant. Just as was Dr. Clemens Schütte, Director of International Business at Messe Düsseldorf, a long standing partner of africon and “The Mango Project”.

Tei Mukunya, Founder and CEO of Azuri, states: “The Mango project is indeed the much awaited solution. They came to Kenya asked the right questions and realized what was needed.”


africon participates in the GABF

“The GABF aims at bringing together shrewd entrepreneurs, key opinion leaders and social influencers, CEO’s and selected politicians and non-governmental organisations to develop fresh commercial and social concepts that shape business, as well as economic thought and institutions.” (GABF)

The German-Africa Business Forum is a one-day event enabling exchange between German and African business communities. New potentials for cooperation can be identified during these days but also the interaction between economic, political and social development is discussed. Side by side with African and German politicians and businessmen Marc-Peter Zander, CEO of africon, will be speaking about opportunities of investment in Africa and share his experiences from the private sector.

The GABF will take place on the 23rd of March in the Adlon Kempinski Hotel in Berlin.



German-African Business Summit (GABS)

The German-African Business Summit goes into its second round. This time the summit will take place in Nairobi, Kenya where africon will also be present with some of our clients. The event is organised by SAFRI, the “German Initiative for Sub-Saharan Africa” and counts many high positioned celebrities such as the German Ministers Sigmar Gabriel and Gerd Müller. It is announced as a “perfect platform for decision-makers in business and politics from Germany and the African continent.” Further information can be found on the according website.

africon in “Märkte weltweit”

africon has published its slide of the month in the economic daily paper “Märkte Weltweit”. In the article, difficulties of doing market research in African countries are underlined and an “African approach” is presented. This has been illustrated on the example of a big IAM automotive aftermarket study.

German investors are still cautious when it comes to the African market. Differences in culture and doing business are big and scare many companies. Corruption and the importance of the black market seem to be unmeasurable. For these reasons, African business seems to be unpredictable. However, the africon article shows that extensive research on the ground can complete lacks in traditional statistical studies. The slide of the month that was published in “Märkte Weltweit” indicates that about 59 % of the spare parts in automotive aftermarket in Nigeria come from the open market. In order to raising reliable numbers, africon visited about 150 workshops and interviewed 48 experts as well as 500 consumers. Also, we created our own data base on the existing automotive brands evaluating more than 12 500 photos of the cars in Nigeria’s streets. That’s what we call an African approach for a study on the African market. And that is the reason why the regional knowledge and presence on the ground are that important when it comes to business in Africa. For a market entry, German companies should have partners with a very good knowledge of the African continent by their sides. That is one of the strengths of africon.

africon organizes delegation trip to Tanzania

After a successful trip to Kenya in 2015 with our client The State Ministry of Rhineland-Palatinate for Economic Affairs, Traffic, Agriculture and Viniculture, africon had this year the pleasure to organize a business delegation to Tanzania.

Nine companies from various industrial sectors participated in the three-day trip to Dar es Salaam in order to get to know the general business environment and explore the potential for their own products and services.

The africon- team consisting of Lena Schwoerer and Aneth Herman organized an excellent program with 51 personal meetings for the delegates with individually and carefully selected potential clients and partners for the participating companies among which we had a wine exporter, different machine manufacturers as well as producers of feed additives, tools and special chemicals.

During the trip, it was a special honor for the business delegation to be received by Mr Mohammed Dewji, the Group CEO and president of the MeTL Group which is Tanzania’s largest homegrown company with revenues of more than $1.5 billion, employing more than 24,000 people and with a presence in 12 countries in Africa.

To make the program round we created also some space for networking with other German companies and institutions already present in Tanzania, for example during a visit to the company Achelis (Tanzania) Ltd. and the dinner reception of the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany which supported us together with the Tanzanian German Business Center during the trip.

The feedback of all companies as well as our client, The State Ministry, was very positive and we could once again prove how our excellent business expertise and understanding of the local markets together with a hands-on-approach and professional organization on the ground can bring added-value to German companies.


2_delegation1    Delegation from Rhineland-Palatinate visiting a plant in Tanzania

africon-Team participates in numerous conferences as speaker and participant in discussions

Marc Zander, Managing Partner & CEO of africon GmbH, has been invited to numerous conferences during autumn 2016 as a speaker and participant in discussions on African economy. Amongst others, he participated in the conference “Universities, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development in Africa” in Sankt Augustin which was organized by the University Bonn-Rhein-Sieg. In Berlin, Mr Zander spoke on the “African Tech Entrepreneurship Conference”. With this recent focus on young initiatives in African economy the africon team got insights into a modern, energetic and highly inspiring part of the African continent.

Expo Real contracts africon GmbH to explore real estate opportunities in Nigeria

The large real estate fair by Messe Munich called “Expo Real” has contracted africon GmbH in exploring opportunities in the Nigerian real estate sector. africon was tasked with gathering contacts in the real estate market, provide market intelligence on the real estate market and organize a business trip for the fair director Ms. Boymanns meeting key personnel of large real estate companies, banks and developing companies. For the second time, Expo Real has given special focus to Sub Saharan Africa with the real estate sector showing great potential.


Expo Real with almost 40.000 participants will be able to bring together stakeholders in the property and real estate sector to discuss the latest trends and access first-hand information on the industry. Nigerian companies participating in the expo, stand to gain from meeting international investors and bringing in more international capital into Nigeria’s booming real estate sector.


Expor Real Erik Expo Real Nigeria

Marc Zander, CEO of africon speaks on Africa conference in Dortmund

More than 300 representatives from Germany and world wide attended the 4th Africa conference on “investment potential in Africa for German companies” in Dortmund. The conference brought together various speakers and company representatives from all over the world.

Marc Zander, CEO and Partner of africon GmbH has been invited as key note speaker and spoke on various topics being chances for German companies in Africa, the food value chains in Africa and most importantly on opportunities in more than 54 countries.

As a supporting paper for the conference africon was contracted to publish a German study on the chances of companies in Africa. The study can be downloaded here.



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