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.


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.


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.


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.



Slide of the month October – Numbers on steel in Africa

The slide of the month October shows that more and more steel is used on the African continent while steel production does not increase significantly. This gap must be disserved by imports but it also indicates interesting investment possibilities for the steel processing industry. Seeing the need of steel increasing, we can also resume that construction is going up since 2005.


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

africon at the AGBF in Dubai

The CEO & Partner of africon Ltd. Marc Zander, visited the AGBF in Dubai to discuss investment in Africa with various investors. Outcome of the discussion has been that the African markets are a key focus of various investors in the Middle East region. This results in new Africa strategies of most UAE and GCC countries for Africa.

Marc Zander, CEO & Partner africon speaks at ALN Conference

The conference brought together approximately 500 thought leaders on investing and doing business in Africa to discuss the sectors and regions in Africa that provide the greatest opportunities for foreign investors, while analysing the legal and regulatory implications of doing business on the continent. Marc Zander spoke on the opportunities for FMCG companies in Africa being an expert in the Nigerian FMCG markets. Read more about the conference!


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