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Slide of the month (SOTM) June. Plastic film imports in Nigeria

The growth of plastic film imports over the past ten years is a demonstration of the increased adoption of plastic film packaging in Nigeria. Along with the growth in usage of plastic films comes a vast variety of opportunities related products and services – from raw materials to mechanical engineering. 

Polyethylene (PE) film is by far the most popular plastic film material used in Nigeria due to its versatility and wide areas of application. 

If you would like to know more about the plastic film industry in Nigeria, how to access this market, or who the right local partners and  customers are, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

africon CEO Marc-Peter Zander is PARLA expert trainer of the month

africon CEO Marc-Peter Zander is an external PARLA expert on Africa’s cultural and economic sector and has decades of experience with the continent. If you have followed us for a long time, you may know that he has spoken on many occasions as a keynote speaker, panelist and moderator on culture in Africa. See more from our news section.

He has vast experience in market entry consulting, regional focus Africa, Africa´s economy, banking IT, FMCG, steel and packaging.  He is also a member of the International Advisory Network for Africa and has been working on Africa since 2002.

Since 2016, Parla and africon work together in consulting international firms on their cultural understanding with the key regions of Nigeria and Kenya.

Get to know more about him as well as his speaking portfolio here .

Sub Saharan Africa Workshop @METEC 2019: Successful premiere

African and German firms discuss market potential in Africa

Key players from Africa and Germany exchanged ideas on how to do business in Africa at the METEC 2019 Sub Saharan Africa Workshop. This workshop focused on the challenges and opportunities of the African metallurgy market. Speakers from a variety of African and European countries and companies were invited to hold presentations and participate in panel discussions thus giving the international audience an excellent insight into the African markets. The METEC Sub Saharan Africa Workshop took place for the first time on June 26th, 2019 during the METEC trade fair in Dusseldorf, Germany. It was initiated and organized by africon GmbH in close cooperation with Messe Düsseldorf and “The Mechanical Engineering Industry Association” in Germany (VDMA) represented by Dr. Timo Würz, Managing Director of VDMA Metallurgy. More than 50 attendees participated in the high-level workshop.

The Event

The event was characterized by an open and lively exchange between all participants and panelists. Opinions were exchanged, similar and differing ones debated, and many conclusions drawn. Several key challenges not only to European firms, but to African nations and industries were identified.

The following recommendations arose:

  1. European firms should consider Africa as a market. Although often small and sometimes challenging, some African markets can be very profitable and provide huge long-term growth opportunities. Many Africans already appreciate European quality.
  2. International firms have to understand that Africa is a huge and diverse continent. Especially smaller firms will not be able to deal with all countries at once. Clear priority countries have to be defined early on.
  3. Skills are a critical bottleneck locally. Training and education for staff is a key to success. Organizations like the German VDMA are in a position to support here as well.
  4. Providing adequate aftersales service is key for EU machine suppliers to African customers. To achieve this at reasonable costs, teaming up with other suppliers or utilizing locally present external service providers can be beneficial. Creating service hubs in certain countries can be equally help. E.g. Kenya can be used as a hub for East Africa.
  5. German firms often have to show flexibility in their commercial terms and conditions, as well as showcase cultural understanding for the other involved parties.
  6. German firms – wherever possible – have to check on their pricing models as this is still a huge issue. In that context, modular/scalable solutions are often highly appreciated. Offering German solutions made in lower cost countries like India can be interesting entry level options as well.

“As africon, we were very pleased to see a lively event with valuable insights for both existing market players and new entrants. We hope the valuable contacts exchanged on the event will bear fruits in future”, summarizes Mr. Marc Zander CEO and Partner africon GmbH.

More Details about the Programme

Panel 1 addressed: Needs and expectations of German/international metals production, metals processing and metallurgical machinery sectors when looking into doing business in Africa (e.g. technology, education & training, competition, etc.)

The Panelists included Dr. Tim Nikolaou (Managing Director, Frech Group, Germany), Mr. Cedrick Lusaka (Area Sales and Project Manager – Africa, Maschinenfabrik Herkules GmbH & Co. KG, Germany), Mr. Solomon Mulugeta (Director, Ruhe Consult and General Manager, Ethiopian Association of Basic Metals and Engineering Industries), Dr. Norbert Völker (VDMA department of educational policy / Skilled workers for Africa Project Manager), Mr. Glen Dikgale (President, South African Institute of Foundrymen (SAIF), South Africa. The Panel was Moderated by Marc Zander (CEO & Partner, africon GmbH).

Panel 2 addressed: What the African markets offer to and need from German/international metallurgy, steel casting and metal companies willing to start business in Africa? (e.g. market potential, financing, local support)

The panelists included  Mr. Till Schreiter (Managing Director, ABP Induction Systems GmbH, Germany), Mr. Bobby Johnson (Sector Chairman, Kenya Association of Manufacturers KAM, Metal & Allied Sub Sector as well as Director, Steelmakers ltd, Kenya), Mr. Ime Ekrikpo (Director Steel & Non-Ferrous Metals Department, Ministry of Mines & Steel Development, Nigeria), Mr. Gupta Gagan Santosh (Chairman, Kamal Steel Group, Tanzania), Mr. Dieter Brandstätter (Managing Director, ANDRITZ Maerz GmbH, Germany ). The panel was moderated by Friedrich Wagner (VDMA department of foreign trade).

For any more info, do not hesitate to contact us.

africon presents on “Independent Aftermarket” in Frankfurt

Over the past 4 years africon has been supporting IAM (Independent After Market) automotive clients with their Africa growth strategies, providing research and data. A clear focus has been on the markets Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya where africon supported clients in the markets of filters, spark plugs and engine parts to grow their business.

Within a forum organised by the company Wolk After Sales Experts, Marc Zander, CEO & Partner at africon presented the chances in Africa for IAM companies and recommended the following key points to observe with a market entry into Africa: Increasing know how on the African market to understand the market value chain; increasing sales efforts to be closer to clients and partners; selection of key distributors who also serve the informal markets.

“Over the past 5 years Africa has been growing with more than 6%. This offers great chances for automotive companies in the IAM sector”, concludes Marc Zander.

East african steel industry

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

africon presence at agrofood event in Lagos, Nigeria

The agrofood event took place alongside the plastprintpack event from the 26th to 28th of March, 2019, featuring over 120 exhibitors from 24 countries. Africon was part of the 2,094 visitors in attendance, and was well represented by our Nigerian team.

Asides the display of new technologies and products by exhibitors, the event included a very insightful 3-day conference, where industry experts shared their knowledge and foresight about different topics relating to the food and beverage processing, plastics and packaging business in Nigeria.

According to africon representatives, it was such an interesting and insightful event, and they had great  interactions with many exhibitors and visitors .

Automotive parts import Sub-Saharan Africa.

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.

SOTM. January

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.

SOTM December

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.

africon publishes African steel insights on the ITA Journal.

Last October and in the International Tube Association 3rd journal edition, africon published an article about the Steel industry in East Africa. The article started by portraying the image of Africa that is perceived by the rest of the world. Many countries in the continent have started to change their image from a crisis centre to a potential emerging market. The macro economic factors strongly indicate positive changes that will lead the continent to be the next emerging market. The growing young population together with economic growth on the continent lead to a growing labour force and cities which lead to a significant increase in middle class. Furthermore, the continent is pushing towards manufacturing and automation as this sector remains as the continent weakest link. Also, constant rise in foreign direct investment over the past decades is further boosting the economy not only in financial terms but as well in terms of knowledge, expertise and technology.  Industries of almost all kind will experience a rapid growth due to this economic boom, however the African market is still very diverse as the continent host 54 countries.

East Africa currently distinguish itself by economical growth and political stability in the region and the least dependent on commodities such as gold or oil. The region was projected to capture the highest regional economic growth over the past year in Africa. The article 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

Overall, Africa does host enormous opportunities for firms from around the world. With its diversity and complicity however comes the need to evaluate closely where they are and how to make use of the it.

To access the full article, please use the link below:
The East African Steel Industry