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africon and Wolk After Sales Experts join forces for Africa

We are proud to announce that africon GmbH and Wolk After Sales Experts are joining forces for Africa.

Both German consulting companies are leaders in their respective fields, namely global automotive after sales industry and Sub-Saharan Africa business environment. Together Wolk and africon will be able to provide clients with comprehensive information and consulting support across the continent.

Since the beginning of its operations in 1994 Wolk After Sales Experts has grown into a consulting powerhouse well known to both vehicle manufacturers and independent aftermarket operators. Thanks to carefully built network of partners across Europe, Wolk monitors automotive markets in 35 countries – from Portugal to Russia and from Norway to Turkey.

In one world economy our clients need support not only in Europe, but on the other markets as well. Our cooperation with africon will allow us to include data from Sub-Saharan Africa into our AFTER SALES ACCESS aftermarket business intelligence tool. This will be a major asset for any automotive company aiming at creating or improving its distribution network in Africa” explains Zoran Nikolic, Managing Director at Wolk After Sales Experts.

africon GmbH, established in Germany in 2011, currently has offices in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. The company employs a team consisting of 7 nationalities speaking more than 10 local languages while running a network of more than 50 consultants in the African region. Over the past 5 years africon conducted more than 20 automotive projects in Africa.

The African automotive markets have been growing with more than 6% over the past years and offer great chances for global operating companies. After various independent aftermarket projects in Africa, africon could obtain significant data and know-how on African markets like Nigeria and Kenya which we are happy to offer to the excellent network of Wolk After Sales Experts” states Marc-Peter Zander, CEO & Partner at africon GmbH. Mr. Zander will be also a keynote speaker during upcoming Aftermarket Forum 2019: Going global! It is a top-level automotive industry event taking place on April 17th in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and organized by Wolk After Sales Experts. This year’s edition will focus on market snapshots of different regions of the world and Sub-Saharan Africa will be covered by the representative of africon.

In day-to-day business operations Wolk After Sales Experts and africon together will provide clients with exclusive market research, market intelligence and consulting projects in African countries.

africon presence in agrofood & plastprintpack Ethiopia

According to Jean Wandimi, africon Kenya, the international trade fair “agrofood & plastprintpack Ethiopia” was again very successful. africon Kenya is already active in the East African agricultural sector. Our experts therefore visited the fair in Addis Ababa, which this year took place in May for the third time. The fair unites the two topics Agriculture and PPP (Plastics, Printing, Packaging). The focus is on the agricultural sector. Main topic of this year’s fair was food safety and recycling. Many presentations and panel discussions focused on topics such as reducing food waste and waste, increasing agricultural productivity through innovation, but also highlights such as financing for SMEs were presented.

The africon Kenya team draws a positive balance after the visit: a well-attended fair with interesting and insightful events that offered many opportunities for professional exchange, with a positive outlook on the future development of the East African agricultural sector.

If you have any questions, please contact Jean Wandimi, africon Kenya.

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 .

Successful Plastic Sector Projects Done in East & West Africa

In the past months africon conducted two market assessment projects and one very successful business trip to Kenya for major international players of the plastic packaging sector.

Promising future market in Nigeria

The two market assessment projects had Nigeria as their focus market and more than 100 interviews were conducted with all relevant players of the plastic packaging sector locally.
The results concluded from the analysis of all interviews and market data in Nigeria is very clear: the plastic (packaging) sector in Nigeria is very vivid and growing at a high pace. Nevertheless, the Nigerian market is highly cost conscious. Competition is set on pricing strategy: the cheaper the product, the more sales a company makes. Most manufacturers still shy away from cost increases even marginally. The majority of consumers do not care much about quality as they do have an open eye for the cost.

At the same time the future is certain to come with changes. The upper middle class is expanding and there’s a growing awareness on quality products among Nigerian consumers generally.Any high quality / high price level company entering the Nigerian market will need a targeted product awareness campaign to help realize the market potential for their products. Both end users and converters need some form of education on the use of the products.

Modest expectations in Kenya

For Kenya, which has only a quarter of the population that Nigeria has and which’s BIP is 5 times smaller, the picture looks a bit different. The local production of BOPP film is for example not meeting its expectation in terms of capacity as it stands at around 30,0000 tons per year in Nigeria. Also, the import of machinery to manufacture plastic film stands at $ 87m in Nigeria but only at $ 38m in Kenya. But with the growing food manufacturing sector in both countries it is expected for the plastic packaging industry to grow as well. Since importing ready-made plastic film comes definitely more costly at one point than local production.

For any questions regarding this project please feel free to contact our practice leader Ms Lena Schwoerer.

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 Sub-Saharan 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

africon publishes study for 4th German-African economic forum in Dortmund

Spätestens seit der Jahrtausendwende befindet sich das Bild Afrikas, des vormaligen ‚Kontinents der Kriege und Katastrophen‘, in einem radikalen Wandel.

XCOM Africa at Trade Fair >Save Food 2014<

Starling Expo decides for XCOM Africa

StarlingExpo, a trade showorganiser based in Switzerland forms a long-term co-operation with XCOM Africa, a German based strategy consultancy focused on emerging markets in Africa.

The co-operation is formed on the background of the upcoming FPPE – Food Processing & Packaging Exposyum, taking place from 26th to 28th November 2013 in Kenyatta International Conference Center in Nairobi, Kenya. The initiator of the trade show is StarlingExpo in co-operation with the German based Messe Düsseldorf, one of the largest trade fairs organisers in the industry. The FPPE aims at East African food processing and packaging companies, as well as German and international machine manufacturers, and is expected to promotedialogue and trade within the industry.

Regarding the FPPE, XCOM Africa undertakes market analyses and assessments in East Africa, in order to make the regions food processing and packaging industry more transparent for German and international companies. Moreover XCOM Africa supports the companies with their market entry strategies.

Marc Zander: “Food loss in Nigeria is possible” !

African economies and businesses demonstrate an immense potential. Especially, Nigeria is a vantage point to develop and determine quality in services and consumer products and has become a hub of the African economy. With steady growth of more than 5 % is Nigeria one of the strongest economies in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Financial Times says: “Africa´s growth would still be there even if the continent held neither a barrel of oil nor ounce of gold.”

Although there are many problems in the way of handling agricultural products and production, for example in harvesting, transporting, packing and drying, the right investment in every part of infrastructure and distribution would ensure improvement of the whole environment.

Nigeria has got huge stock of natural resources and because of that the country plays a major role in the African agricultural sector. These include 68 million hectares of arable land, fresh water sources covering 12 million hectares; 960 kilometers of coastline and an ecological diversity which enable the country to produce a wide variety of crops and livestock, forestry and fishery products. Accordingly agriculture plays an enormous role in the Nigerian economy and composes 31.99% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Because of that the Ministry of Agriculture predicts that by 2015, 20 million tons of food will be added to the supply chain. This positive development could generate 3.5 million jobs within the next couple of years and would require improved processes to secure the delivery to remote areas. Right now the food sector in African countries like Nigeria still has to struggle with specific problems: “Goods are stored poorly, packaged inappropriately, processed too late or unsatisfactorily transported,” Marc Zander, CEO of XCOM Africa explains. His firm provides business consulting to companies that are interested in doing business in Africa. Western knowledge is especially valuable in the fight against food loss, states Zander. “Western companies can offer concrete support even with relatively small solutions.”

One of the essential elements that can reduce the food losses in the areas of fishing and harvesting is to use appropriate packaging solutions. These solutions would allow transportation of goods to remote areas where delivery takes more than 48 hours to reach. Moreover, with lack of power and infrastructure the right packaging would ensure safety and quality of food resulting in better pricing due to full supply of the agricultural products. This is where the industry can support the positive development to create a certain level of standard, to improve the delivery situation and of course to optimize logistical processes.

The way of creating chances for the development in Nigeria drives SAVE FOOD together with XCOM Africa and it is aimed at identifying potential solutions by the industry for the improvement of the Nigerian agricultural market and its logistics chains.