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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.

SOTM March. Kenya’s construction and real estate sector

africon GmbH was contracted by one of our clients and we successfully conducted a research on the aluminium industry in Kenya. We found out that the key drivers of this industry are the construction and real estate sectors in Kenya. Findings revealed that these sectors have experienced positive growth rates within the last five years and are expected to expand even further.

Kenya’s construction sector expanded by 8.6% and contributed approximately 6% to the country’s GDP in 2017. It is also one of the major sectors attracting foreign investors to the country. 

According to Deloitte’s construction trends report, Kenya has remained the leading country with the highest number of projects in East Africa for four consecutive years, with projects increasing by 78% from 23 projects in 2017 to 41 projects worth $38.2 billion in 2018. The major construction projects are in real estate, energy and power, and transport, sources also reveal that the Kenyan government is spending billions of dollars on transport projects as Kenya is expected to become the logistics hub of East Africa.

Challenges to this Kenya’s construction sector include: the frequent use of substandard materials, long procurement procedures, low project completion rates, and low technological knowledge. Despite these apparent challenges, continuous growth is expected in the sector as the Kenyan government plans to build 500,000 houses by 2022, and also to reduce corporate tax for developers who construct at least 400 units per year.

Kenya’s real estate sector is the 6th largest contributor to Kenya’s GDP, and was valued at $5.5 billion in 2017. The sector expanded by 6.1% in 2017 compared to 8.8% in 2016, and this slowed growth rate is due to the elections and reduced credit supply (as a result of capped interest rates). The construction of new private residential buildings in Nairobi increased from 9,054 in 2015 to 10,002 in 2016, while new public residential buildings rose from 45 in 2015 to 1,062 in 2016. Some of the challenges faced by Kenya’s real estate sector include inadequate sources of funding, high land costs, and infrastructure development costs. However, government initiatives such as digitization of the land ministry, removal of land search fees, and inclusion of affordable housing as part of Kenya’s big four agenda is likely to boost real estate development over the next few years

Slide of the month showing the growth.

For more information, check out our other slides of the month and do not hesitate to contact us.

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 .

SOTM December

SOTM December. Aluminium market growth in Sub-Saharan Africa

africon recently conducted aluminium market research in Africa and this revealed that 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 mn tonnes to 107 mn 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

africon CEO Mr. Marc Zander – Interview ” Investors lack info”

CT Executive Search Specializes in senior recruitment in the emerging markets, leveraging its proprietary research capacities in Moscow at a network of partners in Asia, Africa and Eurasian Economic Union. CT Executive interviewed africon GmbH CEO and Partner Mr. Zander last October to share insights about investors information and relations in Africa.

The interview started by covering African countries with most financial demand and highest potential. Mr Zander outlined the most important factors that drive Foreign Direct Investment FDIs, and  emphasised on the African regions that promote those factors. The interview then covered how to best enter the African market. Mr Zander recommended a detailed study of the market in order to enter with best fit African Market Entry strategy.

For the full interview please use the link below to gain more insights about investors lack of information in Africa: Interview https://www.ct-executive.de/download-file?file_id=472&file_code=de37e6d523

Automotive projects conducted by africon

Over the past years, more and more automotive firms have shown increasing interest in Sub-Sahara Africa. Even though OEMs like VW and Nissan have dominated the news with their announcement of establishing assembly plants in Africa, the largest immediate automotive business potential lies elsewhere: in the automotive aftermarket.

With more than 12,7 million vehicles on the road in Nigeria, more than 6 million in Egypt and almost 2 million in Kenya, more and more automotive parts are sold in Africa. The main challenge especially for global aftermarket leaders from Europe and Japan: the sector requires large amount of data to efficiently and effectively increase sales. With data availability in Africa being a major challenge, africon has successfully plugged this gap and supported aftermarket firms from around the world and in different product segments on their Africa strategy.  Amongst other points, we supported firms with market sizes, details on vehicles in operation, suitable import partners and even research on specific part numbers. For the upcoming years, africon has set an increased focus on the sector and expects more companies to follow current early movers to the continent.

africon interviews 184 IT partners for the communication sector

africon was contracted to carry out a suitable go-to market Africa strategy for a major international player in the two-way radio communication industry (LMR). The project covered 7 countries where a total of 184 interviews were conducted with relevant players in the industry. The results concluded from the analysis of all interviews and market data was clear; South Africa dwarfs its counterparts in terms of market size with at market of more than 30 mio Euro. Nigeria, Kenya and Angola on the other hand offer the greatest growth potential going forward. Quality was found to be the key determining criteria for consumers when purchasing two-way radios. This was due to fact that the main users of two-way radios use them in critical situations where quality cannot be compromised including law enforcement, private security, mining, oil and gas. Customers in these sectors are willing to pay a premium for the guarantee of a reliable products. These still hold a market share of more than 80% compared to cheap products from China. Another finding has been that local system partners are key to success where africon identified more than 30 locally in key markets

Mr. Zander moderates “High-Level forum Africa“ in Vienna

The largest Africa event in Austria was hosted on the 19th of December 2018 bringing together more than 1.000 people from Africa, Austria and Europe. The aim of the forum was to elaborate on the potential economic relations between Africa, Europe and Austria.
A side event themed “Disruptive Collaboration” – Africa and Euro in the digital age” was organised by Ecotec from Austria who invited Marc-Peter Zander, CEO and Partner of africon to moderate a part of the side event.

The result of the fruitful discussion has been that Africa drives its digitalisation strongly resulting in great chances for African and European companies.