Contracted by the German Federal State of Rhineland-Palatinate to conduct a business delegation in 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.


Marc Zander, Partner of africon presents in Sweden

Doing business in the Middle Eastern and African region delivers results when you have the right information and tools at hand. Marc Zander, Partner at africon spoke in Sweden on the set up of distribution in Africa. At the MEA Summit visitors got the chance to directly engage with prominent business leaders and industry experts with extensive experience from doing business in the region.

MEA Summit is Sweden’s largest business event geared towards the MEA region, delivering insights, tools and clues as to how market transformation in the region will place future demands on business innovation. During two days in Stockholm, participants engaged in presentations from world-renowned speakers, panel discussions and interactive workshops with top executives and industry experts as well and met with an estimated 200 other Swedish companies who share your interest in the region.



Slide of the month (SOTM) 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.



Cédrick Lukusa participates in panel of Africa Business Forum in Cologne

Cédrick Lukusa, Principal at africon participated as panalist in the 5th Africa Business Forum. Within the discussion on Africa Mr. Lukusa shared insights of ongoing projects, news on latest company Africa strategies and shared sector insights related to the steel and aluminium industry.

The Forum brought together government, business and finance leaders from acrooss Africa and Germany/EU to explore how the can work together in finding and leveraging business opportunity.


The forum has organized in partnership with the Association of German Family-Owned Businesses BJU/ASU - and Africa 2.0 -

The target was to establish business partnerships via engagement and business exchange between African and German/EU companies and entrepreneurs. Thanks to the strategic support of the German Chamber of Commerce and the Federal Parliarment, the forum has an extensive outreach which includes the 4000  members of the Die Familienunternehmer.