Podcast feature: Doing business in Africa (Business Compact)

In a recent episode of Business Compact (the insightful podcast dedicated to the creation, scaling, and internationalization of businesses), Marc Zander (Founder & CEO, africon) takes centre stage to share invaluable insights. With over 11 years of experience advising more than 160 companies on their Africa strategy, africon is fast becoming the leading accelerator for businesses engaging with the African market.

Through features with leading media, we often share our expertise and industry data extracted from projects we implement.

In this podcast, Tobias Kerkhoff and Marc Zander dissect the following topics and help you;

  • Learn the biggest challenges and opportunities for companies doing business in Africa.
  • Explore the most promising sectors for German companies in Africa through practical examples.
  • Uncover the reasons why companies should consider expanding to Africa right now.
  • Learn more about how africon organised the recent delegation trip of the Ministry of Rhineland-Palatinate to Rwanda.
  • Understand the significance of collaboration with political institutions, including GIZ, GTAI, and German Chambers of Commerce (Abroad), in fostering successful business endeavours in Africa.
  • Join the discussion on the future of Africa, encapsulated in three impactful words, as Marc Zander shares his visionary perspective on the continent’s trajectory.

For businesses eager to grow in Africa, this podcast episode serves as a gateway to gaining insights into the markets.

Listen to the podcast below

If you have any questions, you can write us at info@africon.de

Related links

Feature: How do you find the right partners when setting up a business in Africa?

Podcast feature: Where can German medium-sized companies focus today?

Get a glimpse of our work in Africa.

africon selected as an intelligence partner for Intra-African Trade Fair 2023

We are happy to have been selected as an intelligence partner for the Intra-African Trade Fair 2023. We deliver more than 40 projects in key sectors every year and help clients with their Africa strategy. Within various projects, the services vary from market research to the full development of an Africa strategy. To learn more about our work in key African sectors, review our slides of the month (SOTM) and see our references.

As a knowledge partner, we will produce insights on key industries for the Intra-African Trade Fair team. These are exclusive industry insights extracted from projects implemented by africon in various African countries.

Connecting African Markets: About the Intra-African Trade Fair 2023

You are invited to attend the Intra-African Trade Fair 2023 on 9 – 15 November 2023 at the Egypt International Exhibition Centre and Al Manara International Conference Centre in Cairo, Egypt.

The fair will offer an opportunity to accelerate the growth of intra-African trade and investment. IATF2023 will provide a unique platform for facilitating trade and investment information exchange in support of increased intra-African trade, especially in the context of implementing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which entered into force on 30 May 2019. Trading under the AfCFTA officially commenced on 1 January 2021. The event will enable businesses to access an integrated African market of over 1.3 billion people with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of over US$3.5 trillion created under the AfCFTA.

Why you should attend

IATF2023 is aimed at achieving the following objectives:

  • Bring together continental and global players to showcase and exhibit their goods and services, explore business and investment opportunities in Africa.
  • Provide a platform for B2B and B2G exchanges and to serve as a marketplace where buyers and sellers of goods and services meet and explore business opportunities.
  • Provide a platform to share trade, investment and market information with various stakeholders including investors, SMEs, the informal sector and Africans in Diaspora.
  • Provide a platform to discuss topical issues relating to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, as well as issues affecting Intra-African trade and investment, and to identify and offer practical and effective solutions to address the challenges.

Register to attend as visitor/ exhibitor here.

Please note that the deadline for online registration is 15 October 2023

africon organizes the Ministry of Rhineland-Palatinate delegation trip to Rwanda

Hon Daniela Schmitt, the State Minister for Economics, Transport, Agriculture, and Viticulture in Rhineland-Palatinate & Marc Zander (Founder & CEO africon)

The Ministry of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, has once again entrusted africon with the responsibility of organizing a significant business delegation trip, with Rwanda as the chosen destination. The ministry and Rwanda have maintained a strong partnership since 1982.

The delegation comprised key figures, including Hon. Daniela Schmitt, the State Minister for Economics, Transport, Agriculture, and Viticulture in Rhineland-Palatinate, and representatives from companies and institutions. Some of these were SSG Schaaf Steel GmbH, tfSemanticServices GmbH, Trier University of Applied Sciences, GOV GmbH + Co. KG, WBS TRAINING AG, TUBE-TEC Rohrverformungstechnik GmbH, Energieagentur Mittelrhein and Handwerkskammer Koblenz.

During this insightful business trip, the africon team offered invaluable counsel to Hon. Daniela Schmitt on economic matters. We delved into best-case strategies for German and international companies operating in Rwanda and facilitated constructive dialogues with local enterprises and governmental ministries.

The delegation at Karongi Tea Factory farms

This delegation trip focused on skilled immigration and digital agriculture. Together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Rwanda, Hon. Schmitt signed two letters of intention for cooperation in agriculture and professional training. In agriculture, tea cultivation plays an important role in Rwanda. The delegation had the privilege of visiting the Karongi Tea Factory, affording them a firsthand look at the intricate processes involved in tea planting, harvesting, and processing. Agriculture, at its core, embodies the harmonious balance of economic prosperity and ecological sustainability. In alignment with Rwanda’s vision, this cooperation also embraced digital farming practices that unite economic success with responsible resource management.

Karongi Tea Factory

africon’s Founder & CEO, Marc Zander and Senior Consultant, Aneth Herman, pick tea

Furthermore, the ministries recognized the pivotal role of vocational training and language proficiency. In partnership with robust entities, including chambers, associations, and esteemed companies, the Ministry of Rheinland Palatinate offers young Rwandans the invaluable opportunity to undergo training in Germany, equipping them with essential skills and hands-on experience.

The delegation’s itinerary featured visits to various companies, fostering a fruitful exchange of insights and collaborative opportunities. These interactions have proven to be mutually beneficial, paving the way for cooperation and knowledge exchange among the participants.

Our team is delighted to play a pivotal role in fostering mutually beneficial economic ties, knowledge exchange, and sustainable development between Rhineland-Palatinate and Rwanda.

Read more about africon organising delegation trips here

africon organizes delegation trip to Tanzania

africon contracted by the German Federal State of Rhineland-Palatinate to conduct a business delegation in Ethiopia

David Osore joins africon as a Junior Consultant

We are excited to announce the latest addition to our team. David Osore joins our Kenya office as a Junior Consultant.

Kenya, often called the “Gateway to East Africa,” is a country that has great economic potential. The nation’s economy has steadily grown, making significant strides in various sectors, such as agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, and technology. Nairobi, its capital city, has emerged as a regional hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, earning the nickname “Silicon Savannah” due to its thriving tech ecosystem. Kenya’s strategic location and well-developed infrastructure have attracted multinational companies and fostered a conducive environment for businesses to flourish.

This has motivated africon to add another team member to the Nairobi office. As a Junior Consultant, David Osore’s role will be crucial in navigating this dynamic business landscape. His expertise in analysing market trends, identifying growth opportunities, and understanding consumer behaviours will be a great addition to the team. David is a seasoned digital native passionate about technology and the constant innovation that shapes our world. He is enthusiastic about Africa and is keen on the opportunities that the continent has to offer. With over 5 years of experience building businesses in Africa through sustainable business development, he has had the chance to work with various firms in industries such as technology, automotive, airlines, product stores, and manufacturing.

David holds a master’s degree in commerce from Strathmore University, specialising in Strategic Management. He focused on sustainable business growth and scaling based on available and untapped opportunities.

“I am very excited to be part of the africon talented team. I look forward to exploring more about Africa’s potential in different sectors and positioning the continent as a favourable market for global firms”, David notes.

We are delighted to have David Osore as part of the africon team, and we look forward to witnessing his contributions to our mission of bridging potentials.

East Africans embrace German trade fairs for business growth

The global COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted economies worldwide, including East Africa. Lockdown measures, travel restrictions, and supply chain disruptions led to declining international trade and investment.

East African businesses showed resilience, adaptability, and a willingness to explore new avenues for growth. With its renowned trade fair market, Germany stands out as a favoured destination due to its reputation for excellence, innovation, and vast business opportunities.

Germany boasts a robust trade fair industry known for its world-class infrastructure, industry-specific events, and diverse exhibitors and attendees. The country hosts numerous internationally recognised trade fairs encompassing diverse sectors such as manufacturing, technology, automotive, agriculture, etc.

AUMA (the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry) highlighted current trends and prospects in the trade fair business in its annual publication, “AUMA Trends 2023/2024”. According to the report, Germany registered more than 141,000 exhibitors and 7.6 million visitors. More than 60% of leading global trade fairs occur in Germany, home to four out of the world’s ten largest exhibition grounds. These are Hannover, Frankfurt am Main, Cologne, and Düsseldorf.


Abyssinia group of companies who exhibited in Wire & Tube 2022 in Dusseldorf

As the official representative for Messe Duesseldorf in East Africa, we support businesses to showcase their products and services on a global platform. For these companies, German trade fairs provide an invaluable window into the global marketplace.

These events facilitate invaluable networking and exposure and empower businesses to stay competitive in a dynamic global market. The embrace of German trade fairs marks a turning point for East African businesses, as they unlock doors to endless opportunities and solidify their position on the world stage.

africon as a cooperation partner for the East African delegation to K trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany

East African delegation to K trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany

Looking ahead, we are excited about the prospects of welcoming even more visitors and exhibitors from East Africa to Germany’s prestigious trade fairs.


Related articles

africon as a cooperation partner for the East African delegation to K trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany

For East Africans: How to prepare for a Messe Dusseldorf trade fair in Germany

Maharit Woldeghiorghis joins africon as Head of Business Development

Maharit joins africon

We are excited to announce that Maharit Woldeghiorghis has joined africon GmbH as Head of Business Development. Maharit brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of fintech and economic development within African countries, making her a valuable addition to our dynamic team.

Maharit is an accomplished professional with a bachelor’s degree in Economy and Marketing from the University of Bologna. Additionally, she holds two master’s degrees in Communication and Growth Management. Currently based in Italy, Maharit has gained extensive experience working with both national and international companies.

Her expertise lies within the fintech and mobility ecosystems, where she has successfully contributed to significant and sustainable growth throughout various business cycles. Maharit’s professional journey has included working closely with companies in Ethiopia and Tanzania, further enhancing her understanding of these markets and their unique dynamics.

“After my impactful experience in Africa, specifically focused on remittances, I have developed a strong knowledge of fintech and economic development within African countries. Joining the vibrant team at africon GmbH fills me with joy and motivation, as it allows me to expand my knowledge further and acquire new skills. I am eager to contribute to the dynamic work environment and make a meaningful impact.” Maharit says.

At africon, Maharit assumes the role of Head of Business Development, and she will be responsible for driving strategic initiatives, fostering client relationships, and identifying new business opportunities.
We warmly welcome Maharit to the africon team and look forward to the valuable contributions she will bring to our work. Her deep expertise in fintech and passion for economic development in African countries will undoubtedly bolster our commitment to driving sustainable growth and creating lasting impact across the continent.

africon welcomes Yeni Fowotade to the management team

As africon continues to grow, we have strengthened our management team by adding our newest member, Yeni Fowotade. Yeni is located in Lagos, Nigeria and has worked with africon for 5 years.

Yeni’s appointment reflects the company’s commitment to providing high-quality consulting services to our clients, as africon is poised to solidify its position as the leading consulting firm for European companies interested in Africa.

“We are delighted to welcome Yeni Fowotade to our management team,” says Marc Zander, CEO of africon. “Having successfully delivered over 80 projects, with expertise in strategy development and market research, Yeni has created great value for our clients and supported them with navigating the complex, burgeoning business landscape in Africa.”

Yeni will oversee africon’s West Africa operations and direct the company’s human resources strategy in her new role. She will work closely with the executive team to identify new business opportunities and design and implement operational plans that align with the company’s vision and values. West Africa has immense economic potential, characterized by a rapidly growing consumer market, abundant natural resources, and a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. This presents a significant opportunity for africon to support European companies in expanding their operations and tapping into this dynamic market.

“It is quite thrilling for me to undertake this responsibility with a company with such a laudable reputation for accelerating business relations between Africa and the rest of the world. I look forward to further cooperation with the team towards advancing the company and helping our clients realize the vast potential of African markets”, Yeni notes.

We look forward to Yeni’s positive impact on the company’s growth trajectory.

africon Founder & CEO Marc-Peter Zander selected in QUANTRON AG’s advisory board

Quantron AG, a specialist in sustainable mobility, has expanded its Supervisory Board and africon’s Founder & CEO, Marc-Peter Zander, has been selected among the seven board members. Mr. Zander has more than 25 years of cross-cultural experience while doing business in Africa through international organisations such as the MAN Group and Wincor Nixdorf.

“The position is a great honour for me. Quantron has become a key player in sustainable mobility concepts and will soon be a more global player besides the US and Saudi Arabia. Being part of this internalization will be the key focus of my work,” he says.

Quantron notes that expanding the board with a wide range of competencies ensures that they master challenges at an international level in the best possible way in the future.

You can read more here.

Related topics

africon and Quantron AG join forces for eMobility in Africa


Shaymaa Hafeez africon

Shaymaa joins africon as a Business Analyst

Shaymaa Hafeez africon

We are excited to announce the latest addition to our team. Shaymaa Hafeez joins our Egypt office as a Business Analyst.
Egypt has one of Africa’s largest and fastest-growing economies, with a GDP of over $400 billion. Its strategic location, large population, and young, tech-savvy workforce make it an attractive business market. With its large consumer markets, strategic location, and diverse economy, Egypt presents numerous opportunities for international companies. “This motivated us to fully employ a person in the market” says Marc-Peter Zander.

Our new team member brings a wealth of experience and expertise in the Egyptian market, having worked with numerous businesses across different sectors. She deeply understands the local market and is well-equipped to provide our clients with valuable insights and data to help them make informed decisions.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from Cairo University. She also has a Nano degree certificate from Udacity (Challenger-Professional tracks) and has a diploma in Data Analysis and Feasibility Studies. She is well-versed with PowerPI, Python and SPSS.

Shaymaa’s experience stems from working as a research analyst at Omdena Platform, a Data Analyst at Solution MAX company, and a Senior Research Analyst at Z2data company.
“I appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with the africon team, as it has allowed me to gain in-depth expertise in diverse fields. I eagerly anticipate contributing my skills and knowledge to various projects to enrich my professional experience”, she says.
We are confident that her skills, knowledge, and experience will be valuable to our team and enable us to provide even more comprehensive and effective services to our clients.

Why the South African medical technology market is interesting for German manufacturers

Over the past 10-20 years, African medical technology markets have become increasingly interesting for German companies.

We recently got featured by Medizin & Technik where our Founder and CEO Marc-Peter Zander highlighted some insights from our projects in the healthcare market in Africa.

South Africa is one of the most economically developed countries in Africa. Manufacturers from Germany cite South Africa as having a market that is technology savvy, professional and armed with a functioning distributor network.

On the other hand, almost 40% of all medical devices and laboratory equipment in South Africa are imported from Germany.

We answer the following questions in the article:

  • Why should German companies in the health sector look at South Africa?
  • How do we support clients in entering the South African medical market?
  • What are some of our case studies in the country?
  • We highlight a case study for a medium-sized German company interested in the market for special individual components for prosthesis manufacturing in South Africa.
  • What is the future outlook for the industry?

Learn more about this by reading the article here.