Dear esteemed clients and business friends,

There has been a surging interest in exploring Africa’s growth opportunities. 

Several established companies who are market leaders in their respective industries have consulted africon for guidance on doing business on the continent. So far we have conducted more than 120 projects in various fields and helped more than 90 clients with their Africa strategy. We have executed projects in the manufacturing, consumer products, and industrial goods sectors in the past couple of months leading to optimized costs for our clients and a strong increase in sales.

We have supported companies by creating a clear picture of their business potential and mapping out their entry & growth strategy in selected African countries. We created value for them by analyzing and assessing African markets, delivering market entry strategies, and introducing companies to potential partners and projects. Similarly, in the last quarter, africon was selected as the preferred consultant for two reputable multilateral organizations focused on promoting investment activities in African markets.

We are also happy to announce new team members as our team grows in Africa and Europe.

As always, this newsletter gives only a short overview of our activities. In case you desire more information on a specific topic, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be pleased to give you more insights.

Sending you our kind regards,
your africon team
Project reference: The Nigerian rail industry 

Africa's booming population is creating vast opportunities, including significant demand for robust infrastructure. Consequent to this development, governments of many African countries have become more intentional about investing in improving and diversifying transport infrastructure. One of the most conspicuous areas is the railway sector, which has attracted many global players who seek to benefit from the emerging opportunities.

As experts on Africa business development, africon was consulted by a notable global leader in rail components manufacturing to explicate the existing rail system operations and current or future business opportunities in Nigeria. To get the best insights and evaluate the progress so far, we visited numerous railway sites with operating lines and ongoing construction projects across Nigeria. We also conducted targeted interviews with relevant stakeholders in the railway system.

As a result, africon was able to create a clear picture of the Nigerian railway industry for our client. Our data included a view of the country's historical railway development, key influencers in the sector, mapping of existing and planned rail lines across the country (drawn from the railway master plan), analysis of budgets, financing and expenditure trends, analysis of rolling stock fleet in detail, equipment, components demand as well as long-term demand projections. In addition, we looked closer into the system's challenges and potential gaps that foreign players could potentially fill. Most importantly, africon charted the most effective route-to-market strategy in order for our client to be very competitive and well established in the market. We also identified reliable local partners for them to work with to achieve this even faster.

Overall, the railway system in Nigeria is gaining traction with a lot more attention and investments from the government. There are many ongoing and upcoming rail lines in the country. Though the Chinese firm's interests are well represented, the Nigerian Railway Corporation and Federal Ministry of Transportation state that they are open and welcoming to more foreign suppliers and investors interested in the country's railway business.

See more project references
Still celebrating africon's 10th anniversary!

Message from Marc Zander
Founder & CEO, africon.

As the founder of africon, I am very proud of how many potentials we could already bridge for companies who wanted to expand in Africa and with Africa! The journey began 10 years ago with the idea to consult companies on the business potential in Africa. In 2011, I was still questioned on, "Why Africa? Why this lost continent? etc." That time is over!

Today we have a team of 15 permanent employees in Africa and work with additional (approx. 20) external partners making us one of the largest, private European consulting companies with sole focus on Africa! We look forward to bridging many more potentials in the future in Africa.

At africon, we’re excited to have celebrated our 10-year anniversary recently. The story of africon began 10 years ago and it has been a decade of growth. We’re grateful for a multitude of projects on the continent. We have been doing market research, offering market entry strategies, implementing projects on the ground and handling business development in countries in Africa.

See some words from our team here.

Our new team members
As our project work expands, our team has also been growing in Africa and Europe.
Sven Moeller - Principal (South Africa)

africon is delighted to add another member, Sven Moeller, to the team as a principal. With our “bridging potentials” philosophy, we have been strengthening our team in Africa. The africon team constitutes professionals with unparalleled skills and experience. Sven Moeller embodies significant long-term Africa working and living experience and will be instrumental in supporting africon in its growth trajectory.
Sven specializes in trade between developed and emerging markets, with 26 years’ experience in African - German bilateral trade in both public & private sectors. His core competencies and responsibilities include industrial plant technology (petrochemical, mining & marine), public-private partnerships, sub-Saharan Africa market penetration strategies, and diplomatic & political engagements, among others.

"Emerging markets demand the attention of any corporate mind envisioning growth. Africa certainly captures our imagination but, all too often, trepidation deters action. I aim to foster this curiosity and mitigate risk by creating bespoke and multifaceted expansion strategies for commercial giants, SMEs, and dynamic start-ups alike. Drawing on my over two decades of fostering trade between Germany and sub-Saharan Africa, I continue to serve africon's clients in honour of their personal, corporate individuality, just as I wished for such support in my early days pondering trade opportunities in Africa. I have travelled, I have failed, I have succeeded, and I have grown. I have created vast networks among dear friends and trusted colleagues from many walks of life across this extraordinary continent - all of which I share with my colleagues and clients demonstrating my great love for this captivating continent which is alive with opportunities", Sven notes.
Read more here. 

Claudia Krüger - Head of Finance & Administration (Germany)

The africon vision is to create possibilities not only for international companies wanting to do business in Africa but also for those wanting to expand within the continent and internationally. 
We have expanded our footprint in Germany by hiring Claudia Krüger as the Head of Finance & Administration. Claudia studied business management majoring in tourism and international business at the University of Applied Sciences in Stralsund, Germany, and Estonian Business School Tallinn in Estonia. She has seven years of experience as a unit manager for an international company focusing on corporate management, HR, and organization.

 “I am convinced of the potential that the African markets hold and of the services we as africon offer to our customers! It inspires me every day to be part of this international team,” she says.

Read more here.

Aschalew Worku - Business Analyst (Ethiopia)

With our philosophy of "bridging potentials", we are strengthening our team in East Africa. To help us continue providing the best services for our clients, we brought on one new team member from Ethiopia. Ethiopia is the second most populous nation in Africa after Nigeria, and has one of the fastest growing economies in the continent.

Aschalew Worku joined africon GmbH as a Business Analyst in September 2021. He studied Economics and Business Administration. Before joining africon, Mr. Worku acquired a decade of experience in conducting research in various sectors for local and international consultancies in Ethiopia. Moreover, he has experience in managing different projects. He is currently working on a project in the construction sector in Ethiopia. He will be supporting clients in project work in Ethiopia and assist the team with other tasks.

I am delighted and motivated to join africon and bring my knowledge and expertise to project work in the continent. I look forward to exploring the African markets and deepening my knowledge in various sectors,” he notes. 
Read more here.

Our latest news
Event recap: africon serves as knowledge partner for EMWA 2021

africon was selected as a knowledge partner for EMWA (Equipment & Manufacturing West Africa) which happened a few months ago. Our team members in Nigeria visited the event, which brought together leading suppliers and manufacturers from around the world. It took place over a span of 3 days, with companies in sectors such as automotive, machinery, equipment and manufacturing exhibiting their products and services. We leveraged the opportunity to present ourselves and network with companies across key sectors.

Our role as a knowledge partner was to provide information on the manufacturing sector in Africa. Overall, the event was a huge success, and we look forward to more engagements.
Learn more here.

Automechanika Dubai: africon presents new report that signposts opportunity in Africa’s diverse aftermarket parts business

africon produced a new report identifying Nigeria and Kenya as key to unlocking the continent’s automotive aftermarket potential. The paper also covers individual characteristics needed to succeed in each national marketplace. The report points to a resurgence of international interest in the African markets, which boasts one of the world’s fastest-growing populations, with the United Nation’s 2021 population estimates putting Africa at 1.374 billion.

Read more here. 

View our latest industry insights on Statista

africon GmbH and Statista joined forces in providing market data on different industries in Africa. Statista prides itself as being the global No1 Business Data Platform providing insights and facts across 170 industries and 150+ countries. At africon, having successfully completed 100+ projects in Africa, we have gathered innumerable industry insights. Some of these are now displayed on Statista’s platform to provide individuals and companies with comprehensive information about key industries on the continent.
You can get some of the statistics that we have compiled together

Read More
Our latest SOTMs (slide of the month)
Slide of the month (SOTM) August. The Nigerian automotive industry

The Nigerian automotive industry stands out compared to other African automotive industries – in almost every way, sometimes positively, sometimes negatively. The country is home to one of the largest vehicle parks on the continent with nearly 12 million units.
We have completed many private sector projects in this space, including the latest one for a large multilateral organization. africon interviewed executives from more than 60 companies and conducted multiple surveys locally to identify funding/ engagement opportunities for the client. We presented a list and assessments of approximately 20 expansion projects in Nigeria, with which the client can engage to promote industry growth, job creation, and development. 
Learn more about our findings & value created

Slide of the month (SOTM) July. The age of vehicles in operation in Nigeria

africon recently completed a project on the Nigeria automotive industry, commissioned by a multilateral organization. A critical question that emerged was the age of vehicles in Nigeria. As many large component producers do not provide coverage for cars beyond a certain age, this metric is a crucial market determinant for many international companies. With an average age of 16 years, a large portion of the Nigerian vehicle fleet is “too old.” This highlights the need for holistic data on African markets to sufficiently understand market potentials.
Learn more about our findings & value created here.

Slide of the month (SOTM) June. Labtech imports in East Africa

Various markets in Africa offer great possibilities for international medical companies. africon recently completed a multi-country analysis to investigate the opportunities in medical equipment supply for a German manufacturer. A specific question that emerged was on the source of Labtech equipment in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda. We found out that Germany was the leading supplier of Labtech products in 2020 for these countries.

Based on these and other findings, we shared the opportunities, insights, and tactical recommendations that would guide entry and sales in the health care market.
Learn more here.

Slide of the month (SOTM) May. The logistics sector in Rwanda and Ethiopia

africon was contracted to analyse the logistics sector in Rwanda and Ethiopia. We aimed to identify the existing gaps and fields where the client, a development cooperation agency, could intervene to improve efficiency, thereby aiding job and wealth creation in these countries. We conducted primary and secondary research simultaneously. While analysing country information and industry reports, over 70 interviews were conducted in these countries with relevant players in the logistics field.

Through the results of the research, we identified main challenges in key areas that have significant impact on the logistics sector in Rwanda and Ethiopia. Based on our findings, we could derive practical directions for measures to fill present gaps and thus strengthen the sector for the future while creating jobs, fostering private investments and promoting sustainability. All results were consolidated into a comprehensive report which contained tactical recommendations for the client.
Learn more about our findings here

See more slides of the month (SOTM) here
Upcoming events


Delve into the world of medical technology! MEDICA is the largest medical trade fair in the world. 
The whole industry will meet at MEDICA in Düsseldorf from 15th -18th November 2021. Each year, leading individuals from the fields of business, medicine, research, and politics grace this top-class event with their presence. Learn more here.


For the 12th time the MEDICA TECH FORUM will take place at MEDICA trade fair in Düsseldorf this year. The leading industry associations SPECTARIS and ZVEI will explore with you the German and international market environment as well as the implementation of modern procedures and methods in clinical practice. Learn more here.

Automechanika Dubai

Automechanika Dubai is the largest international trade show for the automotive aftermarket industry in the wider Middle East region, running from 14 – 16 December 2021 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Reconnect with your markets, meet and network face-to-face with your suppliers, customers and business partners, and stay up-to-date on the latest market trends and new innovations at Automechanika Dubai. Learn more here.



africon has conducted more than 120 projects in various fields and helped more than 90 clients with their Africa strategy. Within various projects, the services varied from market research up to a full development of an Africa strategy. Sometimes, clients also want to challenge their existing strategy and africon becomes their sparring partner for their new Africa strategy. Recently, africon also started to assign interim-managers who work closely and efficiently with the client for Africa strategies. See more here. 
Your opportunity in africon
Are you looking for a new challenge? At africon, exciting projects, great colleagues and flexible working hours are awaiting you. Please check the link below to know more about our current positions.
See our careers page
Contact us

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africon GmbH · Carl-Ronning-Straße 1 · Bremen 28195 · Germany

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