AS+P Managing Director Joachim Schares at the Business Forum on Architecture, Planning, and Construction in Berlin


From left to right: Daniela Vaziri (Africa Business Guide GTAI), Robert Dölger (Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa and the Sahel in the Federal Foreign Office), host Khadi Camara (German-African Business Association,), Dr. Hans-Christoph Schaefer-Kehnert (GFA Consulting Group), Hans-Joachim Bliss (Central Federation of the German Construction Industry, Foreign Construction Committee), Heinz G. Rittmann (German Foreign Construction Federation), Joachim Schares (Managing Director AS+P Albert Speer + Partner GmbH). All photos © Till Budde

A visit to the Federal Foreign Office: On Tuesday morning representatives of various federal ministries and institutions with a knowledge of Africa as well as of companies with exporting experience met to discuss successful market strategies in Africa.

Minister of State Michelle Müntefering gave the opening address, after which the panel discussion hosted by Khadi Camara of the German-African Business Association got under way: What potential does the increasingly interesting African market hold for the German construction industry, architects, engineers, and specialist planners? Current economic forecasts state that the economies of many African countries are on a strong growth trajectory, while various initiatives by the EU and the German government are intended to create improved conditions for both trade and private investments.

In the panel discussion about strategies for successfully doing business in Africa, Managing Director Joachim Schares referred to the years of experience AS+P had gained in the planning of projects in Africa and currently in particular in Egypt: “I recommend anyone who wants to be successful in business in Africa to work with a well-networked local partner. That has always been key for us, as among other things it can open doors to potential clients – be the private or government bodies. Together you can then research the market.” But it goes without saying that this sort of cooperation also makes sense from a professional, content-related point of view, he continued: “Though as planners we are at home in lots of disciplines – for example in urban and transport planning, open space planning, and architecture, when it comes to infrastructure, supply, and disposal planning we frequently work with a local partner, who can also be extremely useful with regard to local norms, guidelines, and approval procedures.”

“Anyone who wants to be successful in business in Africa should work with a local partner,” Joachim Schares said during the panel discussion.