[Interview] Dr. Heinrich Heinrichs and Meinolf Kuper, Managing directors, africrops!, Germany
Dr. Heinrich Heinrichs and Meinolf Kuper are the managing director at africrops!, Germany. Dr. Heinrich Heinrichs is also a participant at the Africa Business Communities Networking Event in Hamburg 21 September. Their interview with Africa Business Communities:
Would you please introduce africrops?
africrops! GmbH was founded in January 2012. We are located in Berlin and have sister companies in New York (africrops!) and Dar es Salaam (Africraft). We are experts in nutrition, health and education and training. We trade premium African plant products and coined the expression ‘fair trade on eye level’. From working and living in various Sub-Saharan African countries over the last 20 years, we experienced a vibrant continent with a huge potential. Our approach to work is ”Don’t ask what Africa needs, but ask what Africa has that the world needs!”
In which industries does africrops operate and who are your clients?
We operate on 3 different levels: Import and sale of plant products (focusing on Moringa oleifera and Baobab), selling branded products to wholesalers, retailers and end consumers under ‘The Essence of Africa’, theessenceofafrica.com and consulting services e.g. in public private partnerships. Therefore, our main focus is the (super) food and consulting industries.
Why did you start africrops?
We come from the development context and believe that development can be made more sustainably when combining trade and development strategies.
What is your business background?
Meinolf Kuper is an economist who supported health programs in various African countries. Dr. Heinrich Heinrichs is a plant biochemist and educationalist, who worked in natural science research and supported various countries in the education and training sector. We both work(ed) on a governmental level.
What can be done by entrepreneurs and government to stimulate the business environment in Africa?
Regarding African countries it would be of great benefit if successful companies will be included in the training of young people. This training needs to be part of a government policy, e.g. certain curricula and/or unit standards. This relates to entrepreneurship as well. It needs specific training that supports young entrepreneurs to sustain not only the initial enthusiastic phase of leading a company, but also public funding for companies to involve developing aspects in trade with African countries. This will make cooperation more successful. We consider the private companies as drivers of development, rather than organizations purely focusing on development work.
What is the best part about doing business in/with Africa?
The best part is working with young and very motivated people.
Which African countries will perform best in 2015?
Our focus countries are currently Tanzania, Malawi and Namibia. We believe that they perform very well, because the political situation is rather stable and therefore conducive to build something up.
For further business interests, contact Heinrich Heinrichs
Don't miss the Africa Business Communities Networking Event | Hamburg - 21 September 2015
The Grand Elysée Hotel in Hamburg, located close to the business district and the Alster, is the perfect location to meet with top business professionals operating in Africa. Click and read here all about it.