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Star is Heineken's brand in Sierra Leone

Sales goes hand in hand with marketing. In order to achieve your sales, your company can not neglect an effective marketing 

strategy. There are multiple books and articles that provide much information of all the different market strategies that can be executed by the countries. However, the question remains to what extent these theoretical strategies are applicable to the African markets. Dutch companies, in particular SMEs who do not even an entire marketing team, ask themselves continuously questions such as: "How do I reach the local African consumer?" and "How can I increase the turnover and sales in Africa?". Therefore, we are going to have a closer look at successful marketing in Africa since it is a rather untouched subject. 

During this seminar we will focus on the importance of an effective marketing strategy, the value of a market scan, finding your local partner and microfranchising. After the presentations by the key-note speakers, a penal will be formed by Dutch companies that discuss the successiveness of their implemented strategy, including the challenges and particularly how to overcome them. Hereafter, different experts will be available for a small consultation round in which you can ask them different questions about your own product, marketing strategy or businesses. This event will culminate into a light networking session with drinks and other refreshments. 

There will be a small participation fee for NABC members. The seminar will take place on the 23th of April in Zeist.


Tentative Program:

15.00 - 15.30: Arrival and Registration
15.30 - 15.40: Opening by NABC
15.40 - 16.00: Introduction on Marketing in Africa by Aad van Tilburg (former Professor on Wageningen University on "Africa and Marketing")
16.00 - 16.30: Strategy Speech by Simba Ngandu on "Market Research and Finding local Partner"
                     Strategy Speech by Jeffrey de Visser on "Microfranchising in Africa"
16.30 - 16.45: Break
16.45 - 17.00: Strategy Speech by Frans de Pater on "Hands-on Development"
17.00 - 17.45: Panel Discussion with the following companies:

                     Heineken - Rob Marijnen
                     Friesland Campina - Jan Bles
                     Dasuda - Robert van Kats
                     Philips - Nick Kelso
                     Vlisco - Saskia Bosscha

                     Moderator: Aad van Tilburg

17.45 onwards: Matchmaking with Experts
17.45 onwards: Networking Session

Matchmaking is possible with the experts for 5 minutes. Here you can discuss your own business plan and strategy. Please sign up for the matchmaking by sending an e-mail to



Aad van Tilburg: was associate professor in marketing at Wageningen University (1974-2010). His research interests included the functioning and performance of market actors, markets, marketing channels and value chains. Nowadays, he is paying attention to the relationship between ethic s and entrepreneurial behavior - with a focus on marketing - in value chains, notably in relation to developing countries.

He published widely in both journals and books. He was co-editor of Agricultural Marketing and Consumer Behavior in a Changing World (1997), Agricultural Marketing in Tropical Africa (1999), Agricultural Markets beyond Liberalization (2000), Tropical Food Chains (2007) and Unlocking markets to smallholders: Lessons from South Africa (2012.)

He joined research projects in several African Countries including Sierra Leone (1985), Benin (1987- 1990’s), Senegal (1980’s), Kenya (2004-2007) and South Africa (2004-2012). See for more information: Hans van Trijp and Paul Ingenbleek (2010), Markets, marketing and developing countries: Where we stand and where we are heading, Wageningen Academic Publishers, chapter 10: Linkages between theory and practice of marketing in developing countries, p. 164-184. He can be contacted by email at

Jeffrey de Visser: At age 17 Jeffrey de Visser started his first business, a digital marketing agency. In 2012 he graduated from universities in the Netherlands and the United States in the field of International Business. Soon after graduating, he left Europe to travel around Africa where he drove over 58,000 kilometres in a Land Rover and visited 32 African countries. During this journey, he stayed in people’s homes, asked them about what they needed, spoke to local entrepreneurs, visited microfinance projects and developed a passion for the continent.

His entrepreneurial mind, drive to help Western companies do business in Africa, and passion for microfranchising as a market entry strategy, led to him founding African Endeavours in February 2013. Meanwhile, he continues to serve as CEO and Online Marketing Specialist at digital marketing agency INDIV, which is active in both the Netherlands and South Africa. Jeffrey now lives in Pretoria, South Africa.



Simba Ngandu: Simba Fortune Ngandu is a quantitative research strategist by profession coming from 10+ years’ experience working with such companies as Unilever, Heineken, Visa International, and Philips. Possesses true pan African understanding of the people and traditions of this diverse continent having lived or worked in various countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Lesotho and South Africa.

Frans de Pater: 'Conformity is the jailer of free thinking and the enemy of growth'. This quote - borrowed from JFK - has been one of the major guidelines for Frans throughout his personal and working life. He has owned several SME's in various industries and knows the associated ups and downs. Having lived and worked in Western Africa he developed a passion for doing business in Africa, being triggered by the abundance of possibility and opportunity there but also by the cultural differences and the exciting environment.

Besides being a lecturer on Marketing and International Business at Avans University, he is managing partner of AfricanWise where he puts his knowledge and drive to work in bridging the gap between Western thinking and African reality. Not being a traditional consultant he flourishes working at board level, translating business-strategies into tangible targets and approaches. However, Frans is also a hands-on business developer with his boots firmly on African soil.

Panel Members:

Nick Kelso: Nick Kelso Works for Philips and is responsible for developing the Community Light Centers project in Africa - which combines solar power with the latest advances in LED lighting technology. The aim of the project is to help enable social and economic development after dark in communities living without electricity. He is British, lives with his family in the Netherlands and travels widely throughout the continent. This includes four ascents of Kilimanjaro.
Robert van Kats: DASUDA is a platform by firms that promotes sustainable urban development in Africa, based on Dutch knowledge and experience in working toward urban sustainability. It includes the support and funding of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, the Netherlands-African Business Council (representing the business sector), Dutch and Local consultancies and universities. DASUDA offers specific knowledge and expertise from its Dutch 
and Local partner companies promoting an integrated, holistic and multidisciplinary approach to sustainable urban development, to achieve better quality urban environments via efficient resource use, inclusive processes and synergies between different urban systems.
Saskia Bosscha works as Brand Portfolio Manager for the Vlisco Group. Since 1846 Vlisco has been designing and producing colourful fashion fabrics that form an essential part of the lively West and Central African culture. In 2006 the strategic direction of the company changed into a brand driven and consumer oriented one. In her role she is responsible for Controlling Brand Positioning and Brand DNA's of the four Vlisco Group Brands: Vlisco, Woodin, Uniwax and GTP. She facilitates strategy and brand development programs and projects in de field of creative developments and was involved in setting up the Brand, Design and Marketing principles that form the basis of the new marketing approach.




Practical information


The location for this event is Bildenberg Kasteel 't Kerckebosch in Zeist, thanks to its central position within the Netherlands. (Arnhemse Bovenweg 31)

Besides, the venue can be reached very easily by car as well as by public transport.

Time: 15.00-18.30

Participation fee:

NABC-Members: EUR 75,-
Non-Members: EUR 150,-
(Incl. VATs)



Aad van Tilburg: 

Marketing and trade in Africa have particular characteristics concerning customer behaviour, customer information, customer relationships, behaviour of traders, logistics, types of transaction relationships and the institutional context.

The power point presentation represents a framework to discuss challenges in marketing and trade in developing countries in Africa

Jeffrey de Visser:

Africa’s streets are full of people selling whatever they can, the so-called necessity entrepreneurs. They struggle and lack the resources to run a sustainable business.

So what if we could provide these necessity entrepreneurs with the tools to expand and professionalize their business? That is what microfranchising provides: a tried & tested franchise formula to start a business, almost like a „business in a box” or a turn-key enterprise. Depending on the industry, the franchise package may contain intangibles like training, branding & continuous support; and resources like equipment, promotion & inventory.

A micro credit is given to finance the purchase of the franchise. By serving local markets these borrowers create a sustainable source of income, while repaying their loan. Microfranchising eliminates the need to have all of the various skills and resources an entrepreneur needs to start a business, while enabling these individuals to maintain their dignity as business people rather than charity-cases.

Microfranchising presents a huge opportunity for existing companies as an innovative market entry strategy, which will be the topic of this masterclass…

Simba Ngandu: 

What I hope to achieve by the end of the presentation is to highlight:

·         how research can help overcome the challenges faced by marketers in Africa

·         better approaches to MR with a view to new methodologies

·         how best to identify an MR partner


Photo's are available on our Facebook page.


You can download the presentation right here.


"Dank voor de organisatie. Mijn complimenten; dit seminar heeft op inhoudelijk vlak mijn verwachtingen overtroffen." Maarten Mackaay - Berenchot

Event details

Seminar "Marketing Strategies in Africa"
From April 23, 2014
Till April 23, 2014
NABC events
Zeist, Netherlands