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Article by Nampak 8 November 2012

Nampak shows the way in Africa

As Africa’s largest packaging company, Nampak is uniquely placed to support food and beverage brands seeking growth in sub-Saharan Africa. This is due to a number of factors, including a footprint that covers 13 countries, namely Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as the experience and knowledge of building and managing manufacturing operations in Africa for the past 10 years.

In 2002, Nampak acquired Crown Cork’s businesses in Anglophone Africa. At that time, the concept of the African Renaissance was beginning to take shape. Today, Africa is being described as “the next Asia”. Seven of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies are in Africa and 70% of the continent’s one billion people live in countries that consistently have above-average economic growth. According to a 2011 report by the African Development Bank, approximately 310 million Africans are now deemed middle-class, driving significant demand for durable and non-durable products. As a result, many brand owners are developing Africa strategies as a means of securing revenue and volume growth in the future. And Nampak is here to show the way!

Key initiatives include partnering multinationals, like Nestlé, SAB and Unilever, leveraging the company’s on-the-ground representation to target specific countries, and driving exports from South Africa. Local manufacture will be established once critical mass is achieved, for example Nampak’s folding cartons manufacturing facility in Nigeria and the beverage can-making factory in Angola. Moving forward, Nampak plans to capture a larger share of the beverage can market in Angola, increase sack capacity in Kenya and unlock the possibility of Nigeria’s rapidly burgeoning economy.

A strategic opportunity has also been defined by Nampak Zambia, which has developed a “mini Nampak” model. Having been in the country for a number of years, primarily manufacturing liquid cartons for opaque (sorghum, [Status]) beer, the company’s range of packaging has evolved considerably, mainly to meet the needs of local and neighbouring businesses.

Today, Nampak Zambia offers packaging from metals, paper and plastics, namely:

• Metal cans, crowns and drums;
• Self-opening bags, multi-wall sacks, folding cartons, labels, corrugated boxes and liquid cartons;
• HDPE bottles, crates, drums, shopping bags, PET bottles, and flexible packaging.

Other Nampak businesses in Africa are likely to follow suit, specifically with a view to creating virtual hubs or trading blocks in key growth areas.

Presently, Nampak’s businesses in the rest of Africa are approximately 8% of total group revenue. Over the next five years, the company is aiming to achieve a figure of 25%. Senior executive resources are focused on delivering the strategic vision and ensuring Africa remains a top priority.

For food and beverage brands looking north of the Zambezi, Nampak is a font of knowledge. In addition to providing affordable, high quality packaging that builds brand equity in emerging markets, the company has the people and technology to deliver, including access to a world-class research and development centre in Cape Town.

Despite the challenges of doing business in Africa, such as multiple borders and currencies, as well as poor infrastructure, Nampak has a proven track record and a strong platform, which will help facilitate your Africa growth story for many years to come.
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