A new magazine, published bimonthly and bilingual in English and German to serve self-employed Africans in Germany, was launched at a colourful ceremony on Saturday in the western German city of Dortmund.
The African Merchant (TAM) would support African entrepreneurship by focusing on opportunities and challenges of self-employment in Germany, Dr Rosalyn Dressman, publisher of the new magazine, said at the event, attended by guests from across the country.
Ms Dressman, who is the chief executive of the social and development organization AfricanTide Union e.V., said the increasing numbers of Africans starting their own businesses necessitated a press product that specifically addresses their needs.
Studies have shown that migrants are much more enthusiastic about being their own bosses than native Germans for various reasons, one of which is that they are more affected by unemployment.
A project implemented by AfricanTide Union several years ago, called FRIENDS, also confirmed the observation of the researchers as well as revealing the particular challenges faced by Africans doing business in Germany, chief of which is that many would-be entrepreneurs were initially unaware of how different the business culture is in Germany.
This insight, Dressman explained, motivated her to launch The African Merchant, which she hoped would be helpful to business owners and those contemplating self-employment.
The publisher called for the support of the African community in pursuit of the magazine’s objective. “We need advertisers and we need people to buy the magazine, which costs 5 euros per copy,” Dressman said.
In his brief speech, Femi Awoniyi, who is the editor-in-chief of The African Merchant, promised that it would create a communication platform for African entrepreneurs to network and exchange ideas and experiences, among others.
“The African Merchant seeks to accompany African entrepreneurs, providing insights, highlighting challenges and reporting success stories thereby revealing best practices,” Awoniyi, who is also the publisher of The African Courier, said.
“We hope you will enjoy reading the magazine and, above all, find it useful as you master the challenges of self-employment and thrive in your different ventures.”
Launching the magazine, Hon. Kenneth Chibuogwu Gbandi, the Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Europe (NIDOE), said he was particularly delighted that The African Merchant had come to fill a gap in the information needs of African business owners, “who face peculiar challenges”.
The NIDOE chief hoped that the magazine would motivate a greater number of Africans to seek entrepreneurial opportunities as well as improve the performance of those already in business.
Gbandi donated 500 euros to AfricanTide Union e.V. to ceremoniously launch The African Merchant.
Honorary Consul of Ghana in Dortmund, Klaus Wegener, praised Dressman for taking the initiative of publishing for African businesspeople and if the contents of the debut issue were anything to go by, the magazine would play a very good role in promoting entrepreneurship in the country.
Mr Wegener, who is also the president of the Auslandsgesellschaft – a German organisation that promotes international understanding, said entrepreneurship demands not only courage but also useful information, which is why the birth of The African Merchant was laudable.
Hans-Jörg Hübner, Honorary Consul of South Africa in Dortmund, also praised Dr Dressman for her immense efforts for the increased integration of Africans in Germany.
The debut issue of The African Merchant features topics such as what anyone contemplating starting a business in Germany should know and do, access to start-up capital and training, and where to find useful information and marketing support. Several African business owners, such as Njeri Kinyanjui, CEO of Hottpott Saucen Manufaktur, Nana Acheampong of Ghana Cargo and Anisa Suleiman of Anel254 Cosmetic, are interviewed in the issue.
The African Merchant, published bimonthly and bilingual in English and German, is available in press shops and by subscription nationwide.
More information about The African Merchant at https://www.merchant.africa/