Brigitte Zypries, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy
2017 could be the year of the African continent. Many countries have launched programmes with which they hope to support Africa. For example, Africa is one of the focal points of the German G20 Presidency in 2017. At the beginning of the year, German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller presented a “Marshall Plan with Africa”, destined to stimulate cooperation with the continent in new ways. And now Brigitte Zypries has followed suit. The Federal Minister of Economic Affairs presented a new Africa concept at the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEFA) in Durban, South Africa: In the case of “Pro! Africa” the plan is for a partnership in digitisation and innovation that brings German and African entrepreneurs together with a continental bridge for start-ups. To this end, a start-up financing fund is to be established with a total of 100 million Euros. Moreover, a new German Accelerator and the EXIST Start-up Germanyprogramme is to be extended to include Africa.
Partnership among equals
“The targeting of the tried-and-trusted instruments of external economic promotion on Africa will give companies further incentives to invest there,” says the ministry’s press release. Moreover, sector-specific centres of excellence for tourism, the environment, raw materials and the water industry are to be set up. Vocational training and skills development for managers in Africa are likewise to be strengthened. “Both politically and economically, Africa is a continent of challenges, but particularly of opportunity. It offers great possibilities for German companies. Our Pro! Africa initiative aims to create an economic partnership of equals between Germany and Africa. We regard Africa as an equal partner,” Minister Zypries explained.
Source: Deutschland de
Economic Affairs Minister Zypries presents her Pro! Africa concept for Africa at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban
Brigitte Zypries, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, is visiting South Africa from 3 – 7 May 2017. She is being accompanied on her trip by a high-level business delegation. The visit is centred around the World Economic Forum on Africa. The Forum is expected to attract more than a thousand political and business leaders from Africa and the world. Also, the Minister will open the Business Forum in Cape Town marking the 65th anniversary of the Southern African German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, hold bilateral meetings with South African politicians, and lend her support to the signing of framework agreements on future cooperation between German industry and African countries.
Minister Zypries will take the opportunity to present her Pro! Africa concept (PDF: 73 KB) to African business and government representatives.
The new digitisation and innovation partnership brings the innovative drive of German and African entrepreneurs together with a continental bridge for start-ups. The spread of modern digital technologies is taking place extremely quickly in many African countries. It is common for entire stages of development to be leapfrogged, e.g. in mobile banking or communications. To this end, a start-up financing fund is to be built up, offering an additional €100 million. Further to this, there is also to be a new German Accelerator in Africa, and the EXIST Start-up Germany programme is to be extended to include Africa.
The targeting of the tried-and-trusted instruments of external economic promotion on Africa will give companies further incentives to invest there. Also, sectoral centres of excellence for tourism, the environment, raw materials and the water industry are to be set up. Vocational training and skills development for managers in Africa are to be strengthened. New energy partnerships will enable the Economic Affairs Ministry to support selected partner countries as they establish a sustainable, secure and low-cost energy supply.
In 2016, average economic growth in Africa stood at approx. 3.7%, higher than the global growth rate of 3.1%. The International Monetary Fund estimates that around 18 million jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa will need to be created each year up to 2035. Germany’s bilateral trade with Africa stood at approx. €41 billion in 2016, and the stock of German direct investment in Africa amounted to around €9.2 billion.
source: BMWI de