The aim of the conference is to discuss the state of the Compact with Africa initiative as well as measures to improve investment conditions in the participating African countries.
Minister of State Müntefering underscored Africa’s economic significance :
Our neighbouring continent will have a profound impact on the world’s future. At present, however, we are not among the continent’s biggest investors. We therefore want to encourage German companies to expand their engagement.
What is Germany doing?
Within the framework of the Compact with Africa initiative, the German Government is supporting Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Tunisia through targeted bilateral measures known as reform partnerships. These are overseen by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. While the partner countries implement reforms, Germany provides investment, which amounted to 300 million euros in 2017 alone. The aim of the three reform partnerships is to expand the use of renewable energies, improve energy efficiency and develop the financial and banking sector. Three additional partnerships – with Senegal, Morocco and Ethiopia – will be launched at the conference in Berlin.
Economic relations with African countries are gathering pace
Germany already has an intensive economic exchange with Africa. The volume of trade between Germany and African countries totalled 45.9 billion euros in 2017. The most important trading partners include South Africa, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana and Kenya. Some 846 German companies were active in Africa in 2016 and that number is set to rise. The value of Germany’s official export credit guarantees for business in Africa had reached the level for the whole of 2017 by the end of the first half of 2018. The key countries for German investment are South Africa and Egypt. The main branches are the chemical industry, transport and logistics, vehicles and vehicle parts, machinery and plant construction, as well as financial services.
Large conference turnout
The Heads of State and Government from Ethiopia, Egypt, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo and Tunisia are attending the conference on 30 October. South Africa’s President Ramaphosa, Co-Chair of the G20 Africa Advisory Group, Austria’s Chancellor Kurz, President-in-Office of the EU Council, as well as World Bank President Kim, IMF Managing Director Lagarde, African Development Bank President Adesina and Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, are also taking part.