German African Business Summit 2017: New Impetus

GABS 2017 Enlarge image (© SAFRI)

From 9th to 10th February, the German Ambassador for Ghana, H.E. Christoph Retzlaff took part in the second German African Business Summit (GABS) in Nairobi. The conference was an opportunity to emphasize the prospects of a corporate level economic cooperation between Germany and Africa and to establish further ties.

The summit was attended by more than 400 representatives from the worlds of business and politics, both from Germany and from the African countries. Speakers include German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Brigitte Zypries and German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dr. Gerd Müller. The former President of Ghana, H.E. John Dramani Mahama was the Guest of Honour of the summit.

Mrs. Brigitte Zypries stressed that Germany is not only interested in intensifying political cooperation with the sub-Saharan African countries. She added: "For the German G20 Presidency, the Federal Government will focus on sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa. The sub-Saharan region, whose population is expected to reach two billion by 2050, is a market in the process of developing its full potential. The investment need is therefore huge, the know-how 'Made in Germany' very much in demand and German companies are willing to invest in the young people of Africa and promote the transfer of technological knowledge. My first official trip as Federal Minister for Economic Affairs is to Africa as a signal that we take seriously the importance of the region and want to make a lasting contribution together with our companies."

Until now trade relations are valued at 26 billion euros. German direct investments in sub-Saharan Africa account for 7 million of these. Though this may sounds a lot, it represents only 1% of all German direct investments. Together with representatives from the business sector, Mrs. Zypries presented the new sub-Saharan Africa Initiative (SAFRI) which aims to promote partnership-based economic relations between Germany and African countries. At the conference Federal Minister Dr. Gerd Müller unveiled for the first time on the continent the “Marshall Plan for Africa“. The Plan foresees an intensification of the co-operation between European and African countries not only at an entrepreneurial level, but also at the level of development policy. The two priorities of the plan, economic investment and vocational training, would help solve the employment challenges confronting the youth of the continent.

German African Business Summit, Nairobi 2017

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