The Federal Government has today adopted a key elements paper entitled Economic Development in Africa – Challenges and Options.
Minister Zypries said: “The paper adopted by the Cabinet today deals with the core elements of my Pro Africa initiative. In adopting this paper, the Federal Government has made it clear that it is committed to creating an economic partnership of equals between Germany and Africa. As we strive to do so, we are particularly relying on the contribution made by businesses. This means more private-sector involvement and greater investment. Because this is the key to generating more jobs and fostering further economic development on the African continent. We will, of course, also support businesses with their involvement there.”
The key elements paper also sets out the Federal Government’s decision to strengthen the Federal Economic Affairs Ministry’s tried and trusted instruments to promote foreign trade and investment. It is seeking to improve the conditions for issuing Hermes guarantees African countries that are ready to undertake reform. As soon as the financial risks in these countries have been reduced, the deductible for Hermes guarantees will be lowered (from 10% to 5%).
The key elements paper also lays the groundwork for creating more attractive financing conditions by providing greater opportunities for African clients to access fixed-interest financing. This will also benefit German companies in their business activities and deals in and with Africa.
In order to better support the high level of potential for innovation in Africa, the key elements paper paves the ways for the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy to establish a start-up fund for Africa. This will provide venture capital for innovative business ideas that have high potential for growth, particularly where these also foster the start-up scene in the digital economy.
Furthermore, the key elements paper lays out plans made by the Federal Government to strengthen important energy partnerships and dialogue, such as the Federal Economic Affairs Ministry’s Energy Export Initiative.
Other core elements featured in the paper are intended to increase and improve the information available about economic potential in Africa, such as raising participation in trade fairs and extending the Economic Affairs Ministry’s market development programmes. The structural expansion of the network of German chambers of trade and commerce (AHK network) will also help improve expert support for German companies on the ground.
The planned expansion of initial and further training programmes will help improve the skills and raise the number of skilled workers and management-level staff on the African content. The Economic Affairs Ministry’s Skills Experts scheme and its Manager Training Programme are helping to make good headway.