Compact with Africa: What did African leaders sign in Berlin?
Twelve African heads of state, who are partners in the Compact with Africa initiative, arrived in Berlin this week to take stock of the alliance and strengthen German-African trade.
The third conference of the Compact with Africa (CwA) – a political and economic initiative – was held on 19 and 20 November in Berlin. Delegates from a dozen African countries (Benin, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Ghana, Morocco, Tunisia, Togo, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Rwanda) took part in the event.
- Launched in 2017, by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the CwA hopes to stimulate trade and encourage German companies to invest on the African continent.
Germany lags behind France, the United States, and China in terms of its trade with Africa. There are only 800 German companies operating on the continent.
- Exports amounted to just €23 million, while imports reached €22 million in 2018.
One of the key agreements reached over the two day event resulted in the launch of the AfricaGrow Fund, announced by the German Bank for Reconstruction Credit (KfW, public) and the Allianz Group.
With a budget of €170 million, its role will be to provide financial resources to African private equity and venture capital funds.It aims to finance 150 start-ups and SMEs by 2030, creating 25,000 jobs.
For its part, the German company DB Schenker (transport and logistics division of the rail operator DB) announced that it was joining the Pan-African Mobility Alliance. The latter is an initiative of the German government, bringing together economic, scientific, and political actors to develop the infrastructure and logistics potential on the continent.
Guinea orders a solar power plant
Guinea signed a €62 million deal to build an 81 megawatt solar power plant in the Boké region.
The project, supported by the German Siemens group, will be led by the German company Clear Power Generation, run by Marcus Miller. Construction, which is scheduled to start next year for a period of 18 to 24 months, is expected to create 100 to 150 local jobs.
Benin finances coastal development
Benin’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Romuald Wadagni has signed a memorandum of understanding with his German counterpart to finance the construction of the ‘Fishing Road’ along the Beninese coast.
The development is part of Benin’s strategic tourism programme to commemorate the history of slavery. The project will involve building tourist complexes, seaside resorts, and the new Glo-Djigbé airport.
Wadagni also met with representatives of the Siemens group, who want to support the country’s renovation of its electricity grid. A meeting is scheduled for early December in Cotonou to discuss the project.
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Senegal praises German financial and technical assistance
Amadou Hott, Senegalese Minister of Economy, Planning and Cooperation, signed a partnership with his German counterpart to encourage reforms in Senegal to promote private investment.
The German Federal Government’s commitment is to provide Senegal with a grant of €108 million in financial and technical assistance for 2019 (€31 million for technical cooperation and €77 million for financial cooperation).
The main objectives of the reforms include job creation, the formalization of enterprises, the removal of obstacles to sustainable development of the private sector, and improving the education of workers.
This article first appeared in Jeune Afrique.