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German-Africa Summit today

27 August 2021 at 17:45 | 1591 views

By Mark-Anthony Johnson, CEO at JIC Holdings

German-Africa Summit

Chancellor Merkel’s good-bye and the end of an era: African leaders will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Africa-Summit in Berlin. The conference — Merkel’s final with Africa — is to take stock of results from an economic drive to boost investment in Africa.

Officially, the event is called the "Compact with Africa Conference." But in reality, an era is coming to an end this Friday when German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets a good dozen African heads of state, some of whom will be tuned in virtually. The conference would mark an era in which Africa played a greater role in German politics than before.

The most visible sign: the Compact-with-Africa initiative, the prestige project of the German G20 presidency. Private investments of a completely new magnitude were to flow to Africa as a result. But, above all, the German government wanted to inspire German companies to invest in Africa with a whole package of support measures.

The summit in Berlin is, therefore, an event for taking stock. From the German side, the results look positive. "Yes, more German companies are active in Africa, especially more small and medium-sized businesses. We saw significant growth in 2018 and 2019, before the pandemic," Christoph Kannengiesser, chief executive of the Africa Association of German Business, told DW.

The G20 Compact with Africa was initiated under the G20 German presidency in 2017 to promote private investment into the African continent.

Currently, 12 African countries have joined the initiative: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo and Tunisia.

South Africa, which is a member of the G20, co-chairs the initiative alongside Germany.