Africa Day (#DigitalAfrica) - Empowering Millions: Africa’s Rising Digital Economy
Supporting #DigitalAfrica brings rewards for European and African business alike, says major conference ahead of G20 designed to spur investment and create jobs in Africa.
Leading figures from banking and business have joined government and public institutions from Europe and Africa, to mobilize renewed support and investments for Africa’s digital economy. The gathering, in Berlin today, is being hosted by the European Investment Bank and Afrika-Verein, the German business association. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Co-operation is patron of this high-ranking event.
“Africa Day - Empowering Millions: Africa’s Rising Digital Economy” is being held this year on the eve of the G20 summit under its German Presidency, in line with the G20’s initiative Compact for Africa, supporting the EU’s New Consensus for Development, as well as delivering on the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The aim is to support development by fostering innovation, tech entrepreneurship and the expansion of the digital economy in Africa through well targeted investment and practical support on the ground. Investors, start ups, small businesses and major companies in Europe and Africa will join the discussion to help pinpoint ways, projects and initiatives to encourage future investment.
Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, opened the conference emphasising: “Investing in Africa’s digital economy is a necessary step towards opening new investment opportunities, connections between people and businesses. This is a sector where the EU bank has wide expertise around the world and is ready to invest not only in high tech but also in basic telecommunication infrastructures, from West to East and North to South Africa. Supporting Digital Africa, the skills, the start-ups and the capacity of the young generation, is already bringing opportunities not just for African business but for European businesses too, and that of course means the creation of sustainable jobs and flourishing communities. Africa is the continent of the future, and by strengthening our partnerships, communications, connections, particularly between the public and private sectors, we can deliver investments towards the SDG objectives.“
Stefan Liebing, Chairman of the German-African Business Association commented: “The ongoing digitalisation gives our neighbouring continent the opportunity to be one step ahead. Africa’s youth gains new prospects and the private sector develops new business cases. We need to bring sophisticated businesses together with young ideas to achieve the progress that Africa is demanding. Germany set an example by putting the continent on top of the G20 Agenda. This focus for Africa needs to continue – even after G20.”
Delivering the Conference’s opening speech, Gerd Mueller Minister of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Development and Co-operation underlined: “Sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa is a priority for the German G20 Presidency. With the Agenda 2063, Africa has already set out its path towards sustainable development in the coming decades. We are providing strong support to the implementation of the Agenda 2063, especially through our Marshall Plan with Africa and our initiatives for rural development, vocational training and the digital sector.”
“Africa Day Empowering Millions: Africa’s Rising Digital Economy” is being held at the Hotel Ellington in Nuernberger Strasse, Berlin. You can register and find the Agenda here: http://www.eib.org/infocentre/events/all/africa-day-2017
“Africa Day” is the third EIB conference in a series initiated under the Luxembourgish EU-Presidency in 2015. Due to its success, the decision was taken to make the event annual. 2016’s Africa Day was held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. It focused on skills and jobs for young people, innovation in finance and tackling the challenge of migration. This year´s event in Berlin explores the crucial role of digitalisation around private sector development and investment in Africa. Africa Day alternates between Europe and Africa, so next year will aim to continue the tradition with a meeting in Africa.
About the European Investment Bank
The European Investment Bank is the public bank of the European Union, It owned by the 28 Member States. Operating in more than 130 countries, and in Africa since 1963, the EU’s bank is helping the EU meet its objectives globally including to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals. Last year the EIB invested more than 8bn EUR outside the EU, in projects to support the Sustainable Development Goals: creating good jobs and fighting poverty, supporting young people, women and rural populations, preventing disease through access to clean water, supporting green energy and building vital transport links. Around 25% of that was in Africa. In the last five years, the EIB has invested over EUR 10bn in over 200 projects on the African continent.
About Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft
The German–African Business Association (Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft) is the foreign trade association representing German companies and institutions with an interest in Africa. Through its well-established networks, the Association promotes exchange between German and African representatives from both business and politics. In doing so, the Association advocates a new conception of Africa in Germany: Africa as a continent of opportunity. The Association provides information about countries and markets and represents the interests of its more than 600 members nationally and internationally with respect to political, economic and media issues. The Association positions itself as a competent contact point and contributes actively through political dialogue to setting the stage for the successful involvement of German business in Africa.
The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) defines the framework for German development policy. The purpose of Germany's development policy is to reduce poverty; make globalisation fair; secure peace, liberty, democracy and human rights; and ensure protection of the environment and of natural resources. The BMZ works closely together with international institutions and other donors. Civil society players, faith-based organisations, foundations and private sector players are also important partners.
Tackling Global Challenges: http://www.eib.org/about/global-cooperation/index.htm
Project example: Boost Africa http://www.eib.org/projects/regions/acp/applying-for-loan/boost-africa/index.htm