Berlin (Germany), February 2019. Yesterday, GreenTec Capital CEO Erick Yong traveled to Berlin to attend an expert discussion of the CSU/CDU Parliamentary group titled “Economic Growth in Africa – New Paths in Development Cooperation.” The event was presided by the Parliamentary Groups spokesman, Volkmar Klein MdB, and included remarks by Federal Minister Dr. Gerd Müller as well as Parliamentary Group Vice-president Hermann Gröhe.
The Expert Discussion centered around exploring new approaches to development and cooperation, particularly how to foster sustainable economic development in Africa. Ministers Gröhe and Klein stressed a humanitarian obligation of both Europe and Germany to support their neighboring continent, which is projected to double in population by 2050. Both Ministers stressed that international aid by itself is not enough and that more needs to be done to involve the private sector. Minister Müller, who had just returned from attending the Africa Business Forum in Accra, Ghana elaborated a variety of reasons in support of Germany’s support for development in Africa, including social, demographic, and economic reasons. He also provided several examples of African growth, which represent the potential for African investment, highlighting the construction sector as one that is poised for rapid growth. The event was also attended by Mrs. Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba, the ambassador of the Republic of Botswana, who spoke of African progress to developing sustainable economies, highlighting progress made in solidifying African free-trade agreements. Her comments mirrored those presented by Erick, specifically that more international attention should be brought to local entrepreneurs, who are more familiar with on-the-ground conditions and or eager for collaboration partners. Erick spoke about the need to develop financial vehicles that are more attuned to the realities on the continent. Those vehicles should operationalize hybrid support options that combine de-risking, capacity building, and small-ticket financing that would foster more local success cases.
GreenTec is pleased to see the German government’s support for fostering sustainable development in Africa and wholeheartedly agrees with Ministers Klein, Gröhe, and Müller on the importance and prospects for African investment. We caution any policy changes that would impede African and German SMEs collaborating and believe firmly that solutions to foster local innovations are the answer to