Cote d’Ivore and Senegal are looking to deepen business ties with Germany in a bid to boost economic development within the three regions.
Stakeholders and representatives from all three countries met this week to discuss opportunities for business in Africa. The country’s plan to link start-ups between Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and Germany thanks to cooperation with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, a German foundation for liberal politics.
Together with the Foundation, a delegation of West African entrepreneurs and BVMW International, the German association for small and medium-sized businesses, the organisations discussed German investment in West Africa.
According to Rainer Ptok, Head of BVMW’s Foreign Relations Department, conversations focused on the prospects and opportunities for closer cooperation.
The BVMW is a politically independent association which caters for all commercial branches and professions, and represents the interests of small and medium-sized businesses in politics, with administrative authorities, with trade unions and with major companies. Medium-sized are the backbone and impulse of the German economy. They businesses include an estimated 3.3 million individual enterprises.
It has been implied that a similar model can work in West Africa, where economies rely heavily on mining and agriculture.
A World Bank analysis shows that in Africa, agriculture accounts for 65% of employment and 35% of gross domestic product (GDP), but poverty remains high in rural areas where most of the population depends on agriculture to make a living.
BVMW’s focus, however, is on entrepreneurship.
At present the German organization has about 26 offices around the world, including one in South Africa.
The BVMW co-operates with many national partner associations throughout the world and has agreements with numerous associations.
The group is famous for its business trips abroad which allow for numerous meetings between German and foreign entrepreneurs, like those with Cote d’Ivore and Senegal. Their recent meeting hopes to broaden multilateral ties among the three nations.