Panel: Dr Ingrid Hamm, Martin Jäger (BMZ), moderator Lena Greiner, Stefan Mair (BDI) and Dr Renate Köcher (Allensbach), left to Right.
Photo: ©Marc Darchinger for GPI


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Africa plays a minimal role in German foreign trade. In 2018, trade with Africa totalled around EUR 45 billion. At the end of August, the think tank “Global Perspectives Initiative”, founded in Berlin in 2016 to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals, met with representatives of business and politics to discuss industry’s expectations of investment in Africa.

Germany exports goods worth around EUR 22 billion to Africa, half of which goes to South Africa, and imports goods worth around EUR 23 billion. Total trade with the continent of Africa is less than trade with the EU partner Hungary. 

For the Berlin think tank Global Perspective Initiative (GPI), the Demoskopie Allensbach opinion research institute carried out a survey among top figures in German industry on the obstacles to and reasons for commercial engagement in Africa. At the end of August 2019 Dr Renate Köcher presented the results in Berlin and discussed them with Martin Jäger, State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Dr Stefan Mair of the Federation of German Industries (BDI).

In-depth interviews showed that industry wants a more differentiated reporting on Africa. Currently, critical developments in individual countries are improperly generalised. As a result, Africa is mostly regarded as a “danger zone”, and years of positive developments, such as the constant strong economic growth in western Africa, are overlooked. 

German trade with Africa increased

In the first five months of 2019, German trade with Africa grew by over 12 per cent compared to the same period last year.

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