Just two percent of German exports go to Africa. Yet the 49 countries south of the Sahara have experienced their fastest rates of growth since independence in the 1960s. They grew on average 5 percent annually during the commodities boom, which began in 2005 and recently came to an end.
Now, German companies want to cash in. On Monday, the newly formed Southern African Initiative of German Business, known by its German acronym SAFRI, will hold the first annual German-African Business Summit in Berlin.
“We can’t just view Africa as an export market,” Heinz-Walter Grosse, head of the medical technology company B. Braun Melsungen, and chairman of SAFRI, told Handelsblatt. “It has to be much more about creating jobs there, producing for African needs and – in the ideal scenario – also for other regions of the world.”