Two businesswomen sitting at the table talking

Female managers for an equal partnership with Africa

Germany's strong presence on international markets is an important success factor for German industry. At the same time, the BDI is warning against German companies becoming too dependent on developments on the Asian markets. To diversify supply chains and investments, it is worth looking to Africa.

As part of the fourth exclusive "Women's Business Breakfast", the BDI and the Agency for Economic and Development (AWE) discussed with 20 female executives. The subject of the discussion was the still little developed markets in Africa.  The panel agreed: Africa remains a continent of untapped opportunities. To inject more momentum into economic relations between Germany and Africa, the German government should adjust its Africa policy.

  1. Focus on innovation: Sandra Uwera, executive director of the COMESA Business Council, emphasizes, "Look to innovation. In particular, digital transformation and the implementation of the Pan-African Free Trade Area are where the future lies." The goal is to build an equal partnership and move away from the donor-recipient constellation.
  2. Expand partnership between business and government: The new spokeswoman of the "Working Group on Economic Cooperation and Development" of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Sanae Abdi, emphasizes the important role of the private sector. Only together with the private sector can international agreements such as the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement be achieved, she said. To increase private investment, the new German government will promote the rule of law in the target countries, she said. In this context, Heike Bergmann, Senior Vice President Sales Africa at Voith Hydro GmbH & Co. KG and Vice Chair of the Sub-Saharan Initiative of German Industry (SAFRI), praises the "Compact with Africa" initiative. She emphasizes the need to expand the initiative to include other African countries.
  3. Strengthening the role of women: Tanja Gönner, Spokeswoman of the Board of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), sees strengthening the economic role of women in Africa as an important issue for the new German government. In terms of German Africa policy, she does not expect any fundamental changes. "In GIZ, at any rate, there is no doubt about the importance of Africa," Gönner said.

Background “Women’s Business Breakfast”

The "Women's Business Breakfast" organized by the Agency for Economic and Development (AWE) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI) brings together women leaders from Africa and Germany to discuss experiences, innovative ideas, investments and partnerships. The goal of the fourth "Women's Business Breakfast" was to highlight the importance of Africa for the actions of the new German government. The event series will continue in winter 2022.