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The African Diaspora in Hamburg: An added value for the economy

The African Diaspora in Hamburg: An added value for the economy

 

L) Alexander SIPUA, Audrius Vaitiekunas, Hon Kenneth Gbandi, Mrs. Cornelia KAHL, Timm Rohweder, MBA Clement Klutse

“Africa is in many Western media is seen as a play ground where poverty, war, AIDS and malaria rules. But that’s only half the truth. Africa is also one of the most dynamic regions in the world. According to statistics from the US State Department, the World Bank and the IMF, seven of the ten fastest growing economies (in the world) in recent years are in sub-Saharan Africa. This is in contrast to the view of many Europeans about Africa where only misery and chaos are the best commodities the continent could offer”

The consultations between the African Consultative Forum (ACF) and various stakeholders in the city of Hamburg continued last week at the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. After several meetings with political stakeholders in recent days, the meeting between the ACF and the Chamber of Commerce, International Division which took place on 31.01.2013 was to focus on the economic aspect of the community.

 

The goal is to position African Consultative Forum – ACF as a reliable partner for the Chamber of Commerce in Hamburg and to support the economic interests of German companies in the African market. In addition, the interests of African businessmen are also represented in Hamburg.  All this fit into the concept of the Federal government of German´s African-German New initiative pact.

The conversation took off around 15:00 at the Chamber of Commerce. Present  at the meeting were  Ms. Cornelia KAHL, International Division – Officer with over 30 years experience in the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Timm Rohweder, International Division, in charge of  promotion of foreign trade and Mr. Audrius Vaitiekunas, International Division with jurisdiction on law of foreign trade. The African Consultative Forum – ACF members present at the meeting include Hon Kenneth Gbandi,  first speaker of ACF and representative of Africa region in integration advisory  council  of the Hamburg Senate, MBA Clement Klutse ACF, responsible for integration, finance and economics, and Alexander SIPUA, an ACF member.

Important issues at the:

Which role should Africans and African Consultative Forum – ACF play as institution of the African Diaspora in Hamburg to help German companies to have grass access to markets on the African continent and plans for the upcoming ACF Congress.

Africa: A new emerging market

Africa is in many Western media is seen as a play ground where poverty, war, AIDS and malaria rules. But that’s only half the truth. Africa is also one of the most dynamic regions in the world. According to statistics from the US State Department, the World Bank and the IMF, seven of the ten fastest growing economies (in the world) in recent years are in sub-Saharan Africa. This is in contrast to the view of many Europeans about Africa where only misery and chaos are the best commodities the continent could offer.

Based on a forecast of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), sub-Saharan Africa will have a growth rates of between five (5%) and six percent (6%) in 2013. This is far more than what the IMF currently predicted for industrialized countries and the world economy.

In the conversation between ACF and the Chamber of Commerce all parties recognized that   the transactions between German companies and countries in Africa have not always been at the optimal as more opportunities remained unexploited. This was demonstrated by numerous examples and experiences expressed during the discussion from all sides. Nevertheless, despite all the problems some countries in Africa still offer great potential for successful business. Africa’s youth and its rapidly growing population (one billion people) offer German companies untapped outlets. Here the African Diaspora is needed as a bridge builder. ACF has developed an integrated approach that could be realized in a joint project with the Chamber of Commerce. Some of the areas include:

 

– Dissemination of information and first point of reference about Africa business and business potentials

– Offering of reliable business forecast and grassroots assessment and realities for companies in both countries

– Develop a joint congress/information event (scheduled for June 2013)

– Introduction of communication platform (regular meeting, etc.) as suggested by Mr. Rohweder.

Cornelia KAHL with more than 30 years of experience in the Chamber of Commerce sees the current ACF initiative as a positive signal and pledged her support for the project. Mr. Audrius Vaitiekunas classified the initiative as strategically important and also pledged his support.

Business success in Africa: potential and peculiarities

“The markets in Africa differ significantly from markets such as Germany, this require a corresponding radical approach differ from traditional business models and strategies currently being adopted. Lack of accurate market information and inadequate infrastructures are some of the challenges for German companies in Africa”

The African Consultative Forum ACF attaches a great importance to the forthcoming Congress that will focus on doing business in Africa in collaboration with the African Diaspora in Hamburg.

The markets in Africa differ significantly from markets such as Germany, this require a corresponding radical approach differ from traditional business models and strategies currently being adopted. Lack of accurate market information and inadequate infrastructures are some of the challenges for German companies in Africa.

The intended upcoming ACF Congress in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce will offer the opportunity to experienced African Speakers and businessmen to make an appraisal and present their views and expertise on Africa in the context of the German economy and the potentials that Africa offers. B2B meetings would also be initiated and realistic business opportunities and approach in Africa demonstrated.

The meeting ended around 16:00 with group pictures in the beautiful lobby of the Chamber of Commerce, with expectations of much future successful cooperation.

AH

 

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