Digital Africa would brings rewards to European and Africans

Josephine Naaeke, GNA

Accra, July 7, GNA – Leading figures from
banking and business sectors have joined government and various public
institutions from Europe and Africa to mobilize renewed support and investments
for Africa’s digital economy.

The gathering, held in Berlin, is being hosted
by the European Investment Bank and Afrika-Verein, the German Business
Association whiles the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and
Co-operation is patron of the event.

This was contained in a statement issued by
the European Investment Bank (EIB) and copied to the Ghana News Agency.

The statement said this year’s “Africa Day –
Empowering Millions: Africa’s Rising Digital Economy” is being held on the eve
of the G20 summit.

It is in line with the G20’s initiative
Compact for Africa, supporting the EU’s New Consensus for Development, as well
as delivering on the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

The statement said the aim of the event is to
support development by fostering innovation, tech entrepreneurship and the
expansion of the digital economy in Africa through well targeted investment and
practical support.

It said investors, start ups, small businesses
and major companies in Europe and Africa will join the discussion to help
pinpoint ways, projects and initiatives to encourage future investment.

Mr Werner Hoyer, President of the European
Investment Bank, opened the conference saying: “Investing in Africa’s digital
economy is a necessary step towards opening new investment opportunities,
connections between people and businesses.

This is a sector where the EU bank has
expertise around the world and is ready to invest not only in high tech but
also in basic telecommunication infrastructures, from West to East and North to
South Africa.

The statement said supporting Digital Africa,
the skills, the start-ups and the capacity of the young generation, is already
bringing opportunities not just for African business but for European
businesses as well.

It said Africa is the continent of the future
and by strengthening our partnerships, communications, particularly between the
public and private sectors, we can deliver investments towards the SDG

Mr Stefan Liebing, Chairman of the
German-African Business Association, said: “The ongoing digitalisation effort
gives our neighbouring continent the opportunity to be one step ahead. Africa’s
youth gains new prospects and the private sector develops new business cases.
We need to bring sophisticated businesses together with young ideas to achieve
the progress that Africa is demanding. Germany set an example by putting the
continent on top of the G20 Agenda. This focus for Africa needs to continue –
even after G20.”

The statement said Gerd Mueller, Minister of
the German Federal Ministry of Economic Development and Co-operation, said
“sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa is a priority for the German G20
Presidency. With the Agenda 2063, Africa has already set out its path towards
sustainable development in the coming decades. We are providing strong support
to the implementation of the Agenda 2063, especially through our Marshall Plan
with Africa and our initiatives for rural development, vocational training and
the digital sector.”

Day” is the third EIB conference in a series initiated under the Luxembourg
EU-Presidency in 2015. Due to its success, the decision was taken to make the
event annual. 2016’s Africa Day was held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

It focused on skills and jobs for young
people, innovation in finance and tackling the challenge of migration. This year´s
event in Berlin explores the crucial role of digitalisation around private
sector development and investment in Africa. Africa Day alternates between
Europe and Africa, so next year a meeting would be held in Africa.

 The EIB
is the public bank of the European Union. It is owned by the 28 Member States
and it operates in more than 130 countries and in Africa since 1963. The EU’s
bank is helping the EU meet its objectives globally including delivering the
Sustainable Development Goals.

Last year the EIB invested more than 8 billion
Euro outside the EU, in various projects to support the Sustainable Development
Goals- creating good jobs and fighting poverty, supporting young people, women
and rural populations, preventing disease through access to clean water,
supporting green energy and building vital transport links.

Around 25 per cent of that was in Africa. In
the last five years, the EIB has invested over 10 billion Euros in over 200
projects on the African continent.


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