AfricaConnect: A Fund to Support German and European Companies Investing in Africa.

Apparently, German SMEs have been hesitant in investing on the African continent and there are many reasons for this. And one of such hurdles is obtaining suitable financing.

The Development Investment Fund of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is intended to facilitate investments in Africa. The “AfricaConnect” programme for which DEG is responsible is part of this fund. DEG Managing Director Christiane Laibach has outdoored the programme together with the Federal Minister Gerd Müller in Berlin, Germany.

The AfricaConnect fund is helping European companies enter Africa on attractive terms and it is aimed first and foremost at those with business ideas for the Compact with Africa partner countries.

With financing via AfricaConnect, DEG supports German and European companies in their investments in Africa. “This is where the future growth markets lie. Africa is home to six of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies”, said Müller. The loan amount can be between EUR 750,000 and EUR 4 million with maturities of three to seven years. Companies benefit from the special model of risk sharing and DEG’s experience and network, making it easier for them to decide in favour of the African continent. “In many African countries the middle class is growing – this offers incentives to settle and invest there,” said Christiane Laibach.

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Basically, all European companies may apply for financing through AfricaConnect. In addition to developmental, ecological and social sustainability, an economically viable business plan is a prerequisite for financing the investment through AfricaConnect. Of particular interest are investments in the “Compact with Africa” countries: Egypt, Ethiopia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo and Tunisia. As of now, financing enquiries can be submitted to DEG.

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