Hon. Tom Alweendo, the Minister for Economic Planning and Director General of the National Planning Commission attended the 2nd German-African Business Summit which took place on 8 to 10 February in Nairobi, Kenya. The summit brought together Ministers and business representatives from Kenya, Namibia, Germany, Uganda, Zambia and Nigeria, and focused on Africa’s economic growth potential and the future trends in African-German cooperation. Over 500 participants from business and politics explored opportunities and discussed challenges of doing business in Africa.
Speaking during a plenary session titled “Setting the Scene: Economic Growth in Africa”, Minister Alweendo stressed the need for effective partnerships and cooperation that are beneficial for African economies, adding that “for far too long Africa has been seen through the eyes of those who do not always have Africa’s interest at heart.”
Minister Alweendo noted that “Africans have to fully embrace the need to define the African development narrative”, further adding that Africans have started to define the Africa we want and owning the development agenda through homegrown development programs such as Agenda 2063 and NEPAD.
Minister Alweendo also detailed Namibia’s development focus including Namibia’s long-term strategy of becoming a logistics hub for the SADC region and the continent at large. Minister Alweendo also highlighted investment opportunities in much-needed infrastructural developments projects, both soft and hard, in energy, water, transport, ICT and skills.
Minister Alweendo stressed that despite the challenging economic headwinds being experienced by most African economies, “these challenges provide us with the opportunity to deepen our macro- and microeconomic reforms. We will need to continue to implement carefully considered but strong policy interventions that support inclusive and sustainable growth.”
Noting Namibia’s sustained average economic growth of over 5% over the past 5 years, Minister Alweendo added that Namibia will continue to play its part in fostering the continent’s economic transformation.
In closing, Minister Alweendo emphasized the need to revitalize “global partnerships for development that brings together Governments, civil society, the private sector and other actors to mobilize all available resources.”
On the sidelines of the summit, Minister Alweendo held discussions relating to Namibia-German relations with Charles Huber, MP; member of the Parliamentary Committee on Economic Cooperation in Germany’s Bundestag. Minister Alweendo also met with the Chairman and CEO of the German-African Business Association and discussed investment opportunities in Namibia.
Informal discussions were also held with GFA Consulting to discuss new innovations in e-learning and digital development initiatives. With GreenTac Capital, an investment company that aims to develop and assist impactful African startups, Minister Alweendo’s discussions centered on ways of encouraging entrepreneurs, as well as supporting and nurturing startup ecosystems in Africa, and Namibia in particular.
The summit was hosted by the Sub-Saharan Africa Initiative of German Business (SAFRI) and sponsored a network of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Federation of German Industries.