Promoting Economic Development
Title: Creating Perspectives: Business for Development (East Africa)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda
Lead executing agency: East African Community (EAC)
Overall term: 2017 bis 2020
Over the past 20 years, East Africa has become one of the world's most dynamic regions and is now an attractive market with high growth rates. Be it the textile industry, agriculture or the food industry: virtually all market segments in East Africa are not yet saturated and offer good development opportunities. Yet German business is still under-represented in all East African countries.
So far, the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises in the region has been limited. Entrepreneurial knowledge and expertise as well as technical know-how are often not sufficiently available in regional companies. Access to capital is very difficult for many entrepreneurs, and there is also insufficient access to local or regional supply chains. At the same time, thousands of young people enter the labour market of the East African countries every year without there being enough prospects for them in their home region.
The business prospects for selected small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in East Africa have improved.
The pilot project of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) aims to bring together selected promising East African companies from manufacturing sectors and suitable German companies who will jointly create prospects for local employment.
The political partner of the project is the East African Community (EAC), other implementing partners in East Africa are the East African Business Council (EABC) and its national business associations. GIZ is implementing the project on behalf of BMZ and coordinates all of the partners.
Contacts and reliable partnerships are the basis for subsequent business. With the help of the project, German companies will gain insights into the promising market segments of the region and establish first contacts. They will support the exchange of know-how by mentoring East African entrepreneurs or by serving as trainers in training courses. At the same time, German companies will gain access to this market and be able to develop business ideas on the ground.
The project addresses East African companies seeking to further develop their business model. To prepare them for potential partnerships with German companies, they will receive management training with a focus on international business development. Conducted by German training institutes and local trainers, with practical input from German companies, these training sessions will offer businesses a good mix of theory and practice.
In order to put what has been learned into practice, individual coaching assignments will be possible. Even specific technical challenges can be solved in cooperation with experts. If a topic is relevant for specific sectors, group coaching sessions will be organised.
After analysing the specific challenges of individual SMEs, efforts will be made to establish mentoring partnerships with German companies. Where there is a shared business interest, ideas for a cooperation project can be developed.
More than 70 companies from all six EAC partner countries will be part of the project. In the run-up to establishing mentoring partnerships and potential business relationships (matching) with German companies, the East African entrepreneurs have already received some customised training in their region, including management training with a focus on internationalisation, conducted by the Academy of the German Economic Institute.