Working together for growth and jobs in Africa
Title: Special Initiative on Training and Job creation: Job partnerships and SME promotion
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Côte d’Ivoire
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Commerce, Industry and SME Promotion (Ministère du Commerce, de l‘Industrie et de la Promotion des PME)
Overall term: 2019 to 2022
Dynamic new growth markets have been created in many places in our neighbouring continent thanks to economic reforms and improved competitiveness. African states also offer increasingly attractive prospects for companies and investors: young populations, increasing availability of workers and specialists, increasing purchasing power, new sales markets and integration into global value chains. With annual growth rates of seven per cent and higher, countries such as Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire are among the fastest growing economies in the world.
However, German businesses still invest less in Africa than companies from other countries. Businesses and investors are missing out on an opportunity to secure good starting positions in the race to access future markets. At the same time, partner countries in Africa are being denied important stimuli for growth and employment that are essential for their long-term prosperity.
For this reason, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has set itself the goal of supporting African, European and German companies and investors in their activities in Africa. Taking the Marshall Plan with Africa and the G20 ‘Compact with Africa’ investment partnership as a basis, the ministry aims to promote investments that will have a long-term impact on employment in Africa with its “Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation”.
The Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation and the bilateral ‘Job partnerships and promotion of medium-sized businesses’ project have led to the growth of African and European companies in Côte d’Ivoire and thus to the creation of employment.
The project implements measures that improve the conditions for investment in Côte d’Ivoire by companies and that promote the growth potential of small and medium-sized enterprises. This is being done in selected sectors to improve the business ecosystem.
The project consists of three fields of action:
- Promoting business locations and sectors. In Côte d’Ivoire, support is mainly being provided for information and communication technologies, including renewable energy and energy efficiency. The assistance also targets the VITIB industrial estate and free trade zone.
- Supporting sustainable investments, particularly in the area of Business and Investments
- Strengthening small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa
The Special Initiative makes use of established capacity development tools and funding models. These have been conceived specifically for cooperation with the private sector. In this way, BMZ is supporting the private sector – through its develoPPP programme, for example – in areas where business opportunities and development-policy objectives converge. The support services offered as part of the Special Initiative are being expanded with the aim of aligning cooperation with the needs of the private sector. For example, the ’develoPPP for jobs’ programme, which focuses on promoting employment, has been redesigned and has been under implementation since January 2019. Targeted investments in employment promotion measures are also to be supported and financed by means of a regional investment facility.