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The EU-African SME Summit 2021 Units the Framework for Collaboration between SMEs in Africa and Europe

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The EU-African SME Summit 2021 occurred on October 21 and 22. It was a hybrid occasion that noticed the participation of top-level audio system from totally different elements of the world: Rome, Dakar, Brussels and Berlin. By way of digital means, decision-makers, entrepreneurs, monetary specialists and commerce associations got here collectively to ascertain a framework for strengthening the commerce, investments, and collaborations between small and medium-sized enterprises within the two continents.

The occasion was opened by Mr Paolo Magri, Govt Vice President and Director of ISPI, the Italian Institute for Worldwide Coverage Research. Mr Magri set the scene by highlighting the numerous alternatives for progress that may stem from enhanced cooperation between African and European corporations.

The President of European Entrepreneurs and our Italian Member CONFAPI, Prof Maurizio Casasco, supplied the primary keynote speech of the occasion the place he emphasised that current difficulties solely strengthened the necessity for an SME alliance between African and European corporations, constructed upon the rationale of a path to shared success.

He was adopted by the President of the Pan African Chamber of Commerce (PACCI), Mr Youssouf Moussa Dalaweh, who echoed that SMEs have resisted the current world disaster by demonstrating flexibility they usually have the potential to develop extra by means of cooperation between Africa and Europe

We then opened the sequence of impulses by decision-makers from Europe and Africa, every offering distinctive insights and views.

Our first speaker was the Minister of Financial system, Planning and Cooperation of Senegal, Mr Amadou Hott, who remarked that there are new challenges related to local weather change in areas like agriculture and vitality and that the cooperation between African and European SMEs is a basic step in our shared response.

Mr Dario Franceschini, the Italian Minister of Tradition, adopted and offered the complementary perspective that exchanges, each cultural and business-related, are important to our shared success and overcome prejudices and variations. It’s, after all, true for small companies and medium-sized corporations as nicely.

The significance of broader worldwide cooperation for companies, backed by governments and with SMEs at its coronary heart, was the main focus of the speech of Mrs Marina Sereni, Deputy Italian Minister for International Affairs and Worldwide Cooperation.

Mr Yacine Oualid, Algerian Minister for Data Financial system and Begin-ups, introduced us the message that corporations are important for fulfillment, as they create new jobs and produce ahead innovation. To assist them scale, we should strengthen relationships between the 2 continents.

Representing the European Fee, European Commissioner for Worldwide Partnerships Mrs Jutta Urpilainen reminded the viewers that the non-public sector is on the coronary heart of worldwide cooperation and that the EU supplies instruments to strengthen the collaboration between SMEs.

This sentiment was additionally on the core of the intervention of the Minister of Small Enterprise Growth of the Republic of South Africa, Mrs Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. She flagged that SMEs are the drivers of upper and inclusive progress and introduced her nation’s expertise with an ecosystem strategy of partnerships between authorities and personal sectors.

Mrs Anna Cavazzini, Chairwoman of the Committee on the Inner Market and Client Safety on the European Parliament, said that we have to construct a continent-to-continent relation to face future crises, like local weather change, that may impression each Africa and the EU. She recognized the European Inexperienced Deal as the possibility for SMEs to develop this cooperation

Mr Charles Chiumya, Performing Director of the Directorate-Normal for Financial Growth, Commerce, Trade and Mining of the African Union, took a broad view, wanting on the significance of SMEs within the world restoration.

The final impulse was then supplied by Mr Robert Dussey, Togolese Minister for International Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration, who took a special strategy to the system we aspire to create as he related the expansion of SMEs to the authorized framework they function. He concluded that we should prioritise insurance policies that enable for improvement and worldwide partnerships between Europe and Africa.

The occasion continued with our first panel, “Session 1 – Which Future for Africa and Europe after COVID?”, which was opened by a letter despatched by the President of the European Parliament Mr David Sassoli and included Mr Dimitris Avramopoulos, former Minister for International Affairs of Greece and European Commissioner for Migration, Dwelling Affairs and Citizenship, Mrs Tiekie Barnard, Founder & CEO of Shared Worth Africa Initiative, Mr Kebour Ghenna Desta, Govt Director of Pan-African Chamber of Commerce and Trade PACCI, Mr Francesco Rocca, President of Worldwide Federation of Crimson Cross and Crimson Crescent Societies, and Mr Sergio Arzeni, President of the Worldwide Community for SMEs INSME. Mrs Esther Awoniyi of CNBC Africa moderated the panel.

The dialogue appeared on the world context of the pandemic disaster. It targeted on how stronger cooperation between companies in Africa and Europe may result in a sooner and extra sturdy restoration. The evaluation began with contemplating that there’s a must take motion, for instance, by means of investments, to verify we are able to cease the pandemic, and SMEs have an element to play. This consideration led our panellists to contemplate all features, beginning with the truth that stronger cooperation would additionally require reconfiguring our understanding of migration. It will be intimately related to creating new jobs, produced primarily by small and medium

corporations at the moment, and sustainable enterprise progress, which requires clever options to help it. These are more than likely to be constructed up by means of sharing concepts and studying from one another.

Inside this understanding of the alternatives entailed, our audio system agreed that the COVID disaster is a chance to re-launch the cooperation between African and European SMEs, based mostly on a dedication from governments on either side with a long-term view.

“Session 2 – New entrepreneurs for Africa: think about, create and thrive to success” gave the stage to companies who’ve already thrived by means of profitable cooperation between Europe and Africa. It was opened by Mrs Caroline Hauptmann of the Konrad-Adenauer Basis Dakar Workplace, who posed the essential questions of making work for younger individuals in African nations. Mr Luc Bonte, President of Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs OVO, engaged within the dialogue by elevating the necessity to determine the explanations and motivations of SMEs conducting their operation in Africa. These are the components that may make EU-African cooperation potential and sustainable.

A panel of entrepreneurs recalled their expertise to reply these questions: Ms Ifeyinwa Kanu, Founder and Director of Intellidigest; Mr Laurent Assembe, Director Enterprise Growth and Gross sales at Aerodata; Mr Timon Herzog, CEO at GRIPS Power GmbH; Ms Khadidiatou Ba, CEO & Founding father of Afro Feewi Company; Mr Antoine Ngom, President of OPTIC Senegal (Organisation des Professionnels des Applied sciences d’ Data et de la Communication); and Mr Enrico Mazzon, Vice President at ETC Group. Guided by the moderator Mrs Wincate Muthini, Programme Supervisor of PACCI, they collectively recognized components like investments, stability, and abilities to be the core of an organization’s success in a framework of worldwide collaborations.

Mr Giancarlo Giorgetti, Italian Minister of Financial Growth, opened “Session 3 – Launch of the Italian-African SME Alliance” by stressing the significance of stimulating entrepreneurship, particularly within the rural areas each in Europe and Africa. He underlined that sustainability, social inclusion, political and financial stability are dependant on this.

His opening was adopted by the Signature of the Memorandum of Understanding between CONFAPI, represented by President Casasco; COLDIRETTI, represented by its President Mr Ettore Prandini; PACCI, represented by President Dawaleh; and by the Conseil Nationwide du Patronat du Sénégal, represented by its Vice-President Mr Adé Diran.

Mr Prandini and Mr Diran supplied their views following the signature. The previous introduced the Italian enterprise mannequin and reminded individuals that it’s as much as them to create the circumstances required to spend money on strategic parts. The latter expressed nice hope for future cooperation with a view of Senegal’s position within the African financial system and appeared on the Summit as the place to begin for collaborative endeavours.

The following panel, “Session 4 – Work-based skilled coaching makes aggressive & resilient SMEs”, moderated by Mr Stefan Moritz, Managing Director European Entrepreneurs CEA-PME, was opened with the speech of Mr İlker Aycı, Chairman of the Board and the Govt Committee of Turkish Airways. He remarked on the significance of rising a steady enterprise in Africa even when confronted with COVID- 19. Moreover, he shared his views that the Summit is asserting a sustainable post-pandemic panorama.

Mrs Raffaella Sadun, Professor of Enterprise Administration within the Technique Unit on the Harvard Enterprise Faculty, Mrs Linda Onyango, CEO of SME Help Heart Kenya, Dr Stephan Kunz, Programme Supervisor of GIZ “Particular Initiative on Coaching and Job Creation – Make investments for Jobs”, Mrs Blessing Ebere Achu, Director & Founder, 360 Inventive Innovation Hub, Mr David McKenzie, Lead Economist, Growth Analysis Group, World Financial institution, and Mr Costantino Chessa, ENI Head of procurement, shaped the panel for dialogue.

They targeted on the truth that cooperation is about conducting every day enterprise and understanding that progress and scaling are abilities to be realized. This view relies, amongst different issues, on current World Financial institution’s analysis that tells us that an important issues that may be understood to make your enterprise genuinely resilient are within the area of sentimental abilities. It entails that if we’ve the aim to assist SMEs persevere and develop, it’s important to create a spot to attach and talk and combine it into the inventive means of operating a enterprise. Moreover, panellists agreed that asking SMEs is the one method to know what they want. On this mild, ENI offered the instance of their expertise making a cost-free platform with their suppliers to assist all of the SMEs within the worth chain.

Our viewers then has the possibility to witness the Official Launch of the Africa IP SME helpdesk, organised by the EU-Mental Property Workplace (EUIPO), the Directorate Normal Worldwide Partnerships (DG INTPA) of the European Fee and the EU-Africa Enterprise Discussion board (EABF)

Mrs Sandra Kramer, Director for Africa on the Directorate-Normal for Worldwide Partnerships (INTPA) of the European Fee, opened the session by explaining the significance of mental property safety to construct belief between SMEs in Africa and Europe. She was adopted by Mr Andrea Di Carlo, Deputy Govt Director of EUIPO, who defined the view behind the Africa IP SME helpdesk: to help the concentrate on the significance of wonderful customer support for SMEs and facilitate investments throughout the 2 continents. Lastly, Mr Sandris Laganovskis, Director of the Institutional and Cooperation Division of EUIPO defined how the helpdesk works in follow and why it helps SMEs.

Mr Alberto Boldrin, CEO of the Boldrin Group, and Mr Eric Burkel, Co-founder and Head of Worldwide Growth at HYDRAO, shared their views as SME entrepreneurs on the significance of latest alternatives for digitalisation and of getting into new markets for SMEs, protected by the help of instruments just like the Africa IP SME helpdesk, additionally providing sensible examples based mostly on their private expertise.

Mr Kamil Kiljanski, Performing Director for Funding and Chief Economist of the Directorate Normal for Single Market, Trade, Entrepreneurship and SMEs of the European Fee, concluded the panel by framing the helpdesk as a part of a broader portfolio of devices to assist SMEs within the commerce between Africa and Europe.

“Session 5 – New monetary instruments for sustainable SME progress in Africa “was the second when the occasion targeted on the monetary help that SMEs can obtain for beginning cooperation with companions within the different continent. The session was opened by Mr Stefano Barrese, Chief of Retail & SME Banking Division of Intesa Sanpaolo, who framed the scene by arguing that, as SMEs are the spine of our financial system, monetary devices will help their internationalisation and assist construct relationships by means of worldwide investments.

The next specialists then joined us: Mrs Maria Shaw-Barragan, Director of Lending in Africa, Caribbean, Pacific, Asia and Latin America at European Funding Financial institution – Targeted

on improvement impression; Mrs Sandra Kramer, Director Africa at DG INTPA, European Fee, Mr Jean-Claude Tchatchouang, former Govt Director of the World Financial institution, liable for 23 African nations, Mr Emmanuel Agha, Managing Director & CEO of Innovectives Group, and Mr Brian Mangeni, CEO Einstein Rising & OVO Portfolio Supervisor East Africa Workplace. They had been moderated by Mrs Diana Battaggia, Head of UNIDO ITPO Italy.

The panel began by wanting on the challenges, together with the brand new ones just like the recession brought on b the pandemic in African nations and agreed that worldwide cooperation is likely one of the options if investments again it. The purpose just isn’t financing for its personal sake however to offer the inspiration for sustainable progress and job creation. To take action, the panellists mentioned, SMEs must construct a relationship with monetary establishments regionally. Enterprise organisations are required to make sure corporations can speak to all actors. They’re complementary to the packages which are serving to corporations in Africa to learn to entry extra funding and interface with worldwide monetary establishments.

The primary day of the occasion was closed by the European Entrepreneurs Co-President and Govt Director of BVWM, our German Member, Mr Markus Jerger, who completely summarised the say with the sentence “A dialogue between the EU and Africa is extra essential than ever. Throughout this pandemic, we’ve realized how essential it’s to remain related”.

As an ending to the primary day, our viewers may hearken to the phrases of the Italian Minister for International Affairs and Worldwide Cooperation, Mr Luigi Di Maio, who closed on a excessive be aware by stating that Africa and Europe should work collectively to beat challenges just like the pandemic and that extra alternatives will come to work collectively.

The second day, devoted to enterprise, opened with the Keynote Speech of Mr Jens Spahn, German Federal Minister of Well being, initiating a dialog in regards to the significance of sturdy and resilient well being methods as a necessity in these instances of pandemic and the position SMEs can play in serving to construct them up throughout continents.

The next keynote noticed Mr Mor Khoudia Gueye, Secretary-Normal of the Ministry for Youth of Senegal, stress the emergency and significance of making and sustaining initiatives for fixing the socio-economic issues of the younger by means of the alternatives supplied by corporations cooperating.

Mr Jens Schmid-Kreye, Deputy Head of Division, Particular Initiative on Coaching and Job Creation, on the German Federal Ministry for Financial Cooperation and Growth, used his opening keynote to information us by means of the sensible points the enterprise sector is going through, particularly SMEs, as they’re the important thing to creating profitable employment.

The essential problem of easy methods to cooperate higher to serve the worldwide wants of humanity throughout the pandemic was introduced up within the keynote speech of Mr Karim Bendhaou, Head of Merck Africa at Merck Group.

The final opening was offered by Mr Jorge Portugal, Director Normal of COTEC Portugal, who flagged that we have to determine the very best actors within the area and learn to mimic their success and who’re the facilitators of this course of for the SMEs.

The roundtables devoted to particular enterprise areas had been then began with the primary one on the subject of the Digital Financial system. It noticed the participation of Ms Nafissatou Tine, Founding father of Sunulex. Africa, who defined the significance of understanding the African context and the way organising the African authorized database to offer help for everybody looking for dependable info helps provoke this course of; Mr Ibrahima Sissoko, CEO of HILT Expertise, who burdened the significance of delivering digital options to facilitate sustainable studying processes within the state of affairs of unstable infrastructure in Africa; and Mr Klaus Dellmann, Regional Director at Mühlbauer ID Companies GmbH, who highlighted that, as a enterprise offering safety options to governments in Africa, they perceive that is the important element for making a protected atmosphere for SMEs. Our Managing Director Mr Stefan Moritz chaired the Roundtable.

The Roundtable on Renewable Power included Mrs Sabine Dall’Omo, Chief Govt Officer Siemens Southern and Jap Africa – she flagged that there’s a want for a broad community of renewable vitality infrastructures if we wish Africa to take part extra within the world financial system and depart as much as its potential; Mr Bart Minsaer, Co-Founder and CEO of Hey Photo voltaic, that launched the potential options for renewable vitality that might come out of the collaboration between SMEs within the two continents, like microgrid; and Mr Ruggero Arico’, Head of Institutional Affairs for Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania at Enel Inexperienced Energy who argued for the inclusion of enterprise fashions for renewable vitality of the impression that they’ll have on the final society and the African territory. Ms Wincate Muthini of PACCI moderated the Roundtable.

The third and closing Roundtable was devoted to the Agricultural Renaissance. Our individuals had been Mr Michael Walleter, Head of Gross sales and Board Member at KTI-Plersch Kältetechnik GmbH, who targeted on the necessity for the change of technological options between the 2 continents to make sure meals preservation and minimise spoilage; Mr Cheikh Amadou Bamba Fall of COPEOL, who mentioned the significance of correct legislative frameworks for the worldwide commerce of native agricultural merchandise, like oil, so to help native SMEs that produce and remodel these merchandise; and Mrs Ajola Jallow, Founding father of GrowHer Africa Ltd, who recognized as a businesswoman within the area of agriculture and defined why it’s a enterprise that requires infrastructure and experience, to be thought-about progressive work and based mostly upon a full-on inclusive business general. Our moderator for the session was Mr Gilles Olakounlé Yabi, Founder and Govt Director of WATHI.

Mr Gerd Müller, German Federal Minister for Financial Cooperation and Growth, is now offering the political resumé for the second day, reminding the viewers we’d like innovation and investments to help SME to handle the results of the pandemic, which might be achieved extra rapidly and effectively by means of the cooperation between the 2 continents.

Our Managing Director Mr Stefan Moritz then closed the EU-African SME Summit 2021, leaving individuals to a day is totally devoted to one-on-one networking enterprise conferences that occurred on our multilingual platform African European Entrepreneurs.

This 12 months’s Summit was a fantastic occasion that created momentum to recognise and help the cooperation between SMEs in African and Europe as a part of our world technique for restoration. We’ll proceed to work to make sure this concept is introduced ahead. As well as, we’ll proceed to collaborate with our companions in worldwide discussions, just like the EU-African Summit, to make sure that corporations are recognised because the engine of the restoration.

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