Germany’s Siemens will invest $1.1 billion to build electricity networks in Africa over the coming years, the company’s boss said on Thursday.
The Siemens Chief Executive, Joe Kaeser, told newsmen at the World Economic Forum on Africa in the South African city of Durban that “it is now time to raise the entire Africa concept to a new level.”
Kaeser then signed declarations of intention with Uganda and Sudan on planned projects in the electricity industry, transport and health sectors.
He said “the investments will help to fill gaps in infrastructure and to step up the industrialisation of the continent.
“Our goal is to double business in Africa by 2020 to more than three billion Euros.”
Germany’s Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries said Africa offered the German economy “great possibilities”.
The German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, consequently urged the international community to step up economic cooperation with Africa, saying a new partnership with the G20 countries could draw more investments to the continent.
He said “we know that Africa is in a globalised world, one of the biggest geopolitical risks for the growth and stability of the world economy.
“If Africa is not stabilised to some extent, we in Europe will have problems that will be difficult to control.”
The minister described Africa’s hunger disasters and waves of refugees as “an extraordinary challenge for the entire civilised humanity.
“Cooperation with the G20 can help African countries to adopt reforms that will help them to attract private investment, especially in infrastructure.
“Concrete details have already been discussed with Rwanda, Morocco, Tunisia, Ivory Coast and Senegal,’’ Schaeuble said, adding that the initiative was expected to continue running even after Germany’s G20 presidency had ended on Nov. 30.
The G20 comprises 19 countries and the EU.
The countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, UK and the U.S.