The Sub-Saharan Africa Initiative of German Business

The Sub-Saharan Africa Initiative of German Business (SAFRI) is jointly supported by the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag – DIHK), the Federation of German Industries (Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie – BDI), the Federation of German Wholesale, the Foreign Trade and Services (Bundesverband Großhandel, Außenhandel, Dienstleistungen – BGA), and the German African Business Association (Afrika-Verein der Deutschen Wirtschaft). Under this regional initiative, the sponsors jointly aim to intensify economic relations between Germany and the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Aim

The aim of SAFRI is to promote sustainable and cooperative economic relations between Germany and sub-Saharan Africa.

To this end, the partners want to jointly

  • strengthen the perception of Africa as a continent of opportunity for the German economy
  • promote dialogue between German and African business and politics
  • and provide a platform for exchange between German and African partners.

By bundling the economic policy activities of SAFRI's member organizations, greater weight is given to the interests of German business in the region and to economic and economic policy exchange between Germany and Africa.

Against the backdrop of global challenges and the increasing global economic importance of sub-Saharan Africa, the aim is to positively shape change in line with our strategic mission statement by means of cooperation, dialogue and partnership and to build a bridge for people and markets.

 

Partners

The Sub-Saharan Africa Initiative of German Business (SAFRI) is supported in partnership by the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) and the Africa Association of German Business. SAFRI is coordinated by the DIHK and BDI.

Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK)
As the umbrella organization of the 80 German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, the DIHK represents the interests of the German economy vis-à-vis decision-makers in federal politics and European institutions.

Federation of German Industries (BDI)
As the umbrella organization of German industry and industry-related service providers, the BDI speaks for 36 industry associations and represents over 100,000 companies with a good eight million employees.

German Wholesale and Foreign Trade Association (BGA) 
The BGA is the voice of wholesale, foreign trade and business-related services and represents 1.9 million employees in Germany. The companies of the BGA generate an annual turnover of 1.8 trillion euros.

Africa Association of German Business (AV)
The AV has been working in the service of German-African economic relations for over 80 years. It is the foreign trade association of German companies and institutions with an economic interest in the countries of the African continent.

History of origin

At the suggestion of the then German Chancellor Dr. Helmut Kohl, SAFRI was launched in May 1996 as the Southern Africa Initiative of German Business by the leading German business associations. The declared aim was to direct the interest of German foreign economic policy to southern Africa in order to position it on Germany's economic policy map of the world.

The actual founding event took place in October 1998 at a landmark conference in Windhoek, Namibia. Chaired by Prof. Dr. h.c. Jürgen E. Schrempp and in cooperation with the Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the "Declaration of Windhoek" - the substantive founding document of SAFRI - was adopted in the form of a final declaration.

At the beginning of 2015, the SAFRI executing agencies decided to deepen their cooperation and expand the regional initiative to all countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The Sub-Saharan Africa Initiative of German Business was chaired by Prof. Dr. Heinz-Walter Große, then Chairman of the Management Board of B. Braun Melsungen AG.