Africa is a continent of opportunity - German Foreign Minister
“Germany extensively supports our national development priorities and has allocated an amount of approximately R 3, 4 billion to South Africa for the period 2012-2013. This includes R 426 million for Development Assistance and R3 billion as concessionary loans to development finance institutions and state owned enterprises,” said DIRCO Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in Pretoria on 29 April 2013.
She was speaking at a press briefing after hosting the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr Guido Westerwelle. This was his fifth visit to southern Africa, acknowledging the economic and politicl progress the continent has made in recent years.
“Africa is a continent of opportunity”, said German Foreign Minister Dr. Guido Westerwelle before starting his five-day trip to Africa on 26 April.
Africa’s average economic growth has been at roughly 6 percent for more than a decade, and the forecasts indicate that this will continue. With growth rates of over seven percent, Ghana and Mozambique are two of Africa’s leading economies.
Mrs Nkoana Mashabane said she was looking “forward to the final research outputs” of South Africa-Germany Year of Science partnership launched last year. She hoped that these ventures would be commercialised.
At the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in Cape Town, junior academics from all over Africa told the Minister about their plans for the future and their visions for the continent.
Minister Westerwelle sees science and technology as key factors in advancing Africa’s position as a continent of opportunity.
Part of the purpose of this visit was, he said, to draw attention to “an Africa that is growing, that is grasping its opportunities”.
Dr Westerwelle said that what was needed was for people to have a real stake in their country’s economic and social life, averring that “Africa will only be successful if its people feel the benefit of its economic boom.”
South Africa was the second stop on this trip to southern Africa. Minister Westerwelle was previously in Ghana, where his itinerary included a meeting with his Ghanaian counterpart, Hannah Tetteh.
After visiting Pretoria, Westerwelle travelled on to Maputo, the capital of Mozambique.
In addition to meeting his counterpart Oldemiro Júlio Marques Balói, he will be visiting the industrial port of Maputo and the DREAM project for pregnant HIV-positive women, which receives funding from the German Aids Foundation.
DIRCO and German Embassy, Pretoria