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Dutch Business Organisations Present Strategy for Africa

Encouraging Dutch companies to do more business in and with Africa: That is the aim of the Africa Strategy as drawn up by the business organisations VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland. Hans de Boer, chairman of VNO-NCW, presented the first copy to Prime Minister Mark Rutte on 26 of November during the trade mission to Nigeria.

15 African focus countries

With their strategy, the business organisations focus on fifteen countries where Dutch companies - large and small - can be successful and add value with their expertise. These fifteen countries were selected based on current Dutch activities in the country, their economic position, the political stability and the way in which they do business. The top three are South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt. The Africa Strategy refers to input from companies and organisations such as the Netherlands-African Business Council, FMO, PUM, DECP and NLinBusiness.

Africa is a close neighbour

Africa is an emerging continent, with average economic growth figures that Europe cannot match, according to VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland. They see the continent as a close neighbour that is growing and going green at record speed. Not only the Netherlands see opportunities; major players such as China, Japan and Russia are also stepping up their efforts. Africa deals with an enormous population increase, urbanisation and a steady growth of the middle class. These developments pose challenges in areas in which Dutch companies are particularly good, according to the business organisations. With their products and services, they can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Market of Billions

The Netherlands now do business in Africa for 27 billion euros a year and last year invested 68 billion euros in Africa. In the Africa Strategy, the business organisations express the ambition to double both amounts by 2030. In order to achieve these goals, they will focus on the use and expansion of information provision, the expansion of the network of the Dutch business community in Africa, improved access to financial resources applied on the African continent, contributing to the economic developments in Africa as well as the promotion of the SDGs.

Opportunities, know-how and prosperity

VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland advocate a policy that promotes doing business with Africa. There are opportunities for Dutch entrepreneurs, and on top of that, it would benefit Africa and its inhabitants if Dutch companies could bring more activity, know-how and prosperity to the region, according to the business organisations. VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland make a series of recommendations to facilitate entrepreneurs, amongst others in the areas of knowledge, networking and financing.

Trade promotion task force

The business organisations see the strategy as a 'starting signal’ for the business community; it also serves as input for the public-private task force for trade promotion and economic development between the Netherlands and Africa (as called for, among others, by CDA Member of Parliament Amhaouch in a motion tabled last summer), which is yet to be set up.

Download the Africa Strategy (Dutch / pdf).

Source: VNO-NCW