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Opportunity Africa

The Danish Government launched the initiative “Opportunity Africa" on 21 October – a political initiative that combines traditional foreign policy, development cooperation as well as trade and export promotion.

A welder makes metal frames for tables and furniture.

A welder makes metal frames for tables and furniture.

Photo: Mikkel Østergaard/Danida

The Danish Government launches “Opportunity Africa” – a political initiative that combines traditional foreign policy, development cooperation as well as trade and export promotion. The initiative supports an inclusive and green economic growth in Africa.

Despite the positive economic development the past decade in African countries, there are still risks and challenges that could undermine or reverse this trend. These risks include extreme poverty, rising inequality, fragile states and defining the type of governance to ensure sustainable exploitation of the many natural resources.

The Danish Government wants closer cooperation with partners in Africa that work for inclusive growth, employment and entrepreneurship in Africa. Therefore, there is a need for an intensified economic diplomacy in Africa which, within the foreign policy dimension, can contribute to implementing the necessary structural reforms, promote green investments and thus improve framework conditions on the continent. This would create sustainable and self-reinforcing growth – ensuring the African citizens further economic self-determination.

For many decades, Denmark has been a global frontrunner in terms of supporting good governance and economic development in Africa with its development cooperation. Denmark is one of the few countries in the world that meets the UN target of giving 0.7 per cent of the country’s GNI in development cooperation.

“We must improve our support to enable Danish enterprises cross the threshold into the African markets, so that they can contribute to meeting local development needs and create more green growth and employment. In 2013 and 2014, Denmark will pledge approximately DKK 3.8 billion for promoting inclusive and green growth primarily through bilateral development cooperation with Danida priority countries, where we spend around DKK 3 billion,” says Minister for Development Cooperation Christian Friis Bach (R).

“Regional and sub-regional African organisations such as the African Development Bank play a very important role in the efforts to make growth in Africa green and inclusive. This year and next year, Denmark will pledge approximately DKK 840 million to these institutions,” continues Christian Friis Bach (R).

Danish exports of goods to African countries with whom Denmark has prioritised development cooperation totalled DKK 782.5 million in 2012. This figure could become much higher in the coming years in light of the general high rate of GNP in African countries.

“There is a huge demand in Africa for sustainable investments that can boost inclusive and green economic growth in the region. I believe that regional economic integration, development cooperation and commercial engagement go hand in hand,” says Minister for Trade and European Affairs Nick Hækkerup (S).

“The increasing need for energy and continued strain on natural resources in African countries require that governments and private enterprises work together to ensure that the economic growth is sustainable and inclusive.”

“Opportunity Africa” highlights the synergies between the Danish support for regional integration and sustainable economic growth in Africa: Danish development cooperation in Africa and Danish bilateral trade with African countries.

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