Africa/France : CIAN 2023 advocates a new economic deal

This vision of relations between Africa and French investors on the continent was at the center of the event which took place in Paris on 18 April 2023.

The French Council of Investors in Africa (CIAN) is committed to fostering new relationships with the African business community and governments. In partnership with the French newspaper L’Opinion, it organized on 18 April 2023 in Paris, France, a forum of exchanges on the theme « Time for a new deal with Africa ». And for good reason, according to Etienne Giros, President of CIAN, « Africa is profitable!

It is based on the results of a survey known as the « CIAN 2022 Barometer », conducted at the end of 2022 among 800 companies, subsidiaries of international groups, established in all African countries. « It shows that for 2022, 77% of the companies were at break-even or profitable. And for 2023, the companies are even more optimistic since 92% project themselves in a profitable or balanced year », indicated Sandrine Soreuil, the Director General of the CIAN, during a presentation of the report of this survey on the sidelines of the CIAN 2023. « So when we tell you that Africa is a growth relay, it is indeed the case, » she continued.

The reconstruction of the world economic order offers Africa opportunities for new alliances, particularly with Europe

These results are in addition to the fact that « the African continent, a major supplier of the European Union in terms of energy, has many raw materials and rare metals that are essential to the energy transition and are highly sought after throughout the world », it was learned during this third edition of the CIAN/L’Opinion Forum.

The results of the CIAN 2022 Barometer are not enough to explain Africa’s importance in the global economic microcosm. « The reconstruction of the global economic order poses a challenge to Africa, but also offers unexpected opportunities. Because the continent has solid assets to ensure its future and discuss new alliances with its partners, first and foremost Europe, » explains the organization of this economic forum. It explains this strategic position of Africa by « a global context that has seen more upheavals and ruptures in recent years than in the last two decades, with the Covid-19 pandemic, the food and energy crises, the return of inflation and the war in Ukraine.

Today, Africa is already a major supplier of energy to the European Union, with huge untapped reserves. By 2035, its natural gas production will triple. « A godsend for Europe, which is looking for alternatives to Russian hydrocarbons, » concludes the CIAN.

Fintech, blockchain and mobile payments are attracting greater FDI flows to Africa. An opportunity for its youth

Furthermore, we heard during this reunion between African and French investors, « Africa can also secure access to strategic raw materials and rare metals essential to the energy transition. The continent is counting on its green heritage and its solar, wind and hydroelectric potential to help Europe develop the energies of the future, such as green hydrogen, and to offset the carbon emissions of its companies.

These energy reserves allow Africa to finance its own development, including electrification and industrialization. French companies invested on the continent are ready to help in Africa’s need to strengthen its food sovereignty. This can boost local production and the structuring of agro-industrial sectors. Finally, the new digital payment systems (Fintech, Blockchain and mobile payment solutions) are now attracting ever greater flows of foreign direct investment (FDI). This is an opportunity for its youth, so numerous and so enterprising, provided that it is up to speed with investments and training, a crucial point.

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