Keynote at 5th Forum for Development in Stuttgart

Last year, 150 heads of state agreed on 17 sustainable development goals (SDG) for the agenda 2030 following the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The Stuttgart Forum on Development is a state initiative of Baden-Württemberg (South Germany) and invited under the umbrella of state governor Mr. Kretschmann major actors in the field of development and economic cooperation, organized by the Chamber of Industry in Stuttgart (IHK) and Stiftung Entwicklungszusammenarbeit Baden Württemberg (SEZ). The opening speech was hold by Mr. Graeme Maxton, secretary general of The Club Of Rome”.

New initiatives for markets in Africa for German based small and medium sized enterprises were discussed on platform 10 of this forum and key speakers were invited like Mrs. Catherine Adelmann (FOSERA GmbH & Co. KG), Mr. Johannes Brenner (ELMER & ZWEIFEL), Mr. Bernd Gienger (FESTO DIDACTIC SE), Prof. Rainer Mertes (KNAUS MERTES ARCHITEKTEN GmbH), Mr. Benjamin Wolf (STAY FOUNDATION) and Mr. Jürgen RAACH (RAACH SOLAR GmbH).

The companies presented their activities in Africa and discussed with the audience how investments into production and increase of the value added chain can help to achieve the sustainable development goals. Public and private funding of companies and projects in Africa were highlighted as the greatest barrier to development. Public funding of projects is attributed to large scale projects over 15 million€ for large international companies not feasible for small and medium sized enterprises. The existing financing instruments like “develoPPP” or the “UPSCALING” prove to be insufficient. “The African and German SMEs, also part of the “Mittelstand”, do not have access to private financing of small and medium scale solar projects between 100.000€ and 1 million€” criticized Mr. Jürgen Raach. “If there is no private financing for companies and economic projects, there will be no market development”.