Switzerland – Africa: diasporas in pole position

The African diasporas in Switzerland are very committed to the emergence of the continent. It is in this perspective that the International Exhibition of African Entrepreneurship is taking place within the Swiss Confederation from November 16 to 20, 2020.

The growing interest in the continent and its potential is not waning. And Africans in Switzerland are mobilizing to attract Swiss companies to the continent. While the Swiss Confederation has around 110,000 nationals from the continent, Switzerland is no less influential in some states. Like the Ivory Coast, where it was, according to the Ivorian authorities, the third country in terms of investment, behind France and China. It is in this spirit that Zion Kick-up Startups is organizing, online, the International African Entrepreneurship Fair from November 16 to 20. « We are targeting 5 business sectors this year including energy, commerce, or agribusiness. The goal is to increase Swiss-African investments, ”says Project Manager Lionel Kouchou. Even though Africa only accounts for 2% of Switzerland’s FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) at the moment, the fact remains that investor optimism has not waned. « The legislative frameworks have become more flexible and free trade agreements are going in the right direction and this reassures Swiss investors », details Michael Rheinninger – member of the management of the Swiss-African Business Circle.

Africans abroad take the lead

If Zion Kick-Up Startups kept this event in full swing of Covid -19 in Europe, it is also because its teams are aware of the positive impact of the African continental success against the pandemic. “Africans have demonstrated their resilience. The results of the African continent inspire respect as much as curiosity, and it is in this momentum that the theme of this edition takes on its full meaning: Building the Africa we want is POSSIBLE! », Explains Lionel Kouchou. For the organizers of the International African Entrepreneurship Fair in Switzerland, it is through this summit also to include more Africans abroad in the process of strengthening economic ties between Bern and African capitals. “Today, remittances from expatriate Africans to the continent far exceed development aid. We must therefore include them and give them access to these meetings so that they can bring their added value, « said one within Lionel Kouchou’s teams.

Several hundred participants connected

For this first edition, this forum also serves to demonstrate the relevance of Swiss private sector investment in Africa. And the converse is also true. “In terms of the commodities sector, the continent can work in close cooperation with Swiss companies. And in the field of new technologies, this can also be true in the other direction, « says one within the organization. If it is still too early to predict the impact that this event will have, it is on the other hand a given that its rather new format seduces, and should seduce a good number of Internet users in Europe and Africa where more than 500 participants are expected. .


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