Nordic, African foreign ministers discuss growth

Danish Foreign Minister Lidegaard Photo: Danish Foreign Ministry

Danish Foreign Minister Lidegaard
Photo: Danish Foreign Ministry

Denmark’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Martin Lidegaard on Tuesday hosted a Nordic African foreign ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium together with Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, to discuss green and inclusive growth in Africa.

The meeting focused on new growth opportunities in Africa, including a growing middle class, fast emergent economies and a real chance to eliminate extreme poverty within the time span of a generation.

Private companies and investors in the Nordic countries possess both technology and know-how when it comes to green solutions to conventional energy supply, degrading natural environments, natural resources management, pollution as well as challenges posed by climate change. These are opportunities which can be turned into a strong African-Nordic partnership on green and inclusive growth.

Minister Lidegaard said during the meeting that “Today we have taken a first step towards enhanced cooperation and strengthened partnership for green and inclusive growth in Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest growing regions globally with very impressive growth rates. Many African countries show interest in green solutions in areas where Danish companies can deliver – such as health, water, energy and natural resources management.

“The key is enhanced cooperation between government institutions as well as more conducive political and economic framework conditions which can attract private investments. These are areas where Danmark can contribute.

“If we succeed in engaging Danish companies it will contribute to both inclusive and sustainable growth in Africa as well as growth and employment in Denmark. I look forward to continuing our close cooperation with Nordic and African partners during the upcoming 3GF in Copenhagen in October.”

The Nordic African Foreign Ministers Meeting in Brussels was held on the margins of the EU-Africa Summit in Brussels which ran from 2-3 April.

The meeting was part of the Danish growth initiative “Opportunity Africa” which was launched by the Danish government during the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) in 2013. The “Opportunity Africa” initiative focusses on two objectives: to intensify economic diplomacy with African partners, to promote inclusive and green growth and to create a new Nordic-African Alliance for regional economic integration.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark