German technology conglomerate Siemens on Thursday entered into a partnership with Uganda, Ghana and Sudan to assist in the areas in power supply, transportation and healthcare.
Siemens said it hoped that the agreements – which were signed on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Durban and witnessed by executives, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni and German federal Minister of Economics and Energy Brigitte Zypries – would be worth more than a billion euros by 2020.
Siemens president and chief executive Joe Kaeser said that the agreements were important in unleashing the economic potential of the three countries.
“Africa’s economies are gaining ground and can develop their full potential with the right partner. Siemens wants to support their sustainable development – with solutions and projects in Africa, for Africa. Our goal is to double our order intake in Africa to more than 3 billion by the year 2020,” said Kaeser.
Under these agreements, Siemens and its partners will develop solutions in the areas of power supply, transportation, industry and health care. Another key point in the agreements relates to continuing training programmes for various technical fields in order to create a pool of well-trained local workers.
According to The World Bank about 24 percent of people in sub-Saharan Africa have access to electricity. The bank said one of the main challenges in the power sector in Ghana remained the erratic electricity supply and high indebtedness. Ghana has set itself a target of achieving total electrified access by 2020.
Zypries said she welcomed that part of the agreements included training programmes to skill workers in the affected countries. She said Germany saw Africa as a continent with economic opportunities. “The German industry is an outstanding partner for the countries of Africa to realise these opportunities,” said Zypries.
Siemens said that it would also be investing an average of 10 million per year for training programmes and was promoting programmes to increase integrity in politics and society.
Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa chief executive Sabine Dall’Omo said the company was looking at pumping more investments into the long-term fundamentals of the emerging African markets as those markets look at diversifying their economies.