Southern Africa Initiative of German Business

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The Southern Africa Initiative of German Business ( SAFRI ) is an organization based in Stuttgart .


The purpose is to maintain the political and economic relations between the German economy and the countries of the Southern African Development Community . In this way, the perception of the African continent in Germany and the German economy is to be strengthened. The supporting organizations are the African Association of German Business , the Federation of German Industry and the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry . Jürgen E. Schrempp is the chairman of the initiative . The office of Secretary General is held by Andreas Wenzel.


SAFRI was founded in May 1996 at the suggestion of the then Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl. In October 1997, SAFRI organized a conference in Windhoek (Namibia) in cooperation with the SADC Secretariat . The conference identified the private sector as the main driver of sustainable development on the African continent. The final document, the “Declaration of Windhoek”, defined the goals of the cooperation between entrepreneurs from Germany and the SADC states and formulated framework conditions for cooperation between Germany and the African countries. It is considered to be the founding document of SAFRI.


  • Intensification and content structuring of the cooperation with the countries of southern Africa
  • Encourage trade and investment in both directions
  • Accompanying economic policy development and shaping the framework conditions with southern Africa
  • Bundling the economic and economic policy concerns of the German economy with interests in the SADC region

Education and training for African entrepreneurs and students

In addition to its economic policy tasks, SAFRI is involved in the training and further education of African entrepreneurs and students. To this end, the "Journey to Excellence" (J2Ex) project was launched in 1998. The aim of this project is to promote entrepreneurial know-how , competitiveness and regional integration in southern Africa. Target groups are small and medium-sized companies as well as institutions with a multiplier effect. In cooperation with Mercedes-Benz South Africa, SAFRI offers students and university graduates from SADC countries six-month internships at Daimler AG and other companies in Germany. The “Students Experience Program” (STEP) provides practical work experience as well as international experience in an intercultural environment.

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