At the beginning of the years twenties of the second millennium, Africa is determined to significantly increase intra-African trade, to implement the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and to stimulate its entrepreneurial spirit in order to promote the creation of jobs, particularly in favor of Africa’s youth, inclusive growth and social and political stability. As the COVID-19 pandemics is causing severe social, political and economic problems in many African countries, ranging from North to South, a new start is urgently needed..

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of many economies in Europe, particularly in Germany and Italy, as well as in Africa. Our meeting will focus on entrepreneurship, professional training and investments, three key elements that can contribute to strengthen African Mittelstand offer a good basis for shared value business, and, with a view to the future, are crucial to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.

Our aim is to bring together European and African entrepreneurs, encouraging them to cooperate and co-invest, helping them in building alliances joint ventures and partnerships through appropriate support and monitoring structures as well as through specific mechanisms aimed at verifying the effectiveness and the consistency of their initiatives.

The 2021 edition of the EU-African SME summit will take place live at the same time in Rome (Italy) and Dakar (Senegal), and will contemporarily be broadcasted in TV and online. It aims to highlight valuable opportunities for entrepreneurs and to define, together with decision makers and experts, the road towards a successful economic cooperation for dynamic and future-oriented companies in both Africa and Europe.

Launch of the Africa IP SME Helpdesk

Furtheremore, at the event EUIPO will launch the Africa IP SME Helpdesk, expected to be operational as from October 2021. This an EU-funded project set up to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from the European Union (EU) in the process of creating, protecting, utilising, administering and enforcing intellectual property rights (IPR) across Africa, in line with international and European best practice and in support of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Cooperation between the EU and African countries in the Africa IP SME Helpdesk project will provide a unique opportunity for European SMEs to invest in Africa and, in that process, enable African countries to access global business value chains while, at the same time, contributing to sustainable development and economic growth in Africa.

Discover more in our dedicated resources


Shared Value

The Summit's framing concept is the innovative idea of Shared Value: this new notion redefines our approach to sustainable development goals like access to water, electricity, education, training and health.

These can best be achieved through sustainable and smart business ideas, thus creating a “shared value” for the companies putting the business idea in practice as well as the communities and individuals benefiting from the services.

Mrs. Tiekie Barnard

Founder and CEO, Shared Value Africa Initiative SVAI