TRK takes a look at Africa

Digital Hub Africa:

Technology Region takes (East) Africa into account and wants to enable cooperation on an equal footing - building trust is an important prerequisite

Stakeholder dialogue and networking for start-ups and companies with a keynote speech by James Shikwati (Nairobi) as a start

 

Karlsruhe, September 30, 2021.

Collaboration with start-ups and companies from African countries is arousing more and more interest and Africa is also becoming more important in the Karlsruhe Technology Region. This became particularly clear through the impulse of James Shikwati, Kenyan economist and founder of the Interregional Economic Network IREN. He gave insights into the East African start-up scene in the areas of mobility, energy and digitalization. Shikwati, who was speaking from Nairobi, came to the conclusion that, in addition to trust, the path to each other depends on the openness and flexibility of those involved. In order to be successful, according to the 51-year-old former Robert Bosch Fellow, it is helpful to build on established start-ups and companies and to use the hubs that exist in East Africa and their knowledge.

Keil: “Africa is the future and startup continent”

This is how co-initiator Philipp Keil, former board member of the company, summed it up Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ) . “Africa is the future and startup continent from which we can learn a lot.” SEZs have in common TechnologyRegion Karlsruhe GmbH (TRK) as well sieber l wensauer-sieber l partner (swsp) organized the online kick-off event of the Digital Hub Africa with the aim of gradually intensifying connections between the region and East Africa.

Mentrup: “The digitalized start-up scene in Europe and Africa comes together immediately”

Chairman of the Supervisory Board (AR) of the TRK and Karlsruhe Mayor Dr. Frank Mentrup is certain: ““Our personal contacts on site in Djibouti and Uganda have shown: The digitalized start-up scene in Europe and Africa comes together immediately, gets along straight away, is innovative, committed and future-oriented.”

 

Designed as a stakeholder dialogue, the opening event with over 70 registered participants from the areas of start-ups, companies, science, the public sector and ministries aimed to strengthen existing networks in the TRK, but also beyond, as well as interested start-ups and To activate companies in the areas of energy, mobility and digitalization. Ways and needs were discussed together to enable stable cooperation in the future. The first virtual meetings between German and African interested parties are scheduled to take place in November.

Frey MdL: Companies and state politics have responsibility

This is also entirely in the interest of Baden-Württemberg politics, as the development policy spokesman, Josha Frey MdL (THE GREENS), explained: “Only exchange and cooperation in partnership can be sustainable in the sense of climate justice, respect for human rights and implementation of the global sustainability goals (SDGs ) become effective for everyone involved. The companies in the state of Baden-Württemberg and also the state politicians have to bear responsibility for this.”

Wald MdL: Digital transformation as a game changer

And the financial policy spokesman for the CDU parliamentary group, Tobias Wald MdL, also emphasized: “Politically, there are already some bridges from Baden-Württemberg to East Africa. Digital transformation in particular can be a game changer for developing countries. Start-ups, partnerships with companies and support for cooperative farming structures combined with sustainable trading and recycling concepts are also important.”

Ehlgötz: “We want to network our skills with international partners”

TRK managing director Jochen Ehlgötz dared to take a look into the future of the hub: “The Karlsruhe Technology Region is rich in innovation centers such as the digital hub HubWerk01 in Bruchsal, the industrial research and development center in Hagenau (F) or the ITK InnoLab in the southern Palatinate. We want to network these skills with international partners. We are therefore pleased to be able to participate in the development of a Digital Hub Africa, so we see great opportunities for future collaboration on an equal footing between companies and start-ups in Africa and those from the TRK.”

Sieber: Collaborations are made by people: speed dating's next step

A second round of the Digital Hub Africa will take place in November. “Collaborations are made by people, which is why we are offering virtual speed dating at the beginning of November that brings together people from Africa and Germany who are interested in the areas of energy, mobility and digitalization,” says Elke Sieber, partner at sieber l wensauer-sieber l partner, “We hope to be able to sow the seeds of future blossoming partnerships.”

Detailed quotes (in alphabetical order):

Ehlgötz, Jochen – Managing Director of TechnologieRegion Karlsruhe GmbH (TRK): “The Karlsruhe Technology Region is rich in innovation centers such as the digital hub HubWerk01 in Bruchsal, the industrial research and development center in Hagenau or the ITK InnoLab in the southern Palatinate. We want to network these skills with international partners. We are therefore pleased to be able to help set up a Digital Hub Africa, as we see great opportunities for future collaboration on an equal footing between companies and start-ups in Africa and those from the TRK.”

 

Frey MdL, Josha - development policy spokesman for the GREEN parliamentary group in the state parliament of Baden-Württemberg:

“We have to structure relations with our neighboring continent of Africa in a differentiated, country-specific manner and consistently on an equal footing. Only exchange and cooperation in partnership can be sustainably effective for everyone involved in the sense of climate justice, respect for human rights and implementation of the global sustainability goals (SDGs). The companies in the state of Baden-Württemberg and also the state politicians have to bear responsibility for this.”

 

Keil, Philipp, former board member of the Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ): “Africa is the future and startup continent from which we can learn a lot. With the Digital Hub Africa we want to build bridges between the Karlsruhe Technology Region and the East Africa region in the spirit of the 2030 Agenda. The aim is to create a sustainable and equal partnership between the startup scene in Karlsruhe and East Africa.”

 

Mentrup, Frank Dr. – Chairman of the Supervisory Board of TechnologieRegion Karlsruhe GmbH and Mayor of the City of Karlsruhe: “Our personal contacts on site in Djibouti and Uganda have shown it: The digitalized start-up scene in Europe and Africa comes together immediately, gets along straight away, is innovative, committed and future-oriented. The shared future of the two continents should begin here – on both a small and a large scale. Karlsruhe and Baden-Württemberg, together with the East African countries, can be role models.”

 

Sieber, Elke – partner sieber l wensauer-sieber l partner: “Collaborations are made by people, which is why we are offering virtual speed dating events at the beginning of November that bring together people from Africa and Germany who are interested in the areas of energy, mobility and digitalization. We hope to be able to sow the seeds of partnerships that will flourish in the future, enabling innovative people from the technology region and (East) Africa to work together on an equal footing.”

 

Wald MdL, Tobias – financial policy spokesman for the CDU parliamentary group in the state parliament of Baden-Württemberg

“As financial policy spokesman for the CDU parliamentary group, I can say: Africa is a continent of potential for both sides. Politically, there are already some bridges from Baden-Württemberg to East Africa. Initiated largely by the CDU, we have already launched economic cooperation and projects on climate protection and digitalization. We want to continue this in the future, with the clear goal of creating regional added value and life prospects for the young local population. Digital transformation in particular can be a game changer for developing countries. Start-ups, partnerships with companies and support for cooperative farming structures combined with sustainable trading and recycling concepts are also important.”

Contact person/press contact:

Nadine Rahner, project manager

sieber l wensauer-sieber l partner

Tel. + 491785866466

nr@sieber-wensauer.de

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