The Europe-Afrique 2022 Forum in Marseille at the heart of the global recovery

The Europe-Afrique 2022 Forum in Marseille at the heart of the global recovery
08 March 2022 / Grow your business, Start your business

New highlight for European and African metropolitan areas

The Europe-Africa Forum will take place on March 17, 2022 at the Palais du Pharo in Marseille as part of the French presidency of the European Union. Organized by the Metropolis of Aix-Marseille-Provence with the newspaper La Tribune and La Tribune Afrique, the forum aims to strengthen Euro-African partnerships and identify new avenues for collaboration.
Provence Promotion, which works with Africa, particularly in the digital field, supports this forum and will take advantage of the opportunity to present African companies that have come to develop in Aix-Marseille-Provence. While the European Union is the largest trading partner of Africa, the territory is positioned as a natural hub to build links with all African countries.

The city of Marseille has been chosen to host the Europe-Africa Forum 2022. The event will bring together, at the Palais du Pharo, many personalities including Vera Songwe, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, who will speak at the official opening of the forum alongside Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market and Martine Vassal, President of the Metropolis of Aix-Marseille-Provence and President of the Bouches-du-Rhône Departmental Council.

Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy, Finance and Recovery, will speak about the ambition to build new relations between the two continents based on zero exclusion, zero carbon and zero poverty.

The Forum will focus on themes such as

  •     the redesign of a new economic and financial deal,
  •     the climate emergency
  •     the positive economy,
  •     entrepreneurship,
  •     innovation & digital,
  •     or the co-construction of the inclusive city in 2030.

The recovery will be also addressed from the perspective of sport, training and education, ports, investment and sustainable infrastructure.

Women such as Patricia Ndam Njoya, Mayor of Foumban in Cameroon, will talk about their involvement in economic, political and associative life to create bridges around shared projects and values. Other mayors of African metropolises will travel to the event such as the mayors of Douala, Tananarive, Sousse and Tunis.

Investments of African companies in Provence

Provence Promotion, as part of its mission to support foreign direct investment in Aix-Marseille-Provence and the Pays d'Arles, will present 4 successful African companies that have set up operations in Provence:

- the HPS Group, a Moroccan leader recognized worldwide in the publishing of dedicated electronic payment solutions, which bought Acpqualife in Aix-en-Provence in 2010 to develop its R&D. Among its clients, major international financial institutions. Since then, the Aix-en-Provence team and premises have expanded thanks to fruitful partnerships, particularly in the field of software testing.

- Purpi, a start-up founded in Marseille by Tunisian Waël Dehmani who worked with the Bigdeal company in Africa. A solution based on year-round promotions to bring consumers back to the city center. The project was made possible thanks to a collaboration between a Tunisian start-up studio, Factory 619, Provence Promotion and Emerging Valley, which was behind this entrepreneur's first visit to the region. After having benefited from the Accelerator M and now from the French Tech Aix-Marseille Région Sud, Purpi is preparing to launch its application in France very soon.

- Digilogie, an SME based in Congo, which has opened its subsidiary Ingenio in Marseille. As an integrator of telecom systems and services, its project in France is to create its holding company and make it its international decision-making center. One a "procurement center" for the efficiency of purchasing processes, and one "talent center" for skills management.

- the start-up Lifi-led. Ange Frédérick Balm, a computer engineer from the Ivory Coast, is developing a solution for accessing the Internet using Lifi (light fidelity) technology. The connection is made thanks to the light produced by solar energy.

The power of attraction of the Provence hub to access Africa

Between Africa and Europe, Provence is the ideal location for companies targeting the African continent. From a geographical and logistical point of view, the advantages are numerous. Frequent maritime links, easy access by air and a business culture with African interlocutors make Aix-Marseille-Provence a very attractive place to access the markets of North Africa, the Middle East and the Sub-Sahara.

In order to illustrate the attractiveness of Provence as a hub to adress the African market, Provence Promotion invited Kintetsu World Express (KWE), the Japanese freight forwarder, to testify about its establishment in Marignane since 2019. The fifth agency in France, KWE has high hopes for this Asia-Europe-Africa interface.

In the dynamics of freight and import-export, the Marseille-based company Seafoodia, which markets its seafood products in 70 countries, is also banking on Africa for its development.

At the end of the Forum, a trophy ceremony is organized for 3 companies whose success and developments are related to Africa.

Thus, Seafoodia will receive a prize from Africalink, the Top20 Club and the CCIAMP. On behalf of the Metropolis Aix-Marseille-Provence, two investors accompanied by Provence Promotion in their establishment on the territory will be distinguished by a label "Invest in One Provence": the Moroccan group HPS which chose to invest by external growth in Aix-en-Provence to reach the French and European markets, and the Japanese group KWE for having chosen to locate in Marignane to access the African markets.