afrimac participatES IN ECOWAS
The Island Council of Fuerteventura has participated, through Afrimac, in the First Meeting of Associations of Business Women of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) held on the 3rd and 4th of December at Casa África. This collaboration through Afrimac was based on one of its seven specific objectives: the empowerment of women in the business world.
Afrimac is a project for business exchange in matters of high economic and environmental impact between the Canary Islands and West Africa led by the Fuerteventura Island Council and coordinated through the Ministry of Finance, Economic Promotion, Innovation and Employment, directed by Rafael Páez. Its investment priority is to support the capacity of SMEs to grow in regional, national and international markets, as well as in innovation processes. In this way, Afrimac's general objective is to improve the knowledge of existing business opportunities in the international sphere.
On the one hand, it aims to act in specific sectors with high added value such as water and renewable energies. Thus, actions have been carried out to increase the knowledge of these sectors and to promote business cooperation. In this regard, it is worth highlighting the celebration of Africagua in November of last year: an international meeting focused on water and renewable energies. A forum that brings together the public and private sectors to seek and develop opportunities in the countries of West Africa, with the organization of the Government of the Canary Islands, the Island Council of Fuerteventura, Casa África and the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation of Fuerteventura. Institutional and business representatives from Senegal, Mauritania, Cape Verde, Morocco, Equatorial Guinea, Togo, Ghana, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Portugal, France, the Netherlands and Norway took part, as well as organizations and institutions such as the World Bank, the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen), the Alliance for Rural Electrification of Brussels (ARE), the Agency for the Promotion of Universal Access to Services (Apaus), the African Renewable Energy Alliance, and the Infrastructure Project Preparation and Development Unit (PPDU) of the Economic Community of States.
On the other hand, in order to increase trade at the international level, networks have been set up based on a technological platform that serves as a meeting point between the needs that are generated in African countries and the search for suppliers and even funding for them.
This multi-language cooperation and development platform for West Africa provides a solution for the achievement of projects in a collaborative way where the supply and the demand of the different countries are combined, even allowing the search for funding for them. Afrimac is creating specific Web sites for each country in the cooperation zone, directly connected to the communication and resource management platform. Currently this platform already has assembled projects with high possibilities of success.
And in a transversal way, the aim is to improve the competitive potential and the entrepreneurship in the productive fabric of the cooperation space. Thus, actions have been set up to promote the improvement of human capital and entrepreneurship through a pilot project for the empowerment of women in the business field. This pilot project took place during the months of September and November between Senegal and Fuerteventura with the exchange of 30 participants who had the opportunity to improve their training and skills in digital competencies, professional growth and personal enrichment through English language training and practice on the following concepts:
- Technological and social innovation.
- Digital entrepreneurship.
- Digital Marketing.
- Leadership and personal development.
- International financing.
- Programming and robotics.
- In addition to multicultural meetings and institutional visits to companies and centers of interest and to the International Event AFRICAGUA.
Afrimac was presented by the Island Council of Fuerteventura and selected in the "1st Call of the Operational Programme of Territorial Cooperation INTERREG V-A Madeira, Azores and Canary Islands (MAC) 2014-2020” for the financial contribution of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It has a total budget of 529,408.53 euros, 85% of which is financed by the ERDF.
The Operational Programme of Territorial Cooperation Madeira-Azores-Canary Islands (MAC) 2014-2020 is the main instrument available ot the ultra-peripheral regions of Spain and Portugal to provide an effective response to the common challenges they face in terms of innovation, competitiveness, internationalisation and sustainable development.
A new Afrimac 2 project for business, technological, entrepreneurial and innovative exchange in matters with a high economic impact between Canary Islands and West Africa has already been presented to the second call of the Operational Programme of Territorial Cooperation INTERREG V-A Madeira-Azores-Canary Islands (MAC) 2014-2020 in which, in addition to the Island Council of Fuerteventura as the head of the line, the Vice-Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Canary Islands Government, the Canary Islands Institute of Equality and the Radio Ecca Foundation of the Canary Islands are participating. In addition to the third-country partners, the Agence pour l'Economie et la Maitrise de l'Energie (AEME) de Sénégal, the Ministèrio da Industria Comércio e Energia de Cabo Verde, the Ministério da Educação de Cabo Verde and the Association de lutte contre la pauvreté de Mauritanie.