The project titled “Project for business exchange regarding high economic and environmental impact between the Canary Islands and West Africa“, presented by the Cabildo Insular (Island Council) of Fuerteventura, was selected in the “I Call for Operational Program of Territorial Cooperation INTERREG V-A Madeira, Azores and Canary Islands (MAC) 2014-2020 “as the main beneficiary of the financial contribution of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It has a budget of 529,408.53 euros, 85% financed by the ERDF.
The Operational Program of Territorial Cooperation Madeira-Azores-Canary Islands (MAC) 2014-2020 is the main instrument for the outermost regions of Spain and Portugal to provide an effective response to the common challenges they face in terms of innovation, competitiveness, internationalization and sustainable development.
The five major areas or thematic objectives of the “I Call for Operational Program of Territorial Cooperation INTERREG V-A Madeira, Azores and Canaries (MAC) 2014-2020” are:
- Point 1: Strengthening research, technological development and innovation.
- Point 2: Improve the competitiveness of companies.
- Point 3: Promoting climate change adaptation, risk prevention and management.
- Point 4: Preserving and protecting the environment and promoting resource efficiency.
- Point 5: Improve institutional capacity and efficiency of public administration.
Being Point 2 on “Improving the competitiveness of the companies” the one impelled by this project and with which it is intended to create the conditions for the internationalization of the companies in the Canaries in general and in Fuerteventura in particular. It also includes actions related to improving the competitiveness of companies, namely:
- The promotion of business cooperation for the development and implementation of business models for SMEs in the area of cooperation.
- Legal, technological, commercial and scientific support services for innovation and business internationalization.
The Cooperation Area is composed of Madeira, the Azores and the Canaries, as well as three countries: Cape Verde, Senegal and Mauritania, which due to their geographical proximity have been invited and have accepted to participate in the Program that has allowed the expansion of the natural space for socio-economic and cultural influence.
The project for the business exchange regarding high economic and environmental impact between the Canary Islands and West Africa (AFRIMAC) has as an investment priority in the support to the capacity of SMEs to grow in regional, national and international markets and in the processes of innovation.
Likewise AFRIMAC seeks to promote the internationalization of companies from the cooperation area in the field of high added value.
On the one hand, it is proposed to act in specific sectors of high added value such as water and renewable energies. Thus, actions will be taken to increase knowledge of these sectors and promote business cooperation.
On the other hand, in order to increase trade at international level, it is proposed to put into operation networks based on a technological platform that serves as a meeting point between the needs generated in African countries and the search for suppliers and even financing for the same.
In a transversal way, we intend to improve the competitive potential and the entrepreneurship in the productive fabric of the cooperation area. Thus, actions are promoted to improve human capital and entrepreneurship and a pilot project to empower women in business.
The specific objectives of AFRIMAC are:
- Analysis and identification of business opportunities in the field of water and renewable energy in Africa
- Implementation of international trade missions of a sectorial nature (water and renewable energies)
- Holding of international business meetings in the field of water and renewable energies
- Creation and structuring of working groups for the development of internationalization initiatives through a technological platform
- Dynamization of working groups for the development of internationalization initiatives through a technological platform
- Improvement of human capital and entrepreneurship promotion
- Empowering women in business areas
AFRIMAC is led by the Cabildo Insular (Island Council) of Fuerteventura as the main beneficiary, in collaboration with the following beneficiaries:
- The Official Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Services and Navigation of Fuerteventura
- The Technological Park of Fuerteventura.
- Participants from third countries are:
- Ministère des Postes et des Télécommunications de Sénégal (Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications from Senegal)
- Agence pour l’Economie et la Maîtrise de l’Energie de Senegal (Agency for Economy and Energy Management from Senegal)
- Ministère du Petrole, de l’Energie et des Mines de Mauritania (Ministry of Petrol, Energy and Mines from Mauritania)
- Agencia para o Desenvolvimento empresarial e Inovação (ADEI) de Cabo Verde (Agency for Business Development and Innovation from Cape Verde)
And the following partners:
- Canary Islands Agency for Research, Innovation and Information Society (ACIISI)
- Casa África Consortium
- General Directorate of Economic Promotion
- Sociedad Canaria de Fomento Económico S.A. (Canary Society of Economic Promotion S.A.)
- Insular Cabildo (Island Council) of La Palma
- University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria