US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin gestures as he arrives at the G20 finance minister meeting in Baden-Baden, southern Germany. Uwe Anspach/dpa via AP
Baden-Baden - The Group of 20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in Baden-Baden, Germany, was a “first step” to kick-start private investment in Africa, Moroccan Finance Minister Mohamed Boussaid said.

“This new initiative is completing and accelerating the visibility the continent will have on the worldwide private sector,” Boussaid said on Saturday.

The finance ministries of the G-20 will support partnerships that for the first time will focus on promoting private investment, he said.

Germany, the EU’s largest economy, started a programme called “Compact with Africa” as part of its presidency of the G-20 to build up the continent’s economies and stem migration to the bloc, which has attracted more than 1million refugees since 2015.

Talks on so-called investment partnerships have started with the Ivory Coast, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia, according to the German finance ministry.

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The initiative started with the most dynamic, most economically and politically stable African countries and will expand further, Boussaid said.

Existing investments in Morocco should be complemented by attracting more companies into the sectors of renewable energy, automotive, aeronautics, tourism and agriculture.

The G-20 can set the right conditions with international organisations and partner countries for investments in infrastructure and in small- and medium-sized companies, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said.

“We may not leave Africa’s potential unused,” he said.