International Network

1st Maghreb Purchasing Initiative
15/02 2021 // International

1st Maghreb Purchasing Initiative - German companies discover North Africa's potential

Source: BME e.V.

From 17.11.2020 to 08.12.2020, the Association for Supply Chain Management, Procurement and Logistics (BME) carried out the 1st Maghreb Purchasing Initiative on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). As part of the free of charge initiative, 13 German industrial companies held digital B2B talks with almost 40 suppliers from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.

The initiative was a project-related funding measure under the BMWi market development programme for SMEs. The aim of the new format is to efficiently introduce qualified suppliers from Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco to the concrete procurement needs of German companies. The Maghreb purchasing initiative follows on from the Western Balkans purchasing initiative, which was also initiated by the BME.

Initiative generates great interest among suppliers and buyers

The initiative, which was planned as a conference at the Dortmund Chamber of Industry and Commerce, had to be conceived and carried out online due to the COVID-19 situation. Despite the circumstances of positioning a new instrument virtually in the Maghreb, the Maghreb Purchasing Initiative met with a great positive response from all participating companies. 33 German companies participated in the supplier qualification process.

At the first event of its kind for the North African procurement region, most of the German industrial companies came from the machinery and plant construction, automotive supply, energy and defence sectors. On the supplier side, expertise was concentrated on the metal sector.

Market screening in speed-dating format

Buyers chose a matchmaking day over a period of about 20 days, during which facilitators individually assist them. This in particular was positively emphasised by the German participants. In this way, the Maghreb purchasing initiative was able to build on the good results of its sister initiative, the Purchasing Initiative Western Balkans.

In fact, 15 buyers from 13 German industrial companies discussed joint options with almost 40 qualified suppliers from the Maghreb region. The process, coordinated by the BME individually for each buyer, is one of the strengths of the purchasing initiative. Well over 100 suppliers wanted to take part in the B2B rounds, and more than a third had the necessary product portfolio, expertise or qualifications.

Potential of the region largely unknown in Germany

"The market has potential," says Olaf Holzgrefe, Head of International at the BME, "it is important to get a realistic view of this potential and to assess it pragmatically. The southern EU members use North Africa much more than Germany, which traditionally prefers South Africa for industrial subcontracting in Africa."

The BME was able to rely on high-performance cooperation partners in the search for suitable suppliers from the Maghreb and in the implementation of the initiative. The German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHK) in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia supported the BME in establishing contacts. In addition, the Euro-Mediterranean Arab Countries Association (EMA e.V.) assisted the project.


Lisa Immensack
Phone: +49 +49 6196 5828-345
E-Mail: lisa.immensack(at) 

Giselle Canahuati
Phone: +49 61969 5828-186
E-Mail: Giselle.Canahuati(at) 


Bild von Olaf Holzgrefe
Olaf Holzgrefe Head of International & Affairs
+49 6196 5828-343
Bild von Marlene Grauer
Marlene Grauer International Project Manager, Project Coordinator Procure2Innovate
+49 6196 5828-129
Bild von Lisa Immensack
Lisa Immensack International Project Manager, Project Coordinator ConnectAchat
+49 +49 6196 5828-345
Bild von Giselle Canahuati
Giselle Canahuati International Team Assistant
+49 61969 5828-186