June 29


July 16


B2B Matchmaking for EU SMEs at the Third Japan-Africa Business Forum


The call for applications is CLOSED

The Third Japan-Africa Business Forum will open a virtual B2B matchmaking from 29 June to 16 July 2021 and will exceptionally invite European SMEs* with experience in Africa to meet with Japanese companies wishing to enter African markets.

The event is organised with the aim to bring Japanese companies and investors to Africa and is financed by the Japanese Ministry of Finance and the African Development Bank.

Official website available HERE.

Press release of the African Development Bank available HERE.

* SMEs are companies meeting the standard European Commission criteria for an SME.


  • A preparatory webinar or online meeting;
  • Remote participation in a B2B matchmaking during the Third Japan-Africa Business Forum via the EU-Japan Centre's e-booth from 29 June to 16 July 2021 (in English);
  • Access to the event's webinars from 29 June to 8 July 2021 (in English);
  • Debriefing after the event (questionnaire and eventual online meeting);
  • On a case-by-case basis, support in following up with potential Japanese partners met during the event.


  • Promote EU SMEs already active in Africa to increase visibility toward an audience of Japanese companies interested in doing business in Africa and looking for partners in the continent.
  • Increase your knowledge about promising sectors and business opportunities in Africa as well as EU-Japan business cooperation in Africa.
  • Maximise partnering opportunities with Japanese companies looking to invest/buy/start or expand a business in Africa:
    • Meet potential business partners;
    • Create new business opportunities.


The EU-Japan Centre's e-booth will host SMEs headquartered in one of the 27 EU Member States, or in the U.K., or in countries participating in the COSME Programme.

Candidate SMEs must be active in one of the 5 priority areas targeted by the event:

  • "Light up Africa": energy, oil & gas, renewable energy, geothermal energy, off-grid solutions, independent power producers (IPP), etc.
  • "Feed Africa": agriculture and related technologies, food transformation.
  • "Industrialise Africa": manufacturing, projects of new factories, need for off-takers/buyers.
  • "Integrate Africa": SMEs involved in infrastructure projects in Africa.
  • "Solutions to improve the quality of life of African people": healthcare and telemedicine, education, access to water/sanitation/hygiene, waste management, technology for development including digital and offline/off-grid solutions, etc.

Candidate SMEs with a concrete project in Africa and looking for buyers, investors, technology partners or any other type of business partners have higher chances to be selected.


The company must:

  • Meet the standard European Commission criteria for an SME;
  • Be an SME headquartered in one of the 27 EU Member States, or in the U.K., or in countries participating in the COSME Programme;
  • Have experience with African markets and/or African partners. Companies with a highly innovative product/service/technology that has been successfully applied in developing/emerging countries outside Africa, and with the project to target Africa in the near future might be considered;
  • Be >50% EU (or COSME partnering country) owned;
  • Be an organisation that is an EU (or COSME partnering country) juridical person;

The candidate must:

  • Be a citizen of an EU Member State, or the U.K. or a COSME partnering country;
  • Be at least 20 years of age at the date of submission of the application form;
  • Work in a management position with proven experience in industry;
  • Be supported by his/her employer;
  • Commit to attend the meetings planned during the event;
  • Have a good command of English.


The main criteria for selection are:

  • The above-mentioned eligibility criteria;
  • The above-mentioned 5 priority areas;
  • A proven business experience in African markets;
  • The innovative aspect of the product/service/technology offered by the company;
  • The strategy of the participant's company regarding Africa and regarding Japanese partners;
  • The professional & educational background of the candidate.


Participation is free of charge for the selected EU SMEs. 

Selected EU SMEs will have access to the event's webinars and virtual matchmaking platform through the EU-Japan Centre's e-booth.


  • More information on the First Japan-Africa Business Forum (2014) available here.
  • More information on the Second Japan-Africa Business Forum (2017) available here.


Looking for information about business opportunities with Japanese partners in third markets?

Read and download the following reports on the topic:

  • "Analysis of EU-Japan business cooperation in third countries", available here.
  • "EU-Japan business cooperation in third markets - Focus on the digital economy", available here.



In no event will the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation be liable for any advice or information given by the organisers of the Japan-Africa Business Forum.

In no event will the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation be liable for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, punitive, exemplary, consequential or subsequent damages or any loss of business or profits, regardless of legal theory, whether or not the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation has been warned of the possibility of such damages, for the use, non-use or omission of any information or advice provided by the Japan-Africa Business Forum.


Successful candidates will receive an invitation-only access to the B2B matchmaking platform of the Japan-Africa Business Forum 2021 that must be kept confidential. Successful candidates have the duty to keep all information received from the Japan-Africa Business Forum confidential unless otherwise stated by the organisers of the Japan-Africa Business Forum. The EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation will keep confidential all information provided by the candidates for the application.


The Japan-Africa Business Forum, the African Development Bank and the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation are protected by copyright, logos, trademark, and such other intellectual property rights. In no event the candidates are granted any right, title or interest in the aforementioned trademarks, logos and other intellectual property rights. Any intellectual property right owned by the candidates will remain the property of the candidates.

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