Nigeria and a number of other African countries will seek to improve trade and investment ties with German at the Germany-Africa Business Forum to be held in Frankfurt on March 23, according to a posting on the Germany-Africa Business Forum website.

The statement said Nigeria's Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechuckwu Enelamah, would be attending the forum. There is already a strong foundation of trade relations between Nigeria and Germany and an even stronger rationale to expand upon them," he is quoted as saying.

"Nigeria is Africa's largest economy, one of its most stable democracies and boasts of a business-friendly climate Whether in construction, manufacturing or technology, German companies carry a legacy of innovation and know-how that can deliver tremendous value for both sides."

According to the statement, Africa is a priority for the German government in 2017 when it holds the presidency of the Group of 20 (G20) leading developed and emerging economies.

There is much consensus for building trade relations; Africa is world's fastest growing region and German companies need to find new markets. This year, Germany will host the first ever privately held event exclusively dedicated to strengthening trade and investment ties between Germany and the African continent," the statement says.

It will capitalise on a wave of interest taken by the German government and companies to increase their engagement with African countries.''

It notes that last October, the German Chancellor made a three-day visit to Mali, Niger and Ethiopia, vowing that Africa will be a major focal point of its G-20 presidency, which began in December, 2016.

It states that even with annual trade with Africa of 60 billion US dollars, Germany has lagged behind other countries which have done more to seize trade opportunities. The Germany-Africa Business Forum will seek to familiarise German companies with the continent and diversify their investment base. Out of more than 10 billion USD in German investments on the continent each year, 90 per cent is with just three countries -- South Africa, Nigeria and Algeria.''

According to the statement, there is a consensus that Africa remains ripe for German investment, from small-startups to industrial giants spanning the economic spectrum. German Mittelstand companies are already showing an interest in places where their skills and technology can bring value. Germany shows a strong need to expand to new markets, with companies doing just two per cent of their business in Africa.''

In addition, the statement says the time to strengthen German-African trade and investment connections has never been greater. The world's 10 fastest growing economies are in Africa and the continent is projected to be the world's fastest growing region until 2040.