The community which created the organisation, the first of its kind in Poland, has been active for many years while some of its members, whose experience is a valuable resource for the Chamber, have devoted their entire professional life to Africa.
Poland, despite the crisis, has enjoyed a stable high credit rating at the A- level (Standard&Poor's and Fitch) and A2 rating (Moody's). We are also the only European country to have a stable GDP growth and the biggest drop of unemployment rate. There was no need to salvage the banking sector and the country managed to maintain its economic growth. A good economic situation has encouraged Polish entrepreneurs, especially given the fact that European markets, with whom Poland has historical ties, are in recession. Investments outside of European Europe soon followed. An old saying to "never let a serious crisis go to waste" proved to be true.
A social reaction to an interest in Africa has its origins in Cracow. Active Polish and African students created the annual African Festival (2007-2012) with an artistic and cultural focus, whose programme over the years was expanded to include science conferences and economy seminars. Invited experts, travellers and later joined by scientists, diplomats and businessmen came to the old capital to share their knowledge, experience and impressions from their stay in Africa. Such major interest made the organisers realise that there was a certain potential to be tapped into. That is why contacts made in Cracow soon turned into action and found their continuation in Warsaw.
On 15 March 2012 the members of the Chamber were invited to a session of the Parliamentary Team for Africa, where the members of parliament were presented with opportunities for economic cooperation with Africa. The idea was well received. Africa anew began to catch the interest of political elites, who thus far focused on Europe, America or eastern markets.
By the order of the Ministry of Economy, a programme "Go Africa" was created (2013) and was implemented by Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency. This increased the activity of not only small and medium-sized enterprises, but also of the biggest Polish companies, which have recently made their first investments in Africa. The trend was noticed by Jan Kulczyk, the honorary President of Polish-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who was the initiator of the Council of Investors in Africa (2014), raising the Polish profile in Africa as a part of the CEED Institute think-tank.
Years 2014-2015 saw the emergence of numerous new Polish-African organisations (associations, foundations and clusters) and the continuation of previous initiatives. Polish Chamber of Commerce noted and increase of bilateral chambers. New congresses, such as POLANDAFRICA in Łódź, were organised, while others included new fora, such as the annual Forum of Economic Cooperation Africa-Central Europe as a part of the European Economic Congress in Katowice. The members of the Chambers were also invited to the Forum in Krynica or WELCONOMY in Toruń as well as numerous meetings and trade fairs.
Owing to direct contacts the Chamber is a source of the most important tools to establish and develop business contacts. We are paving the way and we are proudly helping Polish entrepreneurs in tapping into new investment markets. Reaching beyond the European Union, we are slowly entering new markets of global economy. Therefore, the Board of Directors of the Polish-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry helps and encourages entrepreneurs to act consciously and collectively in favour of Polish investment in African countries.