German agriculture boss endorses foreign investment in African farming

HowWeMadeItInAfrica | 18 March 2014

Carl Heinrich Bruhn, founder of Amatheon Agri, which has already invested €30m in farming projects in Zambia and Uganda, and plans to spend an additional €350m in the coming two years in other African countries, such as Ghana and Mozambique.

 Carl Heinrich Bruhn’s perception of Africa used to be mostly negative. “I came from this typical view Europeans have of Africa, that it is this continent of hunger, war and corruption.”
However, his opinions made a dramatic about-turn since he first came to the continent to look for investment opportunities. “My view about Africa has changed completely.”

Bruhn is a German farmer who has spent his career working in Europe’s agricultural and food industry. A few years ago he decided to start his own agricultural company, and in 2011 Amatheon Agri was launched. The company has managed to attract various high profile businesspeople, such as former Unilever Africa head Frank Braeken, who joined the company as chief investment officer.  Amatheon calls itself a “European agribusiness and farming company developing and operating sustainable projects in sub-Saharan Africa”. However, it was not Bruhn’s original intention to do business in Africa.

 After initially focusing on opportunities in Kazakhstan and Russia, the company was offered a project in southern Africa, which opened his eyes to the potential on the continent……
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