On the Way to G20: Germany Hosts Africa Conference as Kick-Off event
Quite everybody at the conference feels confident: investments in Africa will help stepping up future collaborations. But who will be the profiteer in the end?
Due to their G20 presidency the German government hosted an Africa conference which ended on 13th of June. Leaders of 20 developing countries followed the invitation to Berlin. The aim of the conference was to build a sustainable partnership between Europe and Africa to prevent past mistakes.
How this partnership should look like is not quite clear yet. Both continents do have ambitious approaches and plans on how to achieve the set goals. Now these different opinions need to be integrated to a coherent picture. Just Germany itself already has three different plans from three different ministries: the Marshall-Plan of the Ministry of Development, the new “Compact with Africa” plan of the Ministry of Finances and the initiative “PRO! Africa” of the Ministry of Economics. This variety of different approaches lead to the assumption that the different Ministries are starting to prepare themselves for the oncoming election campaign.
The three countries Ghana, Tunisia and Ivory Coast were at the spotlight for being the best in implementing their reform-oriented policies and were therefore guaranteed an investment of up to 300 million Euros.
The question which remains is: can a European investment policy which almost only focusses on building an already functioning infrastructure meet the needs of African countries?
No, assumes ALLAFRICA. They think that one of the top priorities for the growing youth should be to secure a higher quality of education especially for girls. “On top of education and employment, these youth must be empowered. That requires making this new partnership conditional on improving the accountability of government to the citizen they serve“. Just when there is access to basic health, nutrition and clean water one can be empowered.
The Washington Post and the New York Times both focused on this topic as well. They quoted the German chancellor Angela Merkel as she explains: “’If we don’t give young people any prospects, if we don’t invest in education and qualifications, if we don’t strengthen the role of girls and young women, the development agenda won’t succeed,’ she said, noting that if the young have no hope they’ll feel they have to seek a life elsewhere.“ The last part already gives a hint in which direction she is heading. ”’By working together with you for your countries, we will create more security for ourselves‘ and put people smugglers out of business, she added“.
The Deutsche Welle is making it even clearer: “Berlin is seeking to alleviate poverty particularly in African countries whose citizens have been among the hundreds of thousands of people who have arrived in Germany as asylum-seekers over the past two years. Last year, Germany took in around 890,000 migrants, thousands of whom came from African countries including Eritrea, Ghana and Ethiopia“. They also cited Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara in relation to this topic. He said the solution to mass migration "‘lies in the massive creation of jobs through strong and inclusive economic growth,' adding that ‘young Africans will feel better in Africa than elsewhere‘".