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Ten starting points on Africa’s future

Supporting Africa’s potential: With the “Marshall Plan with Africa” Germany is taking a new approach to development cooperation. Ten starting points and three practical examples.

Martin Orth, 31.07.2018
Marshall Plan with Africa: Opportunities for young Africans
Marshall Plan with Africa: Opportunities for young Africans © dpa

“We need a change of paradigm and must understand that Africa is not the continent of cheap resources, but that the people there require infrastructure and a future.” This is the conviction underpinning the “Marshall Plan with Africa” that Federal Minister of Economic Development Gerd Müller presented in 2017.

What is the objective behind the Marshall Plan with Africa?

The “Marshall Plan with Africa” outlines a new dimension in development cooperation – away from the practice of “give and take” and toward more personal responsibility instead. The goal is a prosperous Africa whose development is advanced by the potentials the Africans themselves possess.

What are the ten starting points of the Marshall Plan with Africa?

The ten starting points driving the Marshall Plan describe how Africa’s economic development can be spurred:

  1. We need a new pact on the future between Europe and Africa.
  2. Africa needs African solutions.
  3. Prioritising jobs and opportunities for young people.
  4. Investment in entrepreneurship.
  5. Value creation, not exploitation.
  6. Demanding the right political environment and supporting its development
  7. Reform partnerships, not a blanket approach.
  8. Equitable global structures and institutions.
  9. ODA cannot provide all the answers.
  10. We will leave no one behind.

How is Germany supporting Africa’s economy?

Three examples: The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has joined forces with the African Union to launch the “Skills Initiative for Africa”. This improves vocational training, in particular for girls and women. Moreover, the BMZ supports its partner countries in setting up a high-quality infrastructure to enable African goods to meet the requirements set by the export markets. In addition, BMZ has entered into exclusive reform partnerships with some countries and is, for example, helping with the expansion of renewable energies and the development of the financial sector. In return, the countries commit to reforms that are destined to kindle greater private-sector commitment.

Is the Marshall Plan with Africa a German initiative?

The “Marshall Plan with Africa” is a German initiative under the umbrella of the G20 “Compact for Africa” initiative. In May 2018, German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation Gerd Müller together with the French Secretary of State to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne presented a joint approach for EU-Africa economic relations after 2020 that envisages an ambitious economic partnership between the EU and Africa.