Tuesday

19th Jan 2021

Germany details its 'Marshall Plan' for Africa

  • Germany is set to make Africa a key part of its G20 presidency (Photo: bundeskanzlerei.de)

Germany has unveiled a plan for Africa that aims to increase trade and development as part of a larger effort to curb migrant flows to Europe.

A 33-page blueprint, presented on Wednesday (18 January) in Berlin by Germany's development minister Gerd Muller, covers areas from energy to tax evasion and market access.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Muller said on his website that a "whole new dimension of cooperation with Africa" was needed and that Germany was ready to support governments in Africa in the endeavour.

"Anyone who fights corruption, builds tax systems, invests in education and relies on gender equality can expect more support from us," he said.

He said fast-growing economies in Africa presented a host of opportunities for German businesses.

German media report development funds will increase by another 20 percent for countries that undertake the reforms.

Dubbed the Marshall Plan, in reference to US aid to Western Europe following WWII, the proposal is likely to become a major feature of Germany's G20 presidency this year.

But critics say the blueprint fails to explain how the plan would be tailored to the 54 separate countries on the African continent.

"Unfortunately the Marshall plan remains unspecific on how the concrete measures and instruments will look like," Christoph Kannengiesser, managing director of the Afrika Verein, told Deutsche Welle news website.

The EU launched similar schemes known as migration compacts last summer with Mali, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, and Ethiopia, as part of its new "migration partnership framework".

The EU's effort also aims to slow irregular migrant flows into Europe by looking at the political, social, and economic dimensions of development.

But a progress report issued in December noted major hurdles in terms of linking the compacts with policies on legal migration, trade, energy, agriculture, and education.

Last September, the European Commission had also announced an investment plan for Africa and is hoping to shore up some €88 billion from EU states.

The flurry of recent EU plans can be traced back to the Valletta summit on migration in late 2015. The summit was called in reaction to a large inflow of migrants seeking refuge in the EU.

African heads of governments and states gathered at the event, alongside their European counterparts.

The two sides issued a joint statement on deepening cooperation but differences on readmission of rejected migrants and creating more legal channels for migrants to arrive in Europe remain entrenched. The EU commission had also launched a €1.8 billion trust fund to support the measures.

A follow-up of what has evolved from the 2015 Valletta migration summit is set for early February in Malta.

Investigation

The discreet banker of Africa development

The European Investment Bank has grown, largely unnoticed, into the world's largest lender and borrower, but who is really in charge is anyone's guess.

Opinion

The Lake Chad Basin crisis

With no end in sight to the "tragedy", humanitarian agencies must call for international political and security engagement, the UN's head of migration says.

Opinion

Africa is our destiny

U2's Bono writes that Africa should be at the centre of political leader's thoughts at the latest G20 foreign minister's summit and the Munich security conference this coming week.

Turkey snubs Greece on migrant returnees

The Greek government last week requested that the European Commission and EU border agency Frontex help return 1,450 failed asylum seekers to Turkey. Turkey has refused, citing the pandemic.

News in Brief

  1. EU to set up sharing mechanism for Covid-19 vaccines
  2. Poll: Europeans believe China to eclipse US on world stage
  3. New Covid variant found in Bavaria, Germany
  4. Will Italian government survive senate vote?
  5. UK to probe British Virgin Islands lawlessness
  6. Ice-hockey drops 2021 Belarus world cup
  7. EU's euro-strategy bodes ill for City of London
  8. EU vaccine-refuseniks could face travel problems

EU demands answers on Croat border attacks against migrants

EU commissioner Ylva Johansson wants to send her officials to Croatia sometime this month to make sure authorities there are complying with fundamental rights following numerous allegations of violence against migrants and asylum seekers attempting to cross into the country.

EU watchdog launches probe on Croat border violence

The European Ombudsman is launching a case into the lack of proper oversight by the European Commission when it comes to how fundamental rights of migrants and refugees are allegedly being violated by Croat border police.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  2. CESIKlaus Heeger and Romain Wolff re-elected Secretary General and President of independent trade unions in Europe (CESI)
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersReport: The prevalence of men who use internet forums characterised by misogyny
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic climate debate on 17 November!
  6. UNESDAMaking healthier diets the easy choice

Latest News

  1. What do new CDU chief's pro-Russia views mean for Europe?
  2. Business as usual for EU and Russia, despite Navalny
  3. First look at EU's new '21st Century Bauhaus' project
  4. Turkey snubs Greece on migrant returnees
  5. Tackling frozen conflicts in the EU's own neighbourhood
  6. How one man and his dog made a mark on EU history
  7. Frontex spent €94,000 on a dinner in Warsaw
  8. EU's AI military strategy poses 'threat to Europeans'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us