G-20 partnership with Africa – an urgent dialogue

May 17, 2017

Germany has put Africa at the top of its agenda at this year’s G-20 presidency. Because one wants to take a big step forward, expand cooperation and put the continent in the long term in the focus, also beyond 2017. A first focus is on countries that are ready for profound reforms.

Dr. KY Amoako has a vision. When he looks in Africa’s future, not by his eyes, but by his seven-year-old granddaughter. Then, in the year 2040, he sees an economy that allows jobs for all, an economy that is not based solely on agriculture and raw material exports, an economy that exists in global competition, an inclusive economy with adequate social protection for all. To achieve this, Africa would have to increase its productivity, diversify products, especially in the export sector, and use modern technologies. In addition, people should benefit from higher wages and better jobs, says Amoako.

“Long-term transformation as the key to stability”

Amoako was Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, and is President and Founder of the African Center for Economic Transformation. He knows that he has “aggressive ambitions” – and that their implementation depends on a great deal: the circumstances in the individual countries of the continent, how governments use their resources, companies, the private sector and also civil society , Says Amoako. His focus is clearly on sustainable growth: “The key to stability is a long-term transformation.” He wishes for a “pan-African coalition”. “The G20 partnership with Africa has the potential to make a huge step forward,” adds Amoako, “dialogue is urgently needed”.

Investment partnerships with reform-oriented countries

This need has also been recognized by the German federal government and put Africa at the top of the agenda in this year’s G20 presidency in the form of the German G-20 Africa Initiative. Because Africa wants to play an active part in this cooperation, the African Union Agenda 2063 is to be found, says Thomas Silberhorn, parliamentary undersecretary of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The “Compact with Africa” ​​initiative is aimed at reform-oriented countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia with so-called investment partnerships. In these countries, the framework conditions for private financing should be facilitated, ie for foreign direct investment and investment opportunities in the countries themselves. An important goal.

“Significant efforts” in the financial sector

Another initiative is the “Marshall Plan with Africa”. “African solutions for African challenges” would be achieved, says Silberhorn. He is aware that reforms are difficult. However, in order to really get ahead, for example, “considerable efforts” need to be made in taxation, capacity building in financial administrations and tax authorities. But: “I do not recommend the German tax law for export,” Silberhorn pushes with a smile. In this field, cooperation with other emerging countries would be needed, which could help with more appropriate know-how. A hands-on case for closer South-South co-operation, the BMZ Secretary of State will take a look at the year 2018. The next meeting of the G-20 states takes place in Buenos Aires: “I am hoping, That following G20 presidencies will not put Africa aside. I have already placed this in Argentina. “After all, the sustainable development of Africa” ​​is not a short sprint but a marathon. ”

Original post at Konrad Adenauer Stiftung

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