Development policy in the G20

Priority topics and results of Germany's G20 Presidency in 2017

The Group of Twenty (G20) comprises 19 major industrialised and emerging economies and the European Union. Traditionally, the annual meetings of G20 heads of state and government have focused on issues relating to world economic growth, international trade and the regulation of financial markets. Initially, the G20 had been formed in response to the global economic and financial crisis. It has now started to increasingly address the development of answers to other global challenges as well.

At their summit in Seoul in 2010, G20 heads of state and government agreed on a global development strategy that focuses on inclusive economic growth as the centrepiece of global poverty reduction. Ever since, development policy has been a topic in its own right on the agenda of the G20 process.

On 1 December 2016, Germany assumed the G20 Presidency for one year. At the G20 summit in Hamburg in July 2017, important development policy matters were agreed despite difficult conditions. The G20 underlined that it regards sustainable development and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda as guiding principles. For the first time in its history, it placed a regional focus on Africa, entering into a new political partnership with the continent. As a contribution to that partnership, an ambitious initiative for youth employment in rural areas was launched at the Hamburg summit. Even though the US withdrew from the Paris Agreement, the G20 adopted a Climate and Energy Action Plan. Thus, the development initiatives adopted by the Group reflect the slogan of Germany's G20 Presidency, "Shaping an interconnected world".


New G20 Africa Partnership for more investment and employment

Vocational school in Ghana

The new G20 Africa Partnership aims to intensify the cooperation between the G20 and Africa on sustainable economic development. The starting point is the African Union's Agenda 2063. The G20 Africa Partnership provides a framework for G20 initiatives on investment promotion, increased use of renewable energy, rural youth employment, digital education for girls and women and fair taxation. more

Food security – G20 initiative for youth employment in rural areas

A farmer practicing the use of a manual tractor. At the Agriculture and Science University of Malawi, farmers can rent machinery cheaply on a daily rate.

In many developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, young people are the largest demographic. Most of them live in rural areas. Yet rural areas frequently offer few attractive employment opportunities and people see no future for themselves there. The G20 is tackling this major development policy challenge; its Initiative for Rural Youth Employment promotes the nexus of innovation, investment and partnerships for more employment and improved food security. more

Climate and energy – G20 Climate and Energy Action Plan for Growth

View of the earth

Implementing the Paris climate agreement will require a strong international alliance. It must also be combined with sustainable development. During its G20 Presidency, Germany therefore made a point of closely linking the implementation of climate, energy and development goals in G20 and developing countries. The G20 Hamburg Climate and Energy Action Plan for Growth is a clear show of support for the Paris climate agreement. more

The Hamburg Update – implementing the 2030 Agenda

The 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The entire international community is responsible for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The G20 also has a duty. That is why, back in 2016, it adopted its Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda, setting out how the G20 will contribute to the Agenda's implementation. Under Germany's Presidency, that Action Plan was developed further and filled with life. more

Digital inclusion – training and employment for women and girls in the digital world

Girls in a youth centre in Tanzania

Many women and girls are still excluded from using digital technologies. And yet the spread of digital technology has such great potential for achieving the political, economic and social empowerment of women and girls. Sadly, though, women – particularly women in developing countries – often lack the digital skills that are key to participating in the digital world and a prerequisite for accessing many professions. more

Access to capital – a fund for female entrepreneurs

Owner of a hairdressing and beauty salon in Kenya

Promoting the economic empowerment of women was one of the major topics on Germany's G20 agenda during its Presidency. That is why, in Hamburg, the G20 followed the proposal made by Germany and the US and announced an initiative to give women entrepreneurs better access to funding (Women Entrepreneurs Financing Initiative). This initiative is helping female entrepreneurs to set up, expand and manage their businesses. more

Leaving no one behind – financial services for disadvantaged groups

Refugee camp in Jordan

Some two billion people worldwide have no access to financial services such as loans and bank accounts. Worst affected are the most vulnerable in society – the poor, women, young people, displaced people and the rural population, particularly in Africa. With its new Financial Inclusion Action Plan, the G20 is working to advance the provision of financial services in particular for these groups. more

Sustainable economic development – promoting small and medium-sized enterprises

Equity Bank in Embu, Kenya

In developing countries and emerging economies, 70 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have no access to financial services. That means they cannot make necessary investments. As in previous years, one focus of the G20 agenda during Germany's Presidency was on improving access to financial services for SMEs. more

Health – strong health systems to fight pandemics

Blood samples are being prepared with a centrifuge

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa claimed over 10,000 lives and showed that such highly infectious diseases can only be contained with international cooperation. The Zika virus highlighted the need for greater international cooperation on fighting pandemics. In view of this, the German G20 Presidency worked towards strengthening international cooperation in the health sector. more

Marine conservation – marine biodiversity and the battle against marine litter

Diver and turtle

Marine litter poses a great danger not only to marine ecosystems and human and animal health but also to fishing and tourism. Plastic packaging and waste are the main forms of litter to be found in the oceans. The G20 has therefore adopted a Marine Litter Action Plan to prevent and reduce marine litter. more

Accountability – reporting under the SDGs

Electricity generation through concave mirrors in Burkina Faso

Each year, the G20 presents an Accountability Report on its development policy agenda. As well as reporting on progress on development issues, the Report also shows examples of how the G20 is delivering on its pledges on economic, social and ecological sustainability. more

Find out more about the G20

Logo G20 Summit in Hamburg

Would you like to find out more? Below, you can find information on the G20 in general and a list of links to documents and websites offering further information on G20 issues. more

BMZ glossary

Close window


Share page