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"Jointly seize op­por­tu­ni­ties" – Minister Müller takes part in dia­logue about BMZ's new policy on Africa


Minister Müller with the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Augustin Matata Ponyo, at the dialogue event  about BMZ's new policy on Africa

11.09.2014 |

Berlin – "Africa – Continent of Opportunities. A Partnership for Change" is the title of an event in Berlin on 11 September to which German De­vel­op­ment Minister Gerd Müller invited some 200 participants from the political arena and the private sector as well as non-governmental organisations and academia. The purpose of the event is to have a dialogue with all stakeholders about the details of Minister Müller's new policy on Africa.

Minister Müller said, "Six of the world's ten fastest-growing coun­tries are in Africa, and many coun­tries on that continent have seen good and rapid de­vel­op­ment. Yet we continue to think of Africa mainly in terms of crises and wars. But Africa consists of 54 highly different coun­tries. Many of them have great potential, and I want to encourage people to focus more on Africa's opportunities."

Africa is the priority region for Germany's de­vel­op­ment policy. Africa already accounts for about half of Germany's bilateral de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion, that is, 1.2 billion euros a year. The BMZ is planning to increase commitments by at least 100 million euros every year.

"Through our know-how, we can contribute significantly to tapping these opportunities. Our knowledge about modern ag­ri­cul­tur­al cultivation methods is just one of many examples. Today, we are presenting our ideas here at this event in order to discuss them with our African partners."

The event's participants from numerous African partner coun­tries include Augustin Matata Ponyo, the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union.

Participants will discuss core areas of Germany's de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion with Africa and develop practical recommendations that are to inform the BMZ's policy on Africa.

The focus of the event is on peace and security, regional economic and political integration, and education.

In his opening speech, Müller said, "Africa is the continent with the youngest popu­la­tion. The median age in Africa is 19 years. Africa's young people are a huge de­vel­op­ment potential – provided that economic growth is able to offer these young people gainful employment. We therefore want to put a new focus on education and training for young people and on the promotion of employment. We will give special attention to ways in which better use can be made of information and communication technologies for vocational education in Africa."

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