Providing assistance in the use of natural resources: the CONNEX Initiative
At the Elmau summit, the CONNEX initiative of the G7 received clear political support once more. Given the right enabling environment, the income developing countries generate from the extractive industries can make a huge contribution to reducing poverty. The aim of the initiative, which was launched in 2014, is therefore to provide even better and more targeted advice to developing countries that have vast extractive resources. Specifically, the initiative is intended to improve the advice available to developing countries engaged in complex contract negotiations, especially in the extractive sector.
Under Germany's Presidency, active efforts have been undertaken to further develop the initiative. Günter Nooke, the German Chancellor's Personal Representative for Africa and BMZ Commissioner for Africa, chaired the G7 working group on the CONNEX Initiative in the run-up to the summit. Among other things, an online information platform was set up (www.negotiationsupport.org), which will be continuously improved and expanded on. A code of conduct for advice on extractive resource contracts was adopted, and agreement was reached on providing support for pilot projects to place experts on the ground in resource-rich developing countries. These issues are key concerns of the BMZ that have now been taken up and visibly included in the summit document.
Germany already sent an important signal in regard to supporting resource-rich developing countries at the 2007 G8 Summit in Heiligendamm. Good governance, an appropriate legal framework, and a transparent and competent administration are key elements and a focus of German development cooperation.