Content

Vocational training centre in Kenya
Federal Minister for Development Gerd Müller

"We need a paradigm shift; we have to realise that Africa is not the continent of cheap commodities but rather that the people of Africa need infrastructure and a future."

German Development Minister Gerd Müller
A new partnership for development, peace and a better future

A Marshall Plan with Africa

Africa has great potential – potential which goes well beyond abundant natural resources, cultural diversity, entrepreneurial spirit and innovative force. Roughly half of the world's 20 fastest growing economies are in Africa. By 2035, Africa will have the world's biggest potential labour force.

Africa's population is set to double by 2050, accounting then for 20 per cent of the world's population. Africa is where the global markets, workforce and customers of the future will be found. Accordingly, the challenge is to turn to account the continent's potential and provide work and prospects for the young people living there.

The countries of Africa have set themselves a highly ambitious agenda for the socio-economic transformation they need to accomplish.

The agenda sets out that, by 2063, Africa will be "a prosperous [continent] with the means and resources to drive its own development, and with a sustainable and long-term responsibility for its resources". (Goal 1 of the African Union's Agenda 2063)

In order to help Africa realise this development agenda, we need an entirely new kind of collaboration, a political partnership between equals which offers support for Africa's own agenda. Africa needs African solutions. Therefore, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has taken a new direction in its cooperation with Africa.

The Cornerstones for a Marshall Plan with Africa initiated by the BMZ were presented in early 2017 for discussion in an online dialogue with academics, businesspeople, and representatives from the Churches, society and politics. These cornerstones have since been used to create the conceptual and strategic framework for the BMZ's Africa policy.

Table of contents

A Marshall Plan with Africa

Students in the metal workshop of a vocational training institute in Accra, Ghana

Africa needs sustainable jobs for young people

The Marshall Plan with Africa focuses on the single most important challenge facing the African continent: the need to create 20 million new jobs every year. In the long run, it is the private sector – and not development funding provided by governments – that generates jobs on the ground. That is why development funding is used, among other things, to improve the general environment for sustainable private investment. This helps to generate more jobs and incomes for Africa's young population, and to support economic development that is both self-sustaining and sustainable.

This requires peace and security, and efforts by our partners to improve the environment for investment in their own countries. The Marshall Plan is therefore based on three pillars that have their foundations in our cooperation to date:

  1. Economic activity, trade and employment
  2. Peace and security
  3. Democracy and the rule of law
A pact on the future with Africa

Through its bilateral official development assistance alone, the BMZ currently already makes available in excess of 1.7 billion euros annually for joint activities with its African partner countries in these three areas. And, in 2017, the funds pledged by Germany came to around 2.1 billion euros for the first time since the Marshall Plan with Africa was launched. The existing portfolio of programmes is continuously being brought into line with the guiding principles of the Marshall Plan, and is underpinned with new development projects on the ground.

Africa needs African solutions

Instead of the old donor-recipient paradigm, the basis for cooperation with our African partners nowadays is close political dialogue and a partnership based on mutual obligations. Targeted support is offered for African reform and development efforts with a view to complementing (rather than substituting) our partners' own efforts, because sustainable development is only possible if it is initiated and driven from within. Therefore, governments need to initiate reforms and live up to their responsibility towards their people. And that is why the BMZ, through what are called "reform partnerships", makes targeted support available to countries which are willing to implement reforms.

That said, our guiding principle remains "to leave no one behind". Germany stands by its responsibility to assist the least developed countries, which is why the Marshall Plan with Africa also addresses people's basic needs.

Building site in Accra, Ghana

Joined-up development policy

The guiding principles and concrete recommendations for action contained in the Marshall Plan with Africa also inform the BMZ's policy dialogue.

Thus, the BMZ has been working with African partners, the German government, other donors, civil society and the private sector to further develop and implement the Marshall Plan. After all, the better the harmonisation of different players' efforts, the more effective their support for their African partners will be.

The following sections contain examples illustrating how the BMZ is implementing the Marshall Plan with Africa, the original text of the Marshall Plan as well as an overview of the online dialogue.

Implementing the Marshall Plan with Africa

Reform partnerships

Reform partnerships are a key feature of the Marshall Plan with Africa. They represent the new model of partnership-based cooperation. These new partnerships are based on mutual obligations and greater ownership by our African partners, so that agreed goals can be reached. Within the context of the G20 Partnership with Africa, which was initiated under the German G20 presidency, the reform partnerships are Germany's bilateral contribution to the G20 "Compact with Africa" initiative.

Germany enters into reform partnerships with Compact countries which show particular willingness to implement reforms and undertake their own efforts, and supports these countries in their efforts to improve governance and the macro-conditions for private enterprise.

Accordingly, Germany engages in close dialogue with each partner country in order to develop a tailored partnership which will support the partner country's efforts to reach the specific goals it has set itself for a key sector. The partnership includes a detailed reform agenda, covering both the reform commitments of the partner country and the instruments being offered by the BMZ to support the partner country's reform and good governance efforts.

In order to lend support to reform-minded players in a given partner country, Germany makes its bilateral support and funding commitments contingent upon the partner country's actual progress in implementing agreed reforms. This means, for instance, that some financial contributions are not disbursed until after previously agreed reforms have been carried out successfully.

In 2017, the BMZ established the first three reform partnerships – with Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana in the field of renewable energies and energy efficiency, and with Tunisia in the banking and finance sector.

In 2017 and 2018 alone, the BMZ committed funding of up to 800 million euros for the activities agreed under these three reform partnerships. When added to its other bilateral commitments, this brings the total support provided by the BMZ in that two-year period to more than 1.4 billion euros.

In November 2019, the BMZ concluded reform partnerships with Ethiopia, Morocco and Senegal.

Building site in Accra, Ghana

Promoting vocational training

A major obstacle for companies in Africa is the lack of skilled labour. Promoting vocational training is therefore a priority in German development cooperation.

Together with the African Union, the BMZ has developed the "Skills Initiative for Africa". Its aim is to help improve vocational education and training, especially for girls and women, in Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Tunisia. Since it was launched in these five pilot countries, the initiative has been extended to three more countries, namely Ethiopia, Ghana and Togo. One project has been selected from each pilot country. The EU intends to co-finance the initiative from 2019 onwards.

Within the G20, the BMZ is supporting two initiatives for education and more employment: the G20 Initiative for Rural Youth Employment and the #eskills4girls initiative. The #eSkills4Girls initiative helps women and girls acquire the digital skills they need to improve their employability and close the gender gap that exists in the use of digital technologies.

Digital technology can open up completely new opportunities

The BMZ is strengthening the environment for local IT businesses in its partner countries, for instance through digital centres and the tech entrepreneurship initiative Make-IT, which promotes tech start-ups. Thus, the Ministry is creating space for start-ups and inventors in Africa to develop their business ideas and move sustainable development forward.

The digital centres are places that bring together investors, tech entrepreneurs and talented inventors – both male and female – in order to develop creative digital solutions.

At the same time the centres are assisting African governments in establishing structures and capacities for developing, implementing and rolling out digital strategies and solutions.

Under the Make-IT initiative, the BMZ is collaborating with more than 20 German digital companies, social enterprises and associations. With their help, it has been possible to provide more than 130 digital tech start-ups in partner countries with support in the form of joint training programmes and networking opportunities both in Germany and at home.

Students at a vocational school in Rwanda

Cooperation with the private sector

The BMZ has increased its budget for cooperation with the private sector by over 50 per cent, bringing it to 178 million euros in 2019. This means that goods and services provided to public agencies can now be covered by official export credit guarantees for virtually all African partner countries. The higher non-reimbursable portion normally payable by businesses for such guarantees does not apply to reform countries working with Germany. This sends an important signal to German companies exporting to Africa.

The BMZ has set up a Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation through which it is working with private businesses in six partner countries (Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia) to develop projects which will facilitate investment and hence foster the sustainable creation of employment. A further aim is to set up partnerships between medium-sized businesses in Africa and medium-sized businesses in Germany or Europe.

The Agency for Business and Economic Development is the central point of contact in Germany for companies that want to do business in or with developing countries and emerging economies. The Agency helps companies find financing and support instruments and build contacts on the ground, and advises them in the project planning stages. The BMZ supports these activities through numerous programmes and initiatives.

The develoPPP.de programme, for instance, promotes development partnerships with the private sector. In Africa, more than 100 projects are being implemented jointly by private sector businesses and German development organisations. Up to now, the BMZ has made available more than 443 million euros for this programme, and companies have contributed more than 7,320 million euros.

The develoPPP.de programme is currently being revised in order to gear it more closely to the needs of businesses. One of the changes being made involves opening up the programme to local businesses and also to start-ups and small companies.

Worker in a steel ore processing plant in Mauretania

Increasing domestic revenue

In addition to private investment, tax revenues also play an important role in financing sustainable development. At the moment, however, African countries are missing out on some 100 billion US dollars in tax money each year – double the total amount of all development funding they receive in a year.

The BMZ is therefore working to support efforts – including in the context of the G20 – to fight tax avoidance and generate more domestic revenues in African countries. The training of officials working in tax authorities, courts of audit and ministries of finance is being supported throughout Africa.

With German support, the government of Ghana has, for instance, launched programmes to adapt the country's fiscal, financial and budgetary systems to the principles of good governance.

Further training of an administrative assistant

Promoting financial services for small and medium-sized enterprises

Small and medium-sized enterprises provide some 80 per cent of Africa's jobs. In order to support them, the BMZ – together with the African Development Bank, local banks, KfW Entwicklungsbank and the World Bank – is developing financial services such as loans, local currency loans and risk management that are better tailored to the needs of such enterprises.

Further training of an administrative assistant

Generating more added value locally

Until now, African countries have mainly been exporters of raw materials which are then processed elsewhere. The BMZ is supporting the efforts of its partner countries to establish their domestic industries so that profits generated by the processing of raw materials stay in the country.

And to ensure that revenues from the extractive sector actually benefit the population and are invested in infrastructure and social services, the BMZ also supports the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

The member states of this initiative undertake to report on their commodity transactions. As a member of the initiative, Germany supports the EITI process and advises countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria and Sierra Leone on recording and disclosing their revenues.

Germany is promoting the agricultural and food industries in African countries through 15 green innovation centres. At these centres, experts from the field of development cooperation and the academic community, as well as from companies and federations, work with farmers to develop methods for improving cultivation, reducing harvest losses and enhancing quality standards. They are also developing new marketing methods, promoting self-organisation among farmers and increasing trade along the entire value chain - from field to fork.

Moreover, the BMZ is promoting fair trade to help improve living and working conditions in the production countries.

Workers in a coal mine in Zambia

Strengthening trade with and in Africa

The cost of trade in Africa is often very high, many markets are small, and many countries do not yet comply with WTO standards. That is why the BMZ is supporting its partner countries in building a quality assurance infrastructure to ensure that African goods meet the standards of their target markets. Moreover, it is also working with its partners to boost environmental, health and occupational safety standards. And, as a member of the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation, Germany is helping to strengthen customs systems, for instance. This creates greater security for companies in cross-border trade.

The EU has entered into Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with numerous African countries, granting them duty-free and quota-free access to the European market on a long-term basis. At the same time, however, the African countries are permitted to exempt their more vulnerable sectors (around 20 to 25 per cent of their markets) from open trading, and even to protect their domestic markets from competition from Europe by applying market protection clauses. The opening of these countries' other sectors (which tend to account for 75 to 80 per cent of their markets) is accomplished gradually over an extended period of time.

The agreement concluded with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is already in effect on an interim basis – as are interim EPAs with a vanguard group of countries in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) and Central Africa (CEMAC). These interim EPAs are also open to other countries from these regional groupings.

On top of that, the BMZ is also supporting the establishment of a pan-African free trade zone, known as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and has been supporting the relevant negotiations since 2016 by providing trade-related technical assistance. The goal is to boost trade within the continent of Africa.

The AfCFTA agreement is a modern treaty based on partnership which, however, requires its signatories to meet stringent conditions. Furthermore, by also covering trade in services, the terms of the agreement go well beyond those of ordinary trading agreements, which tend to cover trade in goods only. The free trade agreement has already been ratified by 18 countries, including Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire, which are working with Germany as reform partners. A further nine countries have deposited instruments of ratification with the African Union.

An employee checking juice cartons at a drinks manufacturing plant in Kenya

Securing energy supply

Without a demand-oriented energy supply, there can be no development. SDG 7, the "energy goal" of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, reflects this circumstance, underlining that almost all the other sustainability goals depend on a sustainable energy supply.

Experts believe that, by 2040, demand for energy in Africa will be 80 per cent higher than it is now. That is why the BMZ is supporting its partner countries in their efforts to expand the use of renewable energies, so that energy supply systems will remain sustainable in the future. In Morocco, for example, one of the world's biggest and most modern solar thermal power plants is being built, with assistance from Germany.

Germany is providing support to its partner countries to help them completely restructure their energy sectors. The idea behind this restructuring is that, in future, energy of sufficient quality and quantity must be available in the right place at the right time and at the right price - in other words, the aim is to provide "energy in line with needs".

At the same time, efforts to expand the use of renewable energy sources, in particular in the form of decentralised power supply systems, are being encouraged. A further goal is to improve energy efficiency.

The restructuring of the energy sector is taking place at three levels:

  1. Basic power supply
    In future, the basic supply to meet the energy needs of households and micro enterprises in rural areas is to be secured, for example, by means of stand-alone systems such as rooftop solar kits and solar lamps.
  2. Energy needs going beyond the basic level
    For rural communities, social institutions and small and medium-sized enterprises, energy needs above the basic level are to be secured by means of mini and micro networks.
  3. Energy supply for large-scale users and consumers
    For towns and cities and for industry or mining, energy needs are to be secured by means of grid-based renewable energy and grid densification.
Employees of the solar power station in Ouarzazate, Morocco

"Green people's energy for Africa"

A key initiative towards realising the Marshall Plan with Africa that the BMZ is pursuing is a programme called "Green people's energy for Africa". The programme is designed to support the construction of decentralised, needs-based systems that will provide energy from renewable energy sources in rural areas of Africa. The focus of the programme is on involving local municipalities, cooperatives and businesses; fostering local value chains and the efficient use of energy, in particular in the agricultural sector; and creating employment opportunities.

A feature of the programme are "people's energy partnerships" between municipal players from Africa and Germany, as well as basic and advanced training for technicians in the energy sector.

Under the programme, some 500 or more small and medium-sized enterprises, at least half of them from the agricultural sector, will be supplied as needed with energy from renewable sources, and 500 local and municipal players will receive support for developing business plans and concrete projects.

Solar system on a house roof in Accra, Ghana
Rice paddies in Dano in Burkina Faso
Selected examples of how the Marshall Plan with Africa is being implemented

Fostering close cooperation

Africa is a continent of opportunities and challenges, where poverty and prosperity are close neighbours – much like the continents of Europe and Africa, which are separated by only nine miles of sea at the Strait of Gibraltar.

Roughly half of the world's 20 fastest growing economies are in Africa, opening up a multitude of opportunities for Africa and Europe. This calls for a new dimension in the way we Europeans cooperate with our neighbouring continent. It calls for a partnership between equals, like the Marshall Plan with Africa. The aim of the Marshall Plan is to strengthen Africa's own development forces by providing targeted support and exploring new forms of cooperation.

  • Vocational training centre in Africa
    Cooperation in action

    Young, dynamic and creative – prioritising jobs and opportunities for young people

    Together with its partners in Africa, the BMZ is working to create new employment and training opportunities.

  • Student at a school in Bangui in the Central African Republic
    Cooperation in action

    Ensuring education for all

    As part of the reforms which it has launched, the government of Niger has agreed, for example, that 126 new classrooms in Niamey and around 170 classrooms in the rural areas of Tillaberi and Tahoua will be built with German support.

  • Senior citizens in a supermarket
    Cooperation in action

    Opening the EU single market

    The EU has entered into Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with numerous African countries, granting them duty-free and quota-free access to the European market on a long-term basis. At the same time, however, the African countries are permitted to exempt the more vulnerable sectors of their economies.

  • Cocoa plant with fruits
    Cooperation in action

    Fair trade – key to development

    Côte d'Ivoire is the world's largest cocoa producer. Cocoa is the country's most important export, accounting for 40 per cent of all exports. However, cocoa farmers earn so little that they end up trying to live on just 50 cents a day for each family member.

  • Teenagers washing gold
    Cooperation in action

    Value creation, not exploitation

    Many countries in Africa have valuable natural resources such as oil, gas or copper. If the revenues from these resources are invested in infrastructure and social services, they benefit the whole population. But often this is not the case, and raw materials lead instead to conflicts and exploitation.

  • Rice paddies in Dano in Burkina Faso
    Cooperation in action

    Enhancing local value chains

    The BMZ is supporting 15 green innovation centres for the agricultural and the food sector. At these centres, experts work with farmers to develop procedures for improving cultivation, reducing harvest losses and enhancing quality standards.

  • Handshake
    Cooperation in action

    Making sustainable investments and creating investment incentives

    Africa offers many opportunities for German and European companies. The Agency for Business and Economic Development is the central point of contact in Germany for companies that want to do business with developing and emerging economies.

  • Employee and customer of the FINCA Bank in Kampala, Uganda
    Cooperation in action

    Developing stable financial systems

    One aim of German support in Uganda is to improve access to financial services, especially for the poor population in rural areas.

  • The Uganda Coffee Farmers Alliance (UCFA) manages its coffee deliveries with a smartphone app that was adapted for the coffee market with support from the BMZ.
    Cooperation in action

    Fostering the spread of digital technology

    Digital technologies can help to ensure greater transparency, participation and efficiency. They also make an important contribution towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The BMZ supports its partner countries in seizing the opportunities offered by digital technology.

  • Local knowledge transfer between Bamberg and municipalities in the Maghreb
    Cooperation in action

    Promoting democratisation and responsiveness to citizens' needs

    Well-functioning municipal services and an administration that is responsive to citizens' needs – that is what many people in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia are hoping for, especially after the Arab Spring.

  • Local administration employees in Mauritania
    Cooperation in action

    Stopping tax evasion and illicit financial flows

    Alongside private investments, tax revenues are key to sustainable and successful development financing. This is why the Addis Tax Initiative was launched.

  • Employee in the Ministry of Finance in Accra, Ghana
    Cooperation in action

    Combating corruption, building administrative structures

    With German support, the government of Ghana has launched programmes to adapt the country's fiscal, financial and budgetary systems to the principles of good governance.

  • A pregnant woman during a routine examination in a hospital in Kenya
    Cooperation in action

    Improving family planning and maternal health

    Investing in health – particularly women's and children's health – means investing in a country's future. And providing women with medical care during pregnancy and childbirth also helps to strengthen their role in society.

  • African farmer
    Cooperation in action

    Strengthening women's rights

    In Namibia, 9 million hectares of land have been redistributed and given to disadvantaged people. More than 124,000 people have received land titles, almost half of them women.

  • People in Gambia celebrating the peaceful transition of power
    Cooperation in action

    Building peace and human security

    The African Union plays an important role in crisis prevention and conflict resolution. It has created its own peace and security architecture, which is also supported financially by the EU.

  • The solar power station in Ouarzazate, Morocco, already provides electricity for 350,000 people, creates jobs, increases independence from energy imports and protects the climate.
    Cooperation in action

    Reducing CO₂ emissions and protecting the climate

    Germany has the know-how and the technologies it takes to respond to climate change – such as methods of efficient consumption and sustainable production, but also suitable technologies which can be exported.

Vocational training centre in Africa
Challenges and opportunities for Europe and Africa

Young, dynamic and creative – prioritising jobs and opportunities for young people

Together with its partners in Africa, the BMZ is working to create new employment and training opportunities. For example, Kenya and Germany have together launched a vocational training initiative.

As part of the initiative, Germany's experience with the dual vocational training system will be integrated into the Kenyan training system, which is already well defined. The result will be new opportunities and new jobs for Kenya's youth.

New and innovative fields of work have not been forgotten either, for example in the creative industries. Whether it is music, film, design or the games industry – the creative sector is the market of the future and offers a wide array of income and work opportunities for young people. Kenya, South Africa and Senegal are among the pilot countries where young creative talents are being nurtured and supported.

Student at a school in Bangui in the Central African Republic
Challenges and opportunities for Africa

Ensuring education for all

As part of the reforms which it has launched, the government of Niger has agreed, for example, that 126 new classrooms in Niamey and around 170 classrooms in the rural areas of Tillaberi and Tahoua will be built with German support. As a result, an additional 12,500 girls and boys will be able to go to school.

Although conditions are difficult, this is a vital contribution towards reducing the high poverty rate in Niger, which currently stands at 50 per cent.

Senior citizens in a supermarket
Challenges and opportunities for Europe

Opening the EU single market

The EU has entered into Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with numerous African countries, granting them duty-free and quota-free access to the European market on a long-term basis. At the same time, however, the African countries are permitted to exempt the more vulnerable sectors of their economies (around 20 to 25 per cent of their markets) from open trading, and even to protect their domestic markets from competition from Europe by applying market protection clauses. The opening of these countries' remaining sectors (which tend to account for 75 to 80 per cent of their markets) is accomplished gradually over an extended period of time.

A number of African countries are currently engaged in negotiations to set up the African Continental Free Trade Area, or AfCTA. Building on that, the EU aims, in the long term, to conclude an inter-continental agreement between the European Union and AfCTA.

Cocoa plant with fruits
Challenges and opportunities for Europe

Fair trade – key to development

Côte d'Ivoire is the world's largest cocoa producer. Cocoa is the country's most important export, accounting for 40 per cent of all exports. However, cocoa farmers earn so little that they end up trying to live on just 50 cents a day for each family member. And many children work on the cocoa plantations instead of going to school.

With conventionally produced chocolate, only seven per cent of the value added remains with the producers. With fair trade chocolate, that figure is double. With every mug of chocolate cocoa we drink, we can take the conscious decision, as consumers in Europe, to help improve the living and working conditions of the people in Côte d'Ivoire.

Teenagers washing gold
Challenges and opportunities for Europe and Africa

Value creation, not exploitation

Many countries in Africa have valuable natural resources such as oil, gas or copper. If the revenues from these resources are invested in infrastructure and social services, they benefit the whole population.

But often this is not the case, and raw materials lead instead to conflicts and exploitation.

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) improves financial transparency and accountability in the extractive sector. As a member of the initiative, Germany is supporting the EITI process, advising countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria and Sierra Leone on recording and disclosing their revenues.

Rice paddies in Dano in Burkina Faso
Challenges and opportunities for Africa

Enhancing local value chains

The BMZ is supporting 15 green innovation centres for the agricultural and the food sector. At these centres, experts from the field of development cooperation, from companies, business associations and the academic community, work with farmers to develop procedures for improving cultivation, reducing harvest losses and enhancing quality standards.

The centres are also involved in developing new marketing methods, promoting self-organisation among farmers and increasing trade along the entire value chain – from field to fork.

Handshake
Challenges and opportunities for Europe

Making sustainable investments and creating investment incentives

Africa offers many opportunities for German and European companies. The Agency for Business and Economic Development is the central point of contact in Germany for companies that want to do business with developing and emerging economies.

The Agency helps companies find financing and support instruments, and build contacts on the ground, and advises them in the project planning stages. The BMZ supports these activities through numerous programmes and initiatives.

Employee and customer of the FINCA Bank in Kampala, Uganda
Challenges and opportunities for Africa

Developing stable financial systems

One aim of German support in Uganda is to improve access to financial services, especially for the poor population in rural areas. The BMZ is working with Uganda's financial oversight authority, its banks and financial institutions, and with training centres and consumer associations to improve the basic financial literacy of the population.

Moreover, stricter laws and consumer protection regulations are helping to tighten supervision of the financial sector in Uganda and to monitor digital transactions more effectively so that not a single Ugandan shilling goes astray.

The Uganda Coffee Farmers Alliance (UCFA) manages its coffee deliveries with a smartphone app that was adapted for the coffee market with support from the BMZ.
Challenges and opportunities for Africa

Fostering the spread of digital technology

Digital technologies can help to ensure greater transparency, participation and efficiency. They also make an important contribution towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The BMZ supports its partner countries in seizing the opportunities offered by digital technology, and in coping with the risks and overcoming the inequalities that can ensue.

That is why, for instance, it is helping these countries to provide access to health services. In Africa, more than 1.6 million people die each year because they do not have access to vital medicines. And many countries lack the roads and ferries needed to transport vital medicines and blood supplies quickly enough to rural or remote areas. Sometimes such supplies cannot be delivered at all. One solution to these logistical obstacles could be the deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or "drones").

Deliver Future

The BMZ is currently working with the logistics company DHL on a pilot project called "Deliver Future", which is testing the regular delivery of medicines for up to 400,000 people living on an island on the Tanzanian side of Lake Victoria. In an initial pilot phase, UAVs completed several hundred test flights over a distance of 64 kilometres, allowing the project managers to test the technical capacities of the unmanned aerial vehicles. In addition, 4 local people have been trained to pilot the UAVs. Furthermore, the BMZ is helping to boost employment opportunities in the region by supporting the development of local maintenance and repair capacities as well as training courses and workshops.

Local knowledge transfer between Bamberg and municipalities in the Maghreb
Challenges and opportunities for Europe and Africa

Promoting democratisation and responsiveness to citizens' needs

Well-functioning municipal services and an administration that is responsive to citizens' needs – that is what many people in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia are hoping for, especially after the Arab Spring. For the countries of the Maghreb, this is a mammoth task. The German cities and municipalities, building on their own experience, can help them with it.

The German government is promoting partnerships between municipalities in Germany and North Africa to allow them to share their knowledge and experience. The focus of the partnerships is on joint projects, such as renovating buildings, improving waste management or creating cycle paths and green spaces.

Developing the media to boost good governance

Media that act professionally and have a secure financial footing play a key role in fostering democracy and good governance. That is why, in ten African countries, from Namibia to Kenya and from Ghana to Ethiopia, the German government is helping to train journalists and teach young people how to deal with the media in a critical and competent manner. It is also helping to improve access to information – via local radio stations, for example.

Local administration employees in Mauritania
Challenges and opportunities for Europe and Africa

Stopping tax evasion and illicit financial flows

Alongside private investments, tax revenues are key to sustainable and successful development financing. This is why the Addis Tax Initiative was launched.

The initiative supports developing countries in further improving their tax and customs regimes. In the long run, this helps to increase tax ratios, generating revenues which can be invested in infrastructure and social services.

Employee in the Ministry of Finance in Accra, Ghana
Challenges and opportunities for Africa

Combating corruption, building administrative structures

With German support, the government of Ghana has launched programmes to adapt the country's fiscal, financial and budgetary systems to the principles of good governance.

The programmes are aimed at boosting tax revenues, improving the management of public finances, increasing accountability to parliament and to the court of auditors, and reducing corruption.

A pregnant woman during a routine examination in a hospital in Kenya
Challenges and opportunities for Africa

Improving family planning and maternal health

Investing in health – particularly women's and children's health – means investing in a country's future. And providing women with medical care during pregnancy and childbirth also helps to strengthen their role in society. That is why Tanzania is making a great effort to improve basic medical care for women and children in particular.

Examples include health insurance for women during pregnancy and childbirth, immunisation of children and further training of medical staff. Between 1999 and 2015, child mortality in Tanzania was reduced by half.

African farmer
Challenges and opportunities for Africa

Strengthening women's rights

In Namibia, 9 million hectares of land have been redistributed and given to disadvantaged people. More than 124,000 people have received land titles, almost half of them women. And it is also the women who benefit most from improved legal certainty and secure access to land.

A number of ministries and authorities, assisted by a German project team, were involved in the process.

People in Gambia celebrating the peaceful transition of power
Challenges and opportunities for Europe and Africa

Building peace and human security

The African Union plays an important role in crisis prevention and conflict resolution. It has created its own peace and security architecture, which is also supported financially by the EU.

Its focus is on promoting African-led peace missions, election monitoring, detecting crises at an early stage and mediating in conflicts. Successful missions include, for instance, negotiations for a ceasefire in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the peaceful change of government in Gambia.

The solar power station in Ouarzazate, Morocco, already provides electricity for 350,000 people, creates jobs, increases independence from energy imports and protects the climate.
Challenges and opportunities for Europe

Reducing CO₂ emissions and protecting the climate

Germany has the know-how and the technologies it takes to respond to the most pressing challenges posed by climate change – such as methods of efficient consumption and sustainable production, but also suitable technologies which can be exported.

In Morocco, for example, Germany is helping to build one of the world's biggest and most modern solar thermal power plants.

Selection

Your feedback and comments

Many partners engaged in German development cooperation, but also representatives from the business sector, academia, the churches, civil society and politics, took part in our dialogue on the Marshall Plan with Africa.

The cornerstones for a Marshall Plan with Africa (as at January 2017) can be read here or downloaded here (PDF 1.3 MB).

Below is a selection of points that sum up the main tenor of the feedback we received, organised by topic, as well as a few selected quotes from the comments made.

Economic activity, trade and employment

  • Eliminate European agricultural subsidies.
  • Use ODA funds to meet basic needs instead of subsidising the private sector.
  • European Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are detrimental for the regional economy and should be abandoned.
  • The risk of excessive debt must be taken into account. Learn from the experiences of the debt crises in the 1990s.
  • The German government has an obligation to meet the 0.7 per cent [of GDP] target.
  • More focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

"Europe should abolish all agricultural subsidies that undermine the competitiveness of non-European suppliers on European markets. To support German importers, the instrument of Import Promotion Desks (IPDs), financed by the BMZ, should be extended to more African countries."

German-African Business Association (Afrika-Verein der Deutschen Wirtschaft)

"It's not just about raw materials (which, for me, also include unprocessed bananas). It's about investing in the processing of raw materials, especially in the agricultural sector. Not coffee beans but coffee must be exported. That means supporting investments in production processes. That will also help to tackle the pressing problem of unemployment (item 3)."

TransFair e.V.

"The envisaged Economic Partnership Agreements between the EU and Africa pose a major threat to the regional economy (priority is given to European exports; local production and regional trade zones are disrupted). They should be suspended until trade relations have been reorganised in a way that is actually conducive to development."

Order of Malta Worldwide Relief (Malteser International)

 

Peace and security

  • It is vital to have instruments that will help prevent conflict.
  • Re-exports of small arms must be tackled.
  • General ban on arms exports, including the granting of licences, outside NATO and the EU.
  • Strengthen regional capacities and a security partnership: Is Germany letting Africa down in situations of crisis?
  • Lack of transparency in the practice for approving arms exports, and too strong a focus on the interests of German companies.

"Whenever small arms from Germany have been spotted in African crisis regions in the past, they have usually not been exported directly but have come to these regions through other channels, presumably via illegal re-exports from countries such as Iran or Saudi Arabia."

Bonn International Center for Conversion

"We are advocating for a law on the control of arms exports that puts a ban on arms exports and the granting of licences to reproduce weapons of war to non-NATO and non-EU countries."

MISEREOR One World working group

 

Democracy and the rule of law

  • Fragile states must not be neglected. Corruption has a particularly detrimental effect there.
  • Corruption can only be stopped if civil society has a voice so it can exert its monitoring function.
  • The Marshall Plan with Africa contains only a few references to gender-specific aspects.
  • Establish an independent public prosecutor's office, taking the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) in Romania as a role model.

"It is particularly important not to lose sight of unstable countries. As corruption is widespread and there are no legal sanctions in these countries, international companies will want to keep on exploiting the continent. This, in turn, can cause people to migrate to other countries."

Comment from a private individual

"This [stemming illicit financial flows] not only requires the support of the international community but also depends on civil society being able to participate. Many governments are against just that. The achievements in Rwanda, which are praised in the Marshall Plan, are based on this approach. From a human rights perspective, that is a dangerous basis for the country's development."

Kindernothilfe (German NGO which supports children in need)

"If women had the same access to agricultural resources as men everywhere in the world, yields could go up by 20 to 30 per cent, economic output could grow by 2.5 to 4 per cent and the number of people suffering from hunger could go down by between 12 and 17 per cent."

UN Women Germany

 

Food, agriculture, protecting natural resources

  • The agricultural sector is what drives economic growth in Africa - this sector has great potential for creating many jobs.
  • More attention needs to be paid to the effects of climate change on agriculture and food security and to access to water.
  • Policy coherence is regarded as a prerequisite for development in Africa. Making Africa less dependent on imports will mean adjusting German and European agricultural and trade policies (e.g. by eliminating agricultural subsidies).

"The Silicon Valleys of this world do not create jobs for the masses of young people. And agriculture remains the key economic factor. ‘Buy proudly African!!!': local processing and marketing of agricultural products can create more jobs."

Welthungerhilfe

"In the light of the G20 Agriculture Ministers' Declaration 2017 and the GFFA Communiqué, which both recognise the importance of water, the importance of water for agriculture and food security should be emphasised more."

Dr Uschi Eid

"With regard to agriculture and rural development, the Ministry of Agriculture has a special obligation to make both German and, in particular, EU agricultural policy coherent with the goals of the Marshall Plan with Africa."

Germanwatch e.V.

 

Energy and infrastructure

  • Create incentives for a European-African joint venture for the production of materials, equipment and facilities for energy infrastructure.
  • Take greater account of the potential of renewable energy for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Highlight the importance of water and sanitation infrastructure for economic development and health.
  • Use lessons learned from Germany's new direction on energy.

"The costs for achieving the infrastructure goals set forth in the SDGs alone are estimated at one trillion US dollars. This cannot be done without private sector involvement. So it is all the more important to ensure that participation and contracting processes are open, transparent and competitive - e.g. through ‘open contracting'. In this way, communities and municipalities - both through citizens' organisations and local companies - will have the same level of information and can be involved in the decision-making processes."

Open Contracting Partners

"In the past, investments in infrastructure have often failed to achieve the desired effect. For the areas of water and wastewater management, the following rule should apply: no infrastructure without local capacity building and realistic and sustainable operator models."

Bremen Overseas Research and Development Agency (BORDA)

"In our view, one of the lessons learned from the energy transition in Germany is that expanding renewable energies should go hand in hand with increasing consumption efficiency. At the same time, well-functioning decentralised structures also require a certain degree of digital technology for efficient systems management and control."

Professor Klaus Josef Lutz, Chairman of the Executive Board, BayWa AG

 

Health, education and social protection

  • Private capital can help in establishing a good health system only to a limited extent.
  • Ensure practice-oriented training, for example by exchanging experiences and ideas with German companies.
  • Water and sanitation are not just vital for promoting health (especially of children) but also for the school enrolment of girls.

"Strengthening health systems for particularly vulnerable groups across the whole continent can only be achieved through official development assistance. The mobilisation of private capital can only help in some areas."

Kindernothilfe (German NGO which supports children in need)

"In Chapter 4.4. on health, education and social protection, it is pointed out that girls and women are in a special situation with regard to access to education and family planning. Here, it would be desirable to also refer to the need to collect disaggregated data and to improve the national structures of civil registration services. The German government should systematically and significantly step up targeted support to disadvantaged groups, both at the national and at the international level. In all development projects of the BMZ and its implementing organisations, data should be collected in such a way that it can be broken down by all relevant grounds of discrimination."

Plan International Deutschland e.V. (children's aid organisation)

"...and sadly this aspect is ALWAYS overlooked: the fact that many girls drop out of school when they begin menstruating as there are no acceptable toilet facilities, and that many girls do not go to school when they have their period."

Dr Uschi Eid

 

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