A Marshall Plan with Africa

Your feedback and comments

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

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

Below is a brief summary of the main tenor of the comments we received on each topic and some 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 a threat to the regional economy and should be terminated.
  • 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 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.
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 within the NATO and the EU.
  • Strengthen regional capacities and a security partnership: Is Germany letting Africa down in situations of crisis?
  • Lack of transparency in approval practice for arms exports, focus too strongly 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 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 few references to gender-specific aspects.
  • Establish an independent public prosecutor’s office, taking the National Anticorruption 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 a dangerous basis for the country's development.
Kindernothilfe e.V.

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 the 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. Local processing and marketing of agricultural products can create more jobs: be proud to buy African!!!

In the light of the G20 Agriculture Ministers' Declaration 2017 and the GFFA Communique, 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 the 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 the transformation of the energy system in Germany.
The estimated costs for achieving the infrastructure goals set forth in the SDGs alone are estimated at one quintillion 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

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.

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 digitalisation for efficient systems management and control.
Prof. Klaus Josef Lutz, CEO 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 e.V.

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 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 discrimination grounds.
Plan International Deutschland e.V.

... 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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