Implementation: examples

Selected examples of how the Marshall Plan with Africa is being implemented

Reform partnerships

The reform partnerships are among the central elements of the Marshall Plan with Africa and reflect the demand for a new form of cooperation with our partner countries.

Within the context of the G20 Partnership with Africa, initiated under the German G20 presidency, the reform partnerships are Germany's bilateral contribution to the G20 "Compact with Africa” initiative.

The BMZ is also planning to provide additional bilateral support to three reform-minded partner countries (Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Tunisia). The aims are to expand the use of renewable energies, improve energy efficiency and develop the finance and banking sector. In return, these countries commit to undertake reforms.

Two elements play a pivotal role in shaping the reform partnerships. Firstly, bilateral support will be tied to the implementation of reform steps by the partner country, in accordance with the motto "challenge and encourage". Secondly, bilateral support will help selected countries to achieve the goals of the Compact – i.e. improving the general environment for private-sector activity – to create more jobs and income for Africa's young population.

For these three partnerships envisaged for 2017, up to 300 million euros are to be provided under official bilateral development cooperation.

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 dollars in tax money annually – double the amount of all development funding they receive per year. That is why the BMZ, for example in the context of the G20, is fighting against tax avoidance and campaigning for more domestic revenues in African countries. The training of officials working in tax authorities, courts of audit and ministries of finance is being supported Africa-wide.

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.

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 that are better tailored to their needs, e.g. loans, local currency loans and risk management.

Securing energy supply

Experts believe that by 2040, demand for energy in Africa will be 80 per cent higher than today. Therefore, the BMZ is supporting its partner countries in expanding the use of renewable energies. Ultimately, businesses depend on a reliable energy supply if they are to be successful.

In Morocco, the world's biggest solar power plant is being built with German support. It will provide energy for more than 13 million people. In Egypt, the biggest wind farm in Africa is being constructed with Germany taking a leading role. It is set to give 700,000 Egyptians access to clean energy.

Generating more added value locally

Until now, African countries have mainly been exporting raw materials, which are then processed elsewhere. The BMZ is supporting its partner countries in establishing domestic industries so that profits generated with the processing of raw materials stay in the country.

To ensure that revenues from the extractives sector actually benefit the population and are invested in infrastructure and social services, the BMZ is supporting 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 is supporting the EITI process, advising countries like Ghana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Malawi, Mali and Mauretania on recording and disclosing their revenues.

Germany is promoting the agricultural and food industries in African countries through 14 green innovation centres. 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. 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.

Increasing trade

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 supporting Africa on environmental, health, and labour protection standards. As a member of the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation, Germany is helping to strengthen customs systems, for instance. This creates more security for companies in cross-border trade.

Under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), products from Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland are guaranteed tariff- and quota-free access to European markets on a permanent basis. South Africa, as a significantly further developed country, will be given wider access to the European market than it has now. In return, these African countries will gradually open their markets over a twelve-year period for around 80 per cent of the EU's products.

Promoting foreign trade

The BMZ has increased its budget for cooperation with the private sector by over 50 per cent. It is now 126 million euros. Official export credit guarantees are now also available for goods and services for public-sector clients in Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Senegal and Uganda. This sends an important signal to German companies exporting to Africa.

The Agency for Business and Economic Development is the central point of contact in Germany for companies that want to get involved in developing and emerging economies. The Agency helps companies to 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 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 325 million euros for this programme, and companies have provided more than 560 million euros.

Promoting vocational training

The lack of skilled staff is a major obstacle for companies in Africa. Promoting vocational training is thus a priority in German development cooperation. Together with the African Union, the BMZ has developed the Skills Initiative for Africa, which is aimed at improving vocational training, especially for girls and women, in Kenya, Tunisia, Nigeria, Cameroon and South Africa. 15 more countries are to follow. In Kenya, the BMZ has launched a vocational school initiative together with the private sector. It is planned that 5,000 young people will receive training over the next five years.

Within the G20, the BMZ is supporting two initiatives for education and more employment: the G20 initiative for youth employment in rural areas 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 Uganda Coffee Farmers Alliance (UCFA), for instance, is now using a smartphone app, which was adapted by the software company SAP on behalf of the BMZ, to record and manage its coffee deliveries. 13,000 UCFA farmers are benefiting from this app. The data recorded in this way also serves as proof of income, giving smallholders access to loans and investments.


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