Funding : Germany invests €1B into Africa
Under its €1 billion Development Investment Fund, Germany intends to boost private investment in Africa, easing the way of German businesses into African markets, as well as helping African businesses grow.
On 13 November, German development minister Gerd Müller announced the launch of the €400 million "Africa Connect" initiative, which will provide loans to German businesses looking to expand to African markets.
"The demand for good governance, a strengthening of private investment, and fair trade - these are the three pillars of the new development cooperation with African countries." - the minister said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasized the importance of increasing transparency and trust paving the way for investors from Germany and the G20 countries.
Prioritizing Germany’s relationship to Africa emerged with the increasing number of irregular migrants from the old continent in recent years. This package of development initiatives comes as German policies attempt to treat the root causes of migration locally and support private investment in the region. The German development ministry has agreed to so-called "reform partnerships" with Ghana, Tunisia and Ivory Coast, with more countries set to join.
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, who also holds the rotating presidency of the African Union this year, said in Berlin that private investments play a crucial role in creating stability and prosperity in Africa. Western countries could also benefit from stronger business ties with the continent.
"We have strong potential, a strong political will and a clear vision. Investments play a major role to strengthen the domestic African markets. In the last years we have shown that Africa is one of the strongest regions in terms of development and trade," the president said.
However, critics of the initiative say that it does little to fight poverty in Africa, citing a lack of social and environmental standards for investments.