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International Cooperation: Berlin hosts G20 investment summit, urges greater investment

02.11.2018
In recent times, many world powers such as Russia, China, Turkey, Germany have been making a ‘’come back’’ to the African continent. These powers seek to further strengthen their cooperation in all spheres with Africa. Germany’s resounding presence in Africa came back on the spotlight last year when the country took over the leadership of the group of 20 (G20). In this new engagement, Berlin has vowed to uphold its economic ties with Africa. This gave way for the second summit on German-Africa alliance 2018, seeking to spur greater investment in Africa.

Under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel; the second investment summit dubbed the German-African partnership held in Berlin on October 30th this year. The summit brought together a host of African leaders including Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi of Egypt among others, business officials, international organizations and Chancellor Angela Merkel. With a common goal, the summit sought to improve more private sector investment in Africa. This was an earlier pledge made by Berlin in 2017, when Chancellor Merkel engaged in a new marriage with the African continent. In this new dispensation, Dr Merkel reiterated Berlin’s readiness to help in the infrastructure development of African economies and spur private sector investment. To make this move more realistic, the G20 compact with Africa is working with some financial institutions including the World Bank, the International Monetary fund, and the African development bank.

HOW CAN AFRICA BE MADE FAVOURABLE FOR PRIVATE SECTOR INVESTMENT

During the launch of the G20 compact with Africa on Tuesday Merkel said ’’ it’s critical “not only to talk about Africa but to talk with Africa” about development needs and goals’’. As such, the stakeholders noted that economic stability, fight against corruption, combating terrorism, ensuring security and financing will open up Africa for Private sector investment. Notwithstanding, African leaders like Paul Kagame and Cyril Ramaphosa of Rwanda and South Africa respectively presented the African continent as a favorable destination for investment. It should be noted that the new German-African alliance is open to all African countries, however; only 11 out of the 5 African countries have taken the engagement. They include Rwanda, Ghana, Benin, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Togo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guinea, Morocco, and Tunisia.

INVESTING IN AFRICA WILL CURB MIGRANT CRISIS

It is no doubt that Germany and a host of other European countries have been battling migration over the years. During the German –African summit 2018, Dr Merkel reiterated the need to tackle underdevelopment, fight poverty in Africa through the creation of an investment fund for the continent. According to the chancellor, this presents a start point to ending the migrant crisis. Merkel said, “We Europeans have a great interest in African states having a bright economic outlook,” Thus visible investment will promote job creation, employment opportunities in Africa, a positive factor to ending the illegal movement of young Africans to Europe in search of greener pastures. However, ending migration remains a daunting task.

PAUL KAGAME ADDRESSES G20 INVESTMENT SUMMIT

In his capacity as the chair of the African union and Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame used his prerogatives to call on world leaders, especially the business class to support innovative ventures in Africa to boost its economic drive. Kagame emphasized that the best way to promote business in Africa is to present Africa as a favourable destination for investments. According to Kagame, Africa can be an international ‘’innovation laboratory’’. He reiterated that Regional integration stands as a strong factor to attract foreign investment. The head of state applauded the Volkswagen car assembly that went operational in Kigali Rwanda. Many projects remain to be realised under the German-African Partnership.

WHAT IS THE GROUP OF TWENTY OR G20?

The Group of Twenty commonly known as G20 is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It main objective is ensure International financial stability among member states and beyond. It was created in 1999.

In short, Germany’s drive to help Africa in this new partnership has drawn criticisms from pundits who say the deal is yet to be visibly realised, however; Merkel has promised that before she retires from active political service, the German-African partnership must have spurred strong investment in Africa with the cooperation of her African counterparts, presenting a win-win pact.

AFRIC Editorial Article.

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