German Chancellor Merkel calls for greater investment in Africa

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has underscored the importance of combating poverty in Africa as a way to stem the mass migrant flow to Europe.

Reducing poverty and conflict in Africa were the main topics raised by German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week as she met with African leaders ahead of next month’s Group of 20 (G20) summit. The leaders of the African Union from Guinea, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Mali, Ghana, Tunisia, Rwanda and other nations met in Berlin to discuss a so-called “compact with Africa.” The initiative seeks to team up African nations which have committed to economic reforms with private investors who would then bring jobs and businesses.

“Positive development in the world will not work unless all continents participate,” Merkel said in Berlin. “We need an initiative that does not talk about Africa, but with Africa.”

Germany’s Finance Ministry announced on Monday that it agreed partnerships with Tunisia, Ivory Coast and Ghana as part of a planned investment of up to 300 million euros ($335 million) to help African nations.

Underscoring the pressure African countries face, Merkel contrasted Germany’s average age of 43 with the average age in Niger and Mali of 15. “If we don’t give young people any prospects, if we don’t invest in education and qualifications, if we don’t strengthen the role of girls and young women, the development agenda won’t succeed,” she said.

Last year, Germany took in around 890,000 migrants, thousands of whom came from African countries including Eritrea, Ghana and Ethiopia.

[Allafrica]

 

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