Germany and AfDB launch 'Marshall Plan' for Africa

6 Mar 17

Germany’s development minister Gerd Müller has unveiled a 'Marshall Plan with Africa' to help the continent respond to future economic and labour market challenges.

Developed in collaboration with the African Development Bank, the blueprint will focus on economic mobilisation, education, training and entrepreneurship programmes across Africa.  

The plan, which will use the African Union’s 2063 Agenda as a framework, takes its name from the massive US loan programme that helped to rebuild western Europe at the end of the Second World War.

Müller, who is Germany’s federal minister for economic cooperation and development, said: “If you do not invest in development, if you do not reduce the gap between the rich and poor, you do not have peace.” He also noted that misery, poverty and hunger are often the triggers of terrorism and radicalisation.

Müller said Africa had many future challenges, including the need to create 20 million jobs every year for a growing population set to reach 2 billion by 2050.

He emphasised the collaborative nature of the project, which involves African nations working as equal partners alongside the global multilateral system. Müller said this would establish a “new level” of collaboration between Africa and western countries around education, trade, business development and energy.

The scheme will promote a more equitable market for African exports, and the cessation of illicit financial flows from Africa and tax evasion by multinational companies. It will also support the development of agricultural value chains, to enable Africa to get a better deal from exports such as cotton, cocoa and coffee. 

Under the plan, countries that pursue anti-corruption, good governance and women’s rights reforms will receive a development support boost of up to 20% from Germany. 

However, Müller admitted that public funding alone would not improve the labour market over the long term, and emphasised the role of the private sector in this area.

“Our aim is to provide clear incentives for creating an enabling environment for private investments. We are seeking to establish reform partnerships with African countries based on shared values of accountability, transparency and binding commitment,” he said.

As well as supporting fair trade rules, the plan will offer African nations strong incentives against land grabbing and the exploitation of resources.            

Müller also said Germany would “contribute significantly to the AfDB’s general capital increase”, and advised the bank to aim to improve its reserves and increase its loan portfolio, while scaling back budget support operations.

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