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Strengthening cooperation: Africa Policy Guidelines

Freetown, Sierra Leone

Freetown, Sierra Leone, © Xander Heinl/photothek.net

27.03.2019 - Article

Peace and security, promoting the private sector and trade, cooperation between our civil societies: these are the goals Germany is pursuing on the African continent, a continent home to rapid change. 

Policy Guidelines for Africa

Africa and the world have changed. The international community has agreed on the Paris Climate Agreement and on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To move forward with sustainable economic development in African countries, the Federal Government is focusing more and more on promoting private investment and trade. 
EU Africa relations are also benefiting from new momentum. However, we need to remember that more people than ever before have fled their homes. Migration has become a global topic. Crises in Africa have led to the Federal Government increasing its engagement in the spheres of conflict resolution, stabilisation and peacekeeping. 
In recent years, Germany has responded to these developments with a number of Africa policy initiatives. Now the Federal Government, with the Federal Foreign Office having lead responsibility, has pooled all these approaches. The new Africa Policy Guidelines were adopted by the Federal Cabinet on 27 March 2019. They build on the guidelines drawn up in 2014 and identify five priorities for German Africa policy. 

Five priority areas

1.    Creating peace, security and stability

Development needs stability: the Federal Government will continue its engagement for peace, stability and security on the African continent, also as a member of the UN Security Council 2019-20. A particular focus here is on political participation and equal opportunities, especially for women and young people. 
A key element in this field is the Enable and Enhance Initiative launched in 2016. Germany is helping build up security forces, for example in Mali and Nigeria. Alongside material needs, they are also providing training taking account of human rights and the rules of international law.

2.    Sustainable economic development 

Trade and investment are essential for economic development. This is why cooperation is to be geared more to this field in future. 
For example, the Marshall Plan with Africa aims to help partner countries improve investment conditions and attract investors. Reform partnerships have thus far been concluded with Tunisia, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

3.    Managing and shaping migration

To give everyone prospects for the future, the causes of forced and irregular migration need to be combated on the ground. 
Migration cooperation with the African Union is to be deepened to this end. The aim is to create better prospects for the future in home countries, to improve access to regular migration pathways and at the same time manage irregular migration. 

4.    Strengthening the rules-based global order

No country can tackle global challenges such as poverty, hunger, terrorism, organised crime or climate change on its own. Reliable international rules are to be strengthened together with African countries.
The Sustainable Development Goals in the 2030 Agenda are a pivotal guide for global action. German Africa policy is geared to achieving these goals and is working to ensure that equal account is taken of the economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainable development.

5.    Deepening civil society partnerships 

Societies are also to be more strongly connected: through towns and municipalities, schools and associations but also cultural centres and research institutions. After all, better mutual understanding is key to a more intensive partnership.
Thus, education exchange between Germany and African countries is to be strengthened, for example through university partnerships, scientific cooperation and language-learning.

Additional content

What is Germany’s strategy on the continent which is changing so rapidly? The Federal Government Africa Policy Guidelines, developed by the Federal Foreign Office, set out approaches to taking opportunities, tackling risks and overcoming crises.

Africa Policy Guidelines

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