With more than one billion people, 54 countries and seven different linguistic groups, as well as Muslims, Christians, Jews and countless tribal religions, the African continent is home to societies with very different cultural and religious identities and traditions. Anyone who intends to do justice to these countries with a foreign policy strategy must first cast off simplistic prejudices that often continue to dominate in perceptions of Africa.
Africa plays an important role
Africa is a continent full of opportunities. Its demographic development, wealth of natural resources and growing middle class have the potential to give rise to gigantic growth markets in the near future. Democratic institutions have been shored up in many countries. A considerable number of countries are assuming responsibility and are working to resolve conflicts peacefully within the framework of the African Union and other regional organisations. However, many African nations also continue to face great challenges and risks. Growing poverty, systematic human rights violations, violence, environmental degradation and corruption are threatening the development, security and stability of entire regions.
A networked approach
Germany acts in concert with its European partners wherever this is possible. In order to pursue a networked approach, it must be ensured that activities are coordinated and in line with the actions of regional actors (such as the African Union) and international organisations, particularly the United Nations. Germany not only cooperates closely with political institutions, but also works intensively with civil society and the worlds of business, science and culture.
Using instruments to avoid conflicts
Boosting African ownership
Boosting African ownership is an important objective of Germany’s efforts. It is vitally important to help people to help themselves not only to support sustainable development, but also for the sake of stability and security. Training programmes of the Federal Police and the Bundeswehr, for example, are making a valuable contribution to efforts to enhance our African partners’ crisis prevention and conflict management capacities.
Whether the eradication of poverty, human rights, climate change, education and culture, the Federal Government’s guidelines set out measures and objectives for all important areas of foreign policy. The complete text can be downloaded here: