No continent is growing as quickly as Africa both in economic and demographic terms. In the last ten years, investment by German businesses has doubled. GDP in Africa has increased by 30% in the same period. The continent's ongoing poor image as far as the economy is concerned has for a long time now been at odds with the dynamic development figures. However, there are stark differences between the 54 countries.
Political instability, corruption and poor infrastructure are a major obstacle to investment in many countries, thus also hampering development and prosperity. Furthermore, many African economies are heavily dependent on the export of raw materials which entails high risks given the price fluctuations on the global market.
A continent on the rise
African regional organisations, for example ECOWAS, are currently pushing forward regional economic integration projects. Shared markets, customs and monetary unions make the regions more attractive to foreign investors and for cooperation. With instruments such as investment and export guarantees, Germany is working to promote a positive economic climate in Africa and is supporting particularly German SME's wanting to engage in Africa.
Strategy for fair growth
Sustainable growth needs innovation. This is why Germany is working comprehensively in the sphere of education and research in Africa. German scientists are today cooperating with partners from more than 39 African countries in more than 500 research and education establishments. There are also over 550 university cooperation projects. The Federal Foreign Office is supporting the Africa initiatives of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research here.