The international Group of Twenty forum will hold its next summit in July under the presidency of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is making a point of including African nations into the G20 framework despite South Africa being the only member of the bloc. Hamburg will be the host city of the next G20 summit; however, Chancellor Merkel met with a selection of African leaders in Berlin this week. As the country currently steering the G20, Germany is planning to roll out an initiative that is being described as a “compact with Africa,” an understanding about how to approach economic development in the hopes of stemming the tide of people fleeing various nations in the Continent for reasons other than armed conflict.
Germany has been working on a “B20” summit between business leaders of the G20 nations, and Africa has been a key focus. Chancellor Merkel has instructed her Finance Minister to seek immediate investment in five nations that can quickly generate revenue with the goal of turning profits into aid for African countries in need of aid. To this effect, the following five nations have been identified and could receive up to $300 million euros to get started:
Ivory Coast: This country has enjoyed two years of political stability and is working towards reducing poverty.
Morocco: The current administration has been able to secure millions in foreign direct investment.
Rwanda: One of the fastest growing African nations.
Senegal: One of the lowest fiscal deficits in the continent.
Tunisia: The Arab Spring has thoroughly transformed this country, which has secured various trade agreements with G20 nations.
Chancellor Merkel has underscored the contrast between the average age of the populations of Germany and Mali, which is 43 versus 15 in 2017. The Chancellor believes that youth is a formidable resource that could become a ticking time bomb if it is not fostered. Germany is a nation that has come to learn about the trials and tribulations faced by some Africans through the massive influx of immigrants from nations such as Ethiopia, Eritrea and Ghana; these countries may not suffer the same strife as Mali and Somalia, but the socioeconomic situation causes despair among families who seek better opportunities elsewhere.
The German Chancellor has been encouraging collaboration efforts in Africa over the last few years. As the leading economy in the European Union, Germany is aware of its responsibility to the world; its generous welcoming of refugees can only go so far, and thus there is a pressing need for encouraging development.
In terms of security, Chancellor Merkel supports current EU plans to send more weapons to countries besieged by terrorist groups; she has also given her blessing to a plan formulated by France to work with a West African security force to enter Mali and begin operations to eradicate extremists.
Ahead of the G20, Germany also hosted a Y20 summit for leaders representing the interests of people between the ages of 18 to 23, and one of the topics discussed was the abrupt decision taken by United States President Donald Trump to exit the Paris Climate Agreement. The youth delegates met with Chancellor Merkel and voiced their concerns about the effect of climate change on some East African regions that have been under drought conditions for many seasons.