On October 30, German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed twelve African leaders in Berlin to take part in the “Compact with Africa” summit. An initiative to tackle unemployment in Africa as well as mass migration.
Pledging for more private investments in Africa
After announcing that she would retire from politics in 2021, Angela Merkel hosted a summit of African leaders to discuss the continent’s economy.
Also in attendance were International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, as well as other international development officials.
The summit was held to tackle issues such as unemployment, mass migration, and private investments. The aim: showcasing Africa as a stable destination for German and other European investors.
“We Europeans have a great interest in African states having a great economic outlook,” declared Merkel during her opening speech.
The German Chancellor also announced that a fund would be provided to help small and medium-sized companies from Africa and Europe to invest in the African continent.
The purpose is to create new job opportunities for Africans in order to minimize poverty, an issue that has driven many Africans to migrate to Europe.
Mass migration, an ongoing issue
With Africa’s population growing at three percent a year, the African mass migration to Europe is becoming unmanageable. Three years after Europe’s biggest influx of immigrants since World War II, the European migrant crisis is indeed getting out of hand. Merkel, who back in 2015 welcomed a record number of refugees, is hoping to curb migration by offering Africans employment in their own countries.
According to the International Organisation for migration, the 120,000 Africans who arrived in Europe in 2018 were just a small fraction. Figures have indeed shown that 16 million Africans tried to Europe in 2014.
Although $22 billion were invested in Africa back in 2017, rapid economic growth is the solution that would help minimize the migrant numbers.
Germany has also introduced tax incentives for the German companies that are establishing themselves in Africa. A solution that demonstrates the role of state aid in helping private investors and creating new job opportunities.
Merkel also announced that she is hoping to see fair trade relations between the two continents. “Apart from strengthening Africa as a location for investment, it is also important to establish fair trade relations between Europe and Africa,” declared the German Chancellor.285