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New Horizons for Germany's Africa Policy


  • Kappel, Robert


This paper deals with Germany's new Africa policy. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) presented a new Africa concept in January 2017. The BMZ wants to counter the further marginalisation of Africa with inclusive and sustainable growth. Chancellor Angela Merkel will explain her new policy for Africa at the G20 summit in Hamburg in July 2017, in an attempt to gain the approval of the other G20 members for focused cooperation with Africa. The paper argues that it remains solely the duty of African states to take their development into their own hands. Cooperation can support this process, but it cannot assume what is each state's individual responsibility. The Marshall Plan with Africa aims to develop a joint agenda with the countries of Africa. Yet because the African countries did not participate in developing the concept, the plan derived so far is more of a plan for Africa, identifying which measures the BMZ would like to implement in order to contribute to sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Africa. Africa is becoming increasingly differentiated, and developing a joint strategy with individual countries or groups of countries that reflects the varying speeds at which changes are occurring would be a decisive step. The plan does not cover sufficient ground on this issue. In order to develop a coherent Africa concept for the German federal government, the participation of the most important ministries needs to be improved, and the chancellor needs to be in charge of the overall management. The paper concludes that Germany's Africa policy needs to be redesigned. The Marshall Plan has generated a shift, but it does not provide sufficient guidance to new horizons and away from the well-beaten track of traditional development cooperation. The departure to a new age that is defined by increased cooperation with democratic African countries which are capable of reform, and by a courageous and consistent stance in relation to non-democratic countries, has not yet taken place.

Suggested Citation

  • Kappel, Robert, 2017. "New Horizons for Germany's Africa Policy," GIGA Working Papers 303, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:gigawp:303

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. McMillan, Margaret & Rodrik, Dani & Verduzco-Gallo, Íñigo, 2014. "Globalization, Structural Change, and Productivity Growth, with an Update on Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 11-32.
    2. Dani Rodrik, 2016. "Premature deindustrialization," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 1-33, March.
    3. Kappel, Robert & Pfeiffer, Birte & Reisen, Helmut, 2017. "Compact with Africa: fostering private long-term investment in Africa," Discussion Papers 13/2017, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE).
    4. Esther-K Ishengoma & Robert Kappel, 2011. "Business Environment and Growth Potential of Micro and Small Manufacturing Enterprises in Uganda," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 23(3), pages 352-365.
    5. Gabriel Felbermayr & Erdal Yalcin, 2016. "Engagement der deutschen Wirtschaft in afrikanischen Staaten," ifo Forschungsberichte, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 71.
    6. Tilman Altenburg & Wilfried Lütkenhorst, 2015. "Industrial Policy in Developing Countries," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14726, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ivens, Sören & Kranzusch, Peter, 2018. "Subsahara-Afrika als Zielregion außenwirtschaftlicher Aktivitäten von kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen," Daten und Fakten 23, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
    2. Thiele, Rainer & Köster, Maximilian & Okoli, Ikechukwu & Rühmann, Friederike, 2018. "African economic development: what role can the G20 Compact play?," Discussion Papers 3/2018, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE).
    3. Mehler, Andreas, 2005. "Major Flaws in Conflict Prevention Policies towards Africa. The Conceptual Deficits of International Actors' Approaches and How to Overcome Them," GIGA Working Papers 4, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.


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