Germany intends to replace ‘Marshall Plan with Africa’ with new strategy to keep Germany in race for Africa against China.
With a new strategy for the African continent, Germany is preparing to compete against China in search of energy, raw materials, and new markets.
In the “Dark Continent,” which is remembered for its poverty, the capital problem, drought, and never-ending domestic turmoil make Africa’s struggle for industrialization difficult, but the rich mineral deposits and young population continue to attract the attention of developed countries. This increased interest in the continent also leads to an increase in competition between countries.
It is noteworthy that Chinese, Turkish, Italian and Indian investments in African countries have increased in recent years, on the other hand, some countries, such as Germany, are developing new strategies to increase their presence in the continent.
However, only 1% of the investment of €163.7 billion ($173 billion) made by German companies in foreign countries last year was in the African continent.
In 2021, around 76% of the German capital went to European countries, while the Americas ranked second with 9%, and Asia took third place with 13%.
One of the prominent financial papers in Germany, Handelsblatt, reported that the country intends to replace the “Marshall Plan with Africa” with a new strategy to keep Germany in the race for Africa against China.
In January, the Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Svenja Schulze will present the new strategic plan, according to the financial paper.
With that, Germany aims to protect itself against global crises by strengthening its soft power.
While China has repeatedly made use of its investment and lending power in Africa by getting the countries of the continent to vote in its favor at the UN, Germany’s new draft strategy for the continent also identifies Türkiye and Gulf states as “rivals” as well as China and Russia.
The draft strategy stresses that these countries are investing in infrastructure, making efforts to have access to raw materials and markets, and aiming to increase their political influence.
Meanwhile, Germany’s Economic Cooperation and Development Ministry expects a strong partnership with Africa to help Germany in terms of skilled workers and energy transition.
Germany also wants to promote green hydrogen production in Africa and the development of local hydrogen economies to contribute to its national hydrogen strategy.
While China has a say in raw materials such as cobalt used in electric car batteries, German companies do not have direct access to such critical minerals.
Moreover, the country plans to seize private investment opportunities in Africa, particularly in the fields of infrastructure and energy. The presence of important infrastructure and energy companies strengthens Germany’s hand and gives it a leading role among EU countries that are interested in the continent.
Germany plans to give budgetary support to African countries
As many African countries become more dependent on China in terms of loans, there are concerns that this loan burden of African countries hampers urgently needed investments.
Germany plans to make it easier for African countries to pay their debts by providing budgetary support.
On migration, the country plans to make a clear strategy change. The new strategy will also focus on supporting legal immigration options from African countries in the future.
Germany aims to make a clear change in strategy when it comes to immigration. The new strategy will also focus on supporting legal immigration options from African countries in the future. For this purpose, advice centers in African countries will be turned into “migration and development centers” that will focus on “regular worker migration to Germany and Europe.” This will also contribute to the development of the implementation of the Skilled Immigration Act.
The African continent is three times the size of Europe and 85 times the size of Germany in terms of surface area. The continent, consisting of 54 countries, hosts 3,000 different ethnic groups and languages.
Besides rich oil and gold reserves, Africa has the largest agricultural lands in the world and more than half of its 1.4 billion population is under the age of 30.
The continent’s population is expected to double by 2050, but this is thought to have both advantages and challenges.
Source: Anadolu Agency