Germany's G20 Presidency 2017: A Focus on Africa
Enlarge image German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo on 12th June 2017 in Berlin on the ocassion of the Conference G20 Africa Partnership. (© picture alliance / Kay Nietfeld/) The G20 “Compact with Africa” and the Ghanaian-German Reform-Partnership
To strengthen sustainable and inclusive economic development in Africa and to boost private sector investment, Germany made the “G20 Africa Partnership” a top priority of its G20 Presidency. Germany invited the Heads of State of selected African countries to the G 20 Africa Partnership Conference “Investing in a Common Future” in Berlin, on 12th and 13th of June 2017. Ghana’s President, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and his Minister of Finance, Honorable Ken Ofori Atta, as well as the Foreign Minister, Honorable Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, followed the invitation. Ghana became one of the first seven “Compact with Africa” countries.
The G20 partnership intends to facilitate mutual commitments between African countries, G20 partners and International Financial Institutions (AfDB, WB, IMF). The “Compact with Africa” (CwA) aims at creating a conducive environment for private sector investment by supporting business and financial framework reforms and reforms on the macroeconomic level. In this process the Governments of the participating African countries are in the driver’s seat: They define and prioritize their commitments; they themselves set targets and timelines as reassurances for private investors.
Enlarge image Akufo-Addo speaking at the conference (© German Embassy Accra)
At the Berlin conference, President Akufo-Addo’s speech received much attention and praise: The President urged African governments to assume responsibility for the economic and social transformation of their countries. “If we, Africans, are to transform our stagnant jobless economies built on the export of raw materials and unrefined goods to value added economies that provide jobs to build strong middle-class societies that lift the mass of our people out of poverty, then we must take our destinies into our own hands and assume responsibility for this” he explained. The President elaborated that the “building of new sustainable African civilization where there is accountable governance, respect for rule of law, individual liberties and human rights’’ was essential. The President made a very convincing case for Ghana’s reform orientation, putting a lot of emphasis on skills development and vocational training.
During the conference, President Akufo-Addo met with Federal President Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel, a number of Heads of State and the heads of the International Monetary Fund, the Worldbank and the African Development Bank.
The Minister of Finance, Honorable Ken Ofori Atta, met his counterparts during the Sessions on Macroeconomic, Business and Financing Framework. He also signed a “Joint Declaration of Intent” with the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dr. Gerd Müller. The Declaration is proof of the close partnership between Ghana and Germany complementing Ghana’s reform efforts under the Compact with Africa.
Ghana is a beacon of democratic stability in the region. Looking at its democratic credentials, its success in poverty reduction and the Ghanaian government’s ambitious plans for economic transformation, Germany had decided to accompany and support the G20 compact efforts in Ghana with a bilateral “Reform-Partnership ”. In Berlin, both countries now agreed upon focusing on the sectors of Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency. To get private investment into Renewables, the financial sector will have to play an important role. To make sure that this support leads to decent jobs in Ghana, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) will complement the measures. By Germany providing up to 100 million Euro of additional support and by Ghana setting and implementing an ambitious reform agenda, both sides are confident to trigger private sector investment and to contribute to the goals of the G20 ”Compacts with Africa".
Enlarge image Logo (© BMF)
Currently Ghana, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia are part of the G20 compact process and are elaborating their investments compacts. Following an invitation by the Ghanaian government, representatives of the Compact with Africa countries and further interested countries came together for a peer-to-peer exchange in Accra on 6th September 2017. The Vice-President, Dr. Bawumia, opened the conference, calling on the participants to discuss the role the Compact could play for African economic transformation. Honorable Ken Ofori-Atta stated that the Compact offered support to African countries “to redouble our efforts in pursuing our own agenda and importantly a framework that offers us the opportunity to work together”. The consensus statement of the event reflects the ownership and the common understanding of the involved governments: They intend to use the current momentum to foster private investments and undertake necessary reform steps. The G20 Africa partnership is seen as an important opportunity on the road towards sustainable development. At the same time, country representatives stressed the need of maintaining fiscal discipline and macroeconomic stability as a prerequisite for development.
Consistent with the Compact approach, German development cooperation in Ghana has a focus on technical and vocational training and aims for more jobs and better income in the agricultural sector. To complement its private sector engagement, German Development Cooperation supports Good Governance with a focus on domestic revenue mobilisation at the national as well as the district level.
Since the start of bilateral Development Cooperation Germany has provided 1,8 billion USD development funding to Ghana.