Merkel G20-Africa meet to focus on poverty alleviation

Berlin, Monday German Chancellor Angela Merkel will today meet African leaders in Berlin on initiatives aiming to reduce the poverty and c...

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to meet African leaders in bid to help reduce conflict and migrant influx to Europe. Photo/AFP

Berlin, Monday

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will today meet African leaders in Berlin on initiatives aiming to reduce the poverty and conflict driving a mass migrant influx to Europe.

The idea is to team up African nations willing to reform with private investors who would bring business and jobs to a continent where instability or graft often scare off foreign companies.

Merkel is hosting the initiative as part of Germany’s presidency of the Group of 20 powerful economies, whose leaders meet in the northern port of Hamburg a month later. Invited to Berlin are Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the leaders of Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia.

“In Africa, economic development needs to keep pace with the high and accelerating population growth and promise a future for young people, which would also help to ease migratory pressures,” said Merkel’s spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer.

Germany, Europe’s largest economy, has taken in more than one million asylum seekers since 2015—more than half from war-torn Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but also many thousands from Ethiopia, Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa.

Hundreds of thousands more have trekked through the Sahara into lawless Libya, hoping that traffickers there will take them in rickety boats across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

Those who can’t pay the thousands of dollars demanded by the people smugglers are often held in squalid militia-controlled facilities, which German diplomats have likened to “concentration camps”.

Merkel last year visited major transit countries Mali and Niger as well as Ethiopia, the seat of the African Union, and pledged 27 million euros ($30 million) in aid aiming to stop migrants heading for Europe in the first place.

“The well-being of Africa is in Germany’s interest” Merkel said at the time. Aid commitment Critics have dismissed the latest multilateral Africa initiative as a half-hearted effort without any aid commitment, but organisers say it could help boost prosperity and reduce the mass flight and brain drain, especially of young people.

Under the G20 “compacts” plan, an initial seven African nations will pledge reforms to attract more private sector investment. Those countries will then receive technical support from the IMF, World Bank, other development institutions and their G20 partner country, which will also support the effort with its own companies. -AFP

The post Merkel G20-Africa meet to focus on poverty alleviation appeared first on Mediamax Network Limited.



from WORLD – Mediamax Network Limited http://bit.ly/2rTLEq6
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