Germany says it is time for African ‘Marshall Plan’

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gerd-muellerGermany’s Development Minister Gerd Mueller said on Friday (November 11) that Germany would in the coming weeks release details of what he called a new “Marshall Plan with Africa”.

He was referring to the huge U.S. investment program in Germany and Europe after World War Two. He urged other developed countries to support a plan Germany is finalizing to bolster the economies of Africa, create jobs and slow the flow of migrants from the continent to Europe.

The International Organization for Migration last week said nearly 160,000 people had crossed the Mediterranean from Africa to Italy this year, while 4,220 had died trying. Mr. Mueller told a news conference: “We have to invest in these countries in Africa and give people perspectives for the future”, adding  “if the youth of Africa can’t find work or a future in their own countries, it won’t be hundreds of thousands, but millions that make their way to Europe.”

Mr. Mueller also noted that in addition to the migrants already looking to come to Europe, there were about 20 million displaced people in Africa. Mueller said his plan was aimed at developing joint solutions with African countries, with a big focus on program for youth, education and training and on strengthening economies and the rule of law.

He also said these issues needed to be recognized by the international community, and Africa should have representation on the U.N. Security Council.

Mr. Mueller said a significant share of his ministry’s proposed budget increase of over 1 billion euros for 2017 would be earmarked for projects in Africa.

Earlier in the week, Germany also pledged a 61-million-euro ($67 million) rise in funding for U.N. relief operations in Africa.

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