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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Aid experts wary of G20’s ‘Marshall plan’ for Africa

G20 leaders in Hamburg will on Saturday hail their “Africa Compact” as a bold new initiative to boost investment and end poverty on the continent. Germany has billed the “trade, not aid” deal it developed during its G20 presidency as a quantum leap, supplementing traditional development aid with a new public-private partnerships to create jobs and improve infrastructure. For Europe it comes at a crucial time, Berlin says: throttling the flow of migrants to Europe. “We in Germany have a fundamental interest of good economic development in Africa and that’s why we are discussing a Marshall plan for Africa,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a nod to the American plan that rebuilt postwar Europe. But Berlin’s proposal has been castigated by aid analysts for, in their eyes, ushering in a new era of private sector exploitation of Africa – with state subsidies. At its heart the Africa Compact is a quid pro quo: African countries who commit to reforms and welcome investors benefit from public-private funds. One such fund is the Africa Agriculture and Trade Investment Fund (AATIF), a public-private partnership dedicated, it says on its own website, “to uplift Africa’s agricultural potential for the benefit of the poor”

Source: Irish Times