Biarritz The G7 summit in Biarritz is not just the debate on the trade conflict between the United States, China and the EU, and Iran's nuclear program, between the seven largest developed democracies. On Sunday afternoon, the group of seven, especially the Federal Chancellor and the French President, devoted themselves to the topic of development in Africa.
Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron jointly presented a remake of their Sahel initiative. Subsequently, Macron, together with the President of the African Development Bank Akinwumi Adesina and the singer Angelique Kidjo, explained what rich countries want to do to improve the economic prospects of women and young people in Africa.
One must speak of a new edition of the Sahel initiative, because Merkel and Macron had already initiated a similar action in Paris two years ago. It aims to strengthen economically economically five countries in the Sahel zone (Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad), thereby slowing down the spread of terrorism.
“In the race against the terrorists, we can not say that the security situation is improving, so we need to act swiftly,” Merkel said bluntly. Germany will treat this as an important initiative. In the process, one will focus primarily on the needs of the partner countries.
Later, Merkel added that several terrorist organizations from the Sahel, northern Nigeria and the Horn of Africa are increasingly converging into a single threat. African leaders made the West more aware of it.
Macron's focus was on military issues. The head of state of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Kaboré, is “faced with constant aggression, so we will reorganize the military and customs and see if there is a need to step up our military involvement,” the French president said.
Merkel apparently saw a new debate about increasing German military engagement abroad, so she quickly added, “It's not about sending more troops directly, but strengthening the G5 Sahel forces and police forces become.”
Today the political initiative has been decided, in the next few weeks you will see which states are still participating. Then the G5 would have to say what their most urgent needs are. At the end of the year, Germany and France would submit a work program for concrete support.
Much more civilian went to Macron's subsequent encounter with the press with the singer Angelique Kidjo, which inter alia for the aid organization Oxfam, and the president of the African Development Bank Akinwumi Adesina. Some G7 countries want to use their financial strength to secure loans from the African Development Bank to female entrepreneurs.
“There are two engines of economic development: men and women. But in many countries, women have no access to credit and land, which is an injustice and a brake on development, “criticized Macron. France would commit 135 million euros to guarantee loans. Singer and activist Kijo said she was glad that she met Macron because “he says we have to do something, and he does.”
In Africa, women are the ones who invest and raise the children. “We have to reach those who are excluded from globalization,” said Kidjo. Young Africans set out on a dangerous flight to Europe because they see no perspective in their countries. “Talking does not cost anything to trade, it costs money,” Kidjo concluded.
Development organizations such as One were skeptical of the announcements. The Sahel initiative is a perennial, you can not see why the announcement of Sunday should have more effect than the two years ago. Although Friederike Röder of One supports the idea that economic development is the prerequisite for security as well.
Especially with the European military in Mali one sees often a great sensitivity for the topic and the desire to do more for the economic perspectives. But it often fails because of the necessary financial resources.
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