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Germany calls for more economic cooperation with Africa

Staff Writer | May 5, 2017
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble urged the international community to step up economic cooperation with Africa, saying a new partnership with the G20 countries could draw more investments to the continent.
Wolfgang Schaeuble
Africa   One of the biggest geopolitical risks
"We know that Africa is, in a globalized world, one of the biggest geopolitical risks for the growth and stability of the world economy," Schaeuble told dpa at the World Economic Forum on Africa in the South African city of Durban.

"We must take Africa as well on the agenda of the worldwide economic cooperation," the minister said.

Schaeuble made his comments two days after German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel called on European countries to unify their policies on Africa, saying they still spoke with too many different voices.

"If Africa is not stabilized to some extent, we in Europe will have problems that will be difficult to control," Schaeuble said, describing Africa's hunger disasters and waves of refugees as "an extraordinary challenge for the entire civilized humanity."

Cooperation with the G20 can help African countries adopt reforms that will help them attract private investment, especially in infrastructure, the finance minister said.

"At the same time, we will make sure that African countries also do what they need to do," Schaeuble said, adding that the EU already had experience of investment programmes to help the weaker eurozone countries.

Concrete details have already been discussed with Rwanda, Morocco, Tunisia, Ivory Coast and Senegal, the minister said, adding that the initiative is expected to continue running after Germany's G20 presidency ends on November 30.

Schaeuble said he hoped that South Africa, whose sovereign credit rating was downgraded to junk by two ratings agencies in April, could also benefit from cooperation with G20.