Germany’s G20 presidency: focusing on Africa

“Growth that all states can afford”, is Chancellor Angela Merkel’s main goal for the German presidency of the G20. Starting December 1, 2016, Germany will be holding the chairmanship in 2017, taking over from China. The summit of the heads of state and governments of the world’s leading industrial countries, emerging economies, and representatives of international organisations will take place in Hamburg on July 7 and 8 next year.

These cooperating states account for almost two thirds of the world population with more than 80 percent of gross world product and three quarters of world trade. Annual summits, which have been held since 2008, therefore traditionally focus on issues relating to global economic growth, international trade and financial market regulation. G20 Enlarge image The official G20 logo (© BPA)

“The discussion shows that sustainable growth together with social security is very important […]. Growth, from which all demographic groups benefit: emerging countries, industrialised countries or developing countries“, said Angela Merkel during a press conference in September. 

The German government outlined three key focuses for its presidency:

  • Stability (in terms of resilience for the world economy)
  • Sustainability (by implementing international agreements, for example the 2030 Agenda or the Paris Agreement on climate change)
  • Responsibility (in the areas of fighting terrorism and other causes of flight)

Focus on Africa

Another focus of the German chairmanship will be the African continent. German Minister of Finance, Wolfgang Schäuble, announced a “Compact for Africa” to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth by strengthening the ability to invest. “There are ten times more direct investments within the European Union than in Africa, even though Africa’s population is twice as big. This shows how urgent it is to directly invest in African countries. This cannot be compensated by development aid only”, says Merkel. In the initiative, G20 members will therefore support the efforts of African countries and international organisations to boost private investment and infrastructure, such as in the area of transportation, communication and energy.