Originally appeared at DWN, translated by Karin exclusively for SouthFront
Federal Development Minister Müller warns about a “dramatic” migration from Africa. The resolution, however, is more money for Africa. Experts of the development aid organizations consider this to be the wrong way. It would be more sensible to end the wars that are launched by the Great Powers for resources and which promote the rise of corrupt elites in Africa.
Gerd Müller, Minister of Development, expects a significant increase in migration from Africa in the coming years. The news agency Reuters said on Thursday: “The pressure of migration will increase dramatically in the next few years if we fail to create economic prospects in African countries,” Reuters quoted the minister. The population of the continent will double to more than two billion people over the next 30 years. Hundreds of millions of jobs will be needed for a population with an average age of less than 20 years. “The African continent cannot solve this alone.”
There are no indications in Reuters’ interview that show what figures Müllers assumptions are based on.
In fact, the warning of the alleged mass migration from Africa is a questionable political rhetorical tool: most of the migrations from Africa and the Middle East are the result of real wars and the economic and financial wars that all the world’s great powers are leading, usually by proxy or paid mercenaries.
Müller called, like Chancellor Angela Merkel, also on German companies to intensify their engagement in Africa. “We need a Marshall plan for Africa with certainly a hundred different elements – from foreign and development policy to education, agricultural, economic, environmental and energy policy.” Africa is a “future topic for all departments”. Therefore, this will be an important issue in the German 2017 G20 Presidency.
Germany and Europe would have to fundamentally and permanently change their Africa policies. “It must be clear to us that Africa is our partner continent – what is happening there has a direct impact on Europe,” said the CSU politician. At present, European governments have looked to Africa because many refugees are coming from there to the EU. “However, we must understand that we can not only take the migration issue as a short-term opportunity for a new African policy. We also need a new African policy in the medium and long-term; otherwise we will face major problems in ten or 20 years,” said Müller shortly before a trip to Africa by Chancellor Angela Merkel.
New ways of cooperation would have to be pursued. “The donor syndrome of the old development aid is past,” said Müller. A large number of private investments are needed, which is why tax incentives and better risk management should be created for companies, for example via Hermes guarantees. Germany can provide assistance with training partnerships or the expansion of solar energy. However, Müller warned of a “new neo-colonialism” of large international investors who exploit people and resources, and working together with corrupt minorities and elites in some countries. “This must be stopped.”
Müllers criticism also applies to the EU and Germany itself: the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt have received billions of taxpayer money without ever having to account for them. After the coup against the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt is led by a military junta.
Volker Seitz, the development aid expert, sees the situation in a realistic way and shows that feudal structures prevail in most African countries, where it is difficult to make a meaningful development aid with money: As an idea “The Human Rights TÜV is not bad” it is of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ). So far, however, I have had no examples of any consequences of human rights investigations and the abandonment of projects as a result. The responsibility of the national governments is willingly neglected … Not one case of a project is known to me, that from the beginning had a clear exit scenario defined and where the government of the host country was forced to implement the reforms more intensively and to increase their own efforts. Reforms can’t be bought. One can only support them with money if there is the political will to do so. Without economic rationality one can not create a comprehensive and lasting prosperity.
In this respect, however, the Federal Government has so far failed to allow the noble demand a real policy to follow. In Syria, for example, the Western powers and with them the Gulf States allies are even ready to cooperate with Islamic militia in order to achieve their own geopolitical and energy policy goals.
Seitz mentions conditions under which development aid can lead to success: “Singapore or South Korea are models, that Africans like the President of the African Development Bank (BAD), Donald Kaberuka call a” source of inspiration “. The President of Rwanda, Kagame orientates himself on the state of Singapore. There it showed that economic liberality accompanied by development and prosperity goes hand in hand with successful poverty reduction. In the meantime, Rwanda has become, despite the restriction of civil liberties, a model for Africa because the country is not stifled in corruption. In no other country in the Sub-Saharan Africa, observers assess the development of, among other things, education, health care and administration as positively as in Rwanda.”
For the planned migration agreements it has to be taken into account the interests of the African countries. But it is also clear that Europeans must insist on the taking back of illegal migrants. “But I do not see an African state that would refuse this,” said Müller. “However, we will only prevent new migratory flows if we create prospect scenarios in their home countries. There is no alternative for investment in youth, education and workplaces in Africa. “At the same time, it would be necessary to create ways for legal migration, such as researchers or certain professional groups.”But one thing must be clear: the sovereignty, of who may come, must lie with us, and not in the hand of human traffickers.”
The EU is trying to negotiate migration partnerships with some African countries. Germany, France and Italy want especially take care of Mali and Niger. In both countries, because of the struggle against Islamists, are not only soldiers of the former colonial power France, but also of the German Bundeswehr stationed. Niger is also a central transit country for migrants from the southern Sahara, who are then taken by smugglers across Libya and the Mediterranean Sea to the EU. In the German Federal Government, however, it was pointed out that only a fraction of the migrants came to Europe. By far the largest part of the refugees was taken in by other African states.
According to the Federal Government, a “new contribution” to Africa is needed. There were several factors that made it difficult for Africa to develop: on the one hand, training and jobs would have to be found for a growing, very young population. On the other hand, there is little economic growth in many countries and weak, often ineffective governments. As on Wednesday, Merkel again called for more private investments. “Only private investment will bring long-term prosperity, tax revenues and prosperity to African countries,” said the Chancellor