I shall be holding my breath as I await who succeeds Angela Merkel. As an African, I’m a stakeholder on this election — not solely as a result of I stay in Germany, but additionally due to what it would imply for the way forward for the nation’s relationship with my continent.
The dominant themes within the election debates and manifestos have to date been local weather change and the COVID-19-affected economy. Different points, equivalent to the way forward for the EU, have obtained scant consideration. Which means insurance policies on Africa are much less of a precedence each for the citizens and for the brand new authorities.
I’m of the opinion, nonetheless, that Germany can’t afford to disregard worldwide relations. Globalization implies that a rustic’s financial coverage is barely as sturdy as its international coverage.
A transparent deal with migration and the economic system
Whereas it was doable for Germany to take a backseat in worldwide affairs previous to the refugee disaster in 2015, the dynamics are altering as increasingly individuals from Africa and Asia are compelled to hunt refuge and asylum in Europe.
There are, subsequently, two areas that I really feel the brand new German authorities might want to deal with. These are the economic system and migration. Not the German economic system, however these of essentially the most weak international locations on this planet.
On the latest Africa summit in Berlin, I received the impression that Merkel was optimistic in regards to the prospects of the Compact with Africa initiative. Nonetheless, the identical can’t be stated for the African aspect. The prospects for continuity are slim. Though German funding in Africa has reasonably elevated previously few years, there’s not a lot to recommend that the development will proceed primarily based on what the present contenders for chancellor have been saying.
To me, Merkel’s exit marks the end of an era the place there was a considerable deal with funding in Africa.
Addressing the safety challenges
When it comes to migration, nonetheless, the dynamics are a lot totally different. With the Taliban again in management in Afghanistan; the escalation of the warfare for independence in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions and in japanese Nigeria; the Tigray warfare in Ethiopia, and the threats of army takeovers throughout Africa, we could possibly be dealing with a refugee state of affairs akin to 2015.
The problem dealing with the incoming German chief is just not solely about working to enhance financial sustainability in Africa to stem mass migration. She or he should become involved in serving to to resolve a number of the safety challenges plaguing the continent.
Addressing local weather change and financial issues can’t be finished successfully whereas ignoring the impression that pressured migration may have. Tackling migration shouldn’t be about bolstering fortress Europe and making an attempt to maintain refugees out. It needs to be about taking a management position in tackling the inherent points that set off such mass actions of individuals.
To that finish, Merkel’s push for personal funding in Africa to spice up its sluggish economies by particular person one-on-one contracts between wealthy nations and African international locations has not been very profitable.
A brand new perspective
A brand new strategy is subsequently wanted. Germany have to be a frontrunner each in reinstating confidence in the EU project and in taking a transparent lead in looking for sustainable options to the conflicts afflicting many African international locations.
International locations equivalent to Cameroon the place Germany has historic ties by colonization must be a precedence. Thus far, Germany’s position in battle decision has been passive, however the altering dynamics of the world at the moment recommend that such an strategy will harm German coverage aims within the area.
There could also be little trigger for optimism that the incoming German authorities will make Africa a precedence. But when it is going to ship on the election guarantees to the German individuals, it should take a holistic strategy that acknowledges the causality between Germany’s peace and prosperity and that of others.
Prioritizing Africa shall be in the very best pursuits of the brand new chancellor. It cannot solely assist to resolve the continent’s issues, but additionally present a spark for Germany’s economic system.