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German development minister stresses climate protection in coalition talks

German development minister Gerd Müller stressed the importance of making climate protection a key issue in the coalition negotiations. Müller proposed strengthening the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to become an international climate ministry. Every Euro invested in climate protection in Africa has a 100 times stronger effect than in Germany, he said.

News report –  Epoch (in German) 

Germany

German president argues for doing more to address hardship in large parts of Africa

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier gave a speech marking the anniversary of German reunification by warning that “other walls” have arisen to divide Germany. In his speech, the President called for a national discussion on migration, one of the main election issues, and added that this entails creating new guidelines to differentiate between politically persecuted individuals and migrants fleeing from economic suffering. He argued that Germany ought to do more to create peace and address hardships in large parts of Africa. The public holiday follows recent elections, in which Germany’s new far right-party, the ‘Alternative for Germany’ (AfD) became the third-strongest party (12.6%).

Speech – Der Bundespräsident (in German)   

Germany

Germany pushes for global anti-microbial resistance hub

Germany has used its presidency during the G20 this year to advocate for increased action on anti-microbrial resistance (AMR). Chancellor Angela Merkel has pushed for improving public awareness of AMR and infection prevention and control, as well as the creation of a global AMR R&D Collaboration Hub, to be based in Berlin. Details about the hub are expected to follow after a meeting of G20 representatives, the World Health Organization, and other nongovernmental actors, at the end of October in Berlin.

News article – Devex  

After federal elections, Chancellor Angela Merkel is tasked with forming a government

Despite the worst result in post-war Germany history, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right, conservative party (CDU/CSU) has won the largest share of the votes in federal elections, with 32.9% (down from 41.5% in 2013) and is now tasked with forming a government. Its current coalition party, the center-left SPD, has also suffered significant losses (20.5%, down from 25.7% in 2013) and has announced it will lead the opposition in the new parliament, rather than join the government as a junior partner.

Since the SPD has ruled out another grand coalition, the only remaining coalition constellation is a so-called 'Jamaica Coalition' between CDU/CSU, the liberals (FDP) and the Greens. The pro-business, liberal FDP re-entered the newly elected parliament with 10.7% after failing to reach the 5% threshold in the 2013 elections. For the first time Germany’s post-war history, a far-right party, the 'Alternative for Germany‘ (AfD), will be part of the federal parliament with 12.6% of the votes. Coalition negotiations are expected to take long due to considerable differences between the parties of a potential ‘Jamaica Coalition’.

News article – Deutsche Welle

Germany

Germany launches agricultural training program for young professionals from Africa

The German Development Minister Gerd Müller and the Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Science will offer a five-month post-graduate program to young professionals from Africa who seek to pursue careers in the agricultural sector. The development ministry (BMZ) and Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University offer 25 spots in the program targeting outstanding young professionals from African countries who are interested in seminars on sustainable agricultural production, planning and management of value chains, market analysis, and developing business ideas for national markets. The new initiative is part of the BMZ flagship project on green innovation centers and the Marshall Plan with Africa.  To date, BMZ has established thirteen innovation centers in Africa, which are aimed at transferring knowledge about modern and sustainable farming techniques. Participants in the post-graduate program will come from these thirteen African countries.

Press release – BMZ  

Germany Agriculture

ONE 2017 data report urges a 'doubling' of development finance in Africa

International campaigning and advocacy organization ONE's 2017 data report, 'Financing for the African Century', reveals that the world's poorest countries - and the world's poorest citizens - are receiving a declining share of global resources. While ODA levels have grown globally, the share for least developed countries (LDCs) and Africa has declined, and foreign direct investment (FDI) flows remain the lowest of any region in the world. 

With the continent’s population set to double by 2050, the report urges that all forms of development finance also be doubled. According to the report, increased investment in the empowerment of Africa's youth will be critical to harnessing its 'demographic dividend' and will require cooperation between African governments, donors, civil society, and the private sector.

Publication - ONE

BMZ agrees on closer cooperation with AGRA to strengthen rural development

The German development ministry (BMZ) and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) have signed an agreement to strengthen their future cooperation. BMZ committed to provide AGRA with €10 million to strengthen sustainable, smallholder agriculture by cooperating with local start-ups, foundations, and companies. According to Development Minister Gerd Müller, it is crucial to provide rural populations with jobs, education, and infrastructure to ensure that people do not have to migrate to cities or other countries. The agreement was signed at the African Green Revolution Forum in Abidjan.

BMZ – press release (in German)

Germany Agriculture

Germany launches new action plan to fight deforestation

The German development ministry (BMZ) has launched a new action plan to fight climate change by limiting deforestation. The action plan is Germany’s guiding framework for forestation projects, including on its three pillars: 1) Forests and climate change, 2) reforestation, 3) deforestation-free supply chains. Development Minister Gerd Müller particularly emphasized the negative impacts of unsustainable palm oil production and called for the integration of deforestation issues in free trade agreements with big palm oil producers such as Indonesia. Germany spends €2 billion in forest protection and reforestation every year.

Press release – BMZ (in German)

Germany Agriculture

German-hosted pledging event raises €56 million to fight anti-microbial resistance through R&D

Germany hosted a pledging event for the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership' (GARDP) in Berlin. Established in May 2016 by the World Health Organization and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), GARDP is a not-for-profit research and development initiative. Its programs  focus on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the context of sexually-transmitted infections, neonatal sepsis, alternative upstream research and development (R&D) approaches to address bacterial and fungal infections, and pediatrics. Together with other donor countries and foundations, Germany mobilized €56 million to support GARDP and help develop new treatments to fight AMR. The event was jointly hosted by the federal ministries for health and education and research.

Press release – Bundesministerium für Gesundheit (BMG)

Germany expands support for developing countries on international trade by joining ‘Advisory Centre on WTO Law’

The German government has announced an expansion of its support to developing countries on international trade policies. Development Minister Gerd Müller specifically emphasized that developing countries sometimes struggle to implement the legal requirements of the World trade Organization (WTO), such as those regarding dispute-settlement procedures. For this reason, Germany decided to scale up its engagement in, and become a member of, the ‘Advisory Centre on WTO Law’, which supports developing countries on legal matters. Strengthening developing countries’ role in international trade is one of the cornerstones of the G20’s new ‘Partnership with Africa’, which was launched during Germany’s 2017 G20 Presidency.

Press release – BMZ (in German)

Germany