New Parliamentary State Secretaries to lead the German BMZ with Development Minister Müller

Since Wednesday, March 14, 2018, Germany is governed by a renewed ‘Grand Coalition’ of the conservative CDU/CSU and the Social Democrats (SPD). The Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) will continue to be headed by Minister Gerd Müller. Parliamentary State Secretary Friedrich Kitschelt will stay in the BMZ. His former colleagues Parliamentary State Secretaries Thomas Silberhorn and Hans-Joachim Fuchtel will be replaced by Maria Flachsbarth and Nobert Barthle. Both are new to the Ministry and have previously served in the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, respectively. Günther Nooke remains Chancellor Merkel’s Personal Representative for Africa in the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.

Website - BMZ


Germany’s development cooperation will continue to focus on Africa under Development Minister Müller

German Development Minister Gerd Müller has said his second term will focus on addressing the “root causes of flight and migration” and the voluntary return of refugees to their countries of origin. He aims to do this mainly through the creation of jobs and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) opportunities. Müller will carry the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)’s initiative “Marshall Plan with Africa” forward and wants to intensify overall development cooperation with Africa through this mechanism.

Overall, the coalition agreement of the renewed ‘Grand Coalition’ commits to the 0.7% ODA/GNI target and promises a significant increase in funds for development cooperation, humanitarian assistance, and crisis prevention, in a 1:1 ratio to increased defense spending. It also commits to reaching the target of 0.15-0.2% for least developed countries (LDCs) as soon as possible. The financial plan for 2018-2021 (presented by the Cabinet in spring 2017) is to see an additional increase of €2 billion for defense and ODA (€1 billion for each).

News article – Augsburger Allgemeine (in German)
Coalition treaty (in German)


German Development Minister Gerd Müller will retain his post in new German government

Six months after federal elections, Germany is close to having a renewed ‘grand coalition’ with the Christian Democrats (CDU), the Christian Social Union (CSU, their Bavarian sister party) and the Social Democrats (SPD), after the majority of SPD members (66%) approved the coalition agreement in a binding member poll.

The chancellor’s election by the Bundestag will take place on March 14, 2018. After that, all ministers will be officially appointed and sworn in by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The first meeting of the new Cabinet may take place that very day. CDU and CSU have already named their ministers, while the SPD is expected to announce their ministers for the party's six cabinet positions on March 12, 2018. The Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development will continue to be headed by Minister Gerd Müller (CSU). The Federal Ministry of Health will be headed by Jens Spahn (CDU), and the Federal Ministry of Research and Education by Anja Karliczek (CDU). The ministers of the Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of Finance are still unknown.  

News article - Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German)


Chancellor Merkel announces CDU ministers of possible German Cabinet

German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the six members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) whom she would like to serve as ministers in her next Cabinet if a continuation of the grand coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD) is approved.

At a CDU party convention in Berlin on February 26, 2018 the grand coalition agreement with the Social Democrats (SPD) was approved by the majority of CDU delegates, with only 27 of the 975 delegates voting against it. However, before the designated ministers can take up their posts, the grand coalition agreement must also be approved by a mail ballot of the more than 450,000 members of the SPD. Results are expected to be announced on March 4, 2018. If the SPD members approve the coalition agreement, a government would be formed very quickly.

If a majority of SPD members votes against the renewal of a Grand Coalition, the two likely options are: (1) a minority government of CDU/CSU alone or with the FDP or Greens or (2) new elections.

News article - Deutsche Welle


UK gives £2 million (US$2.7 million) in additional support for security in Sahel region

Penny Mordaunt, Secretary of State for the Department for International Development (DFID), announced a two year non-ODA £2million ($2.7 million) contribution to the G5 Sahel Joint Force. The money will be spent through the Conflict, Stability, and Security Fund (CSSF), one of the UK's cross-government funds that spends both ODA and non-ODA money.  The G5 Joint Force, a Sahelian regional security initiative, is tasked with supporting Sahel states to improve their own security. 

The pledge was made at the G5 Pledging conference, where France and Germany also provided more funding. 

Press release - UK government 

France Germany United Kingdom

German Development Ministry and UN Women present report on global gender equality

The German Development Ministry (BMZ), together with UN Women, have presented the report “Turning promises into action: Gender equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. The report, which was co-financed by the BMZ, provides an assessment of the progress, gaps, and challenges in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from a gender perspective. In cooperation with UN Women, among other organizations, the German government has stated a commitment to promoting gender equality and women’s rights worldwide.

Press Release - BMZ (in German)


CDU/CSU and SPD leadership agree on German coalition treaty

Angela Merkel’s Conservatives (CDU/CSU) and the Social Democrats (SPD) have agreed on a coalition treaty to build a German government for the 2017 to 2021 legislative term – more than four months after the elections in September 2017. Although the SPD would gain the crucial Finance Ministry as part of the deal, the outcome of the vote on March 4, 2018, is expected to be close.

On February 10, 2018, the current SPD leader, Martin Schulz, announced that he would resign from his position due to criticism of his leadership style in recent months. The SPD board has suggested Andrea Nahles, current head of the SPD’s Parliamentary Group, as his successor.

The coalition treaty foresees an increase in the ODA budget of US$1 billion on top of the current mid-term financial plan for 2018 to 2021. If a Grand Coalition is formed, key priorities would be the fight against root causes of migration, climate change, and a strengthening of Africa initiatives such as the Development Ministry’s Marshall Plan with Africa.

News article – BBC – Coalition deal

News article – BBC – Schulz resignation


Germany's KfW increased ODA by €1 billion in 2017

The KfW, a government-owned development bank in Germany, increased by nearly €1 billion (US$1.1 billion) its ODA spending in 2017 while reducing reducing its overall funding volume from €81 billion (US$ 89 billion) in 2016 to €77 billion (US$ 85 billion) in 2017 (6%).

ODA funding was strongly focused on the fight against climate change and environmental protection, as well as on flight and migration-related projects in the Middle East. In January 2018, Günther Bräuning was introduced as the new CEO of the organization. He succeeds Ulrich Schröder.

News article – Frankfurter Rundschau (in German)


Germany pledges €38 million to Global Partnership for Education

At the Global Partnership for Education’s (GPE) Financing Conference in Dakar, the German ambassador to Senegal, Stephan Röken, announced that Germany will support the GPE with €38 million (US$42 million) for the period 2018-2022, a contribution of €9 million (US$10 million) annually.

Germany is one of the largest providers of ODA to education and is a founding member of the GPE, though much of its funding for global education actually goes toward scholarships for international students studying in Germany. Various civil society organizations criticized the German pledge as too low, arguing that the government was not prioritizing basic education enough.  NGOs are calling on the government to re-consider this pledge and contribute €100 million (US$110 million) annually. Critics are also expressing their disappointment over the lack of a high-level government representative at the conference in Dakar. 

Press release – BMZ (in German)

Press release – Save the Children Deutschland (in German)

Germany Education

Germany opens migration advice center in Dakar

German development secretary Thomas Silberhorn has opened another migration advice center in Dakar, Senegal, which focuses on employment opportunities, legal options for migration, and reintegration of returnees. The migration advice center is a first point of contact providing information and directing people towards support and training services, in particular in development cooperation projects supported by Germany.

In this context, the Development Ministry (BMZ) will invest an extra €5.6 million to help returnees improve their job opportunities, e.g., in sectors such as renewable energy and services. Similar centers were already opened in Tunisia, Morocco, and Ghana last year. Senegal is part of Germany’s G20 initiative “Compact with Africa”.

Press release – BMZ