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Germany passes updated Africa policy guidelines

The German cabinet has passed the updated Federal government’s Africa policy guidelines, titled ‘A Deepened Partnership with Africa’, which aim to form the conceptual umbrella of German policy regarding Africa as of this year. The guidelines are in line with the European Union's Africa policy priorities and provide orientation both for German membership in the UN Security Council 2019/2020 and for the German EU Council presidency in the second half of 2020.

The extensive list of priorities from the previous guidelines were narrowed down to five, along which the work of various federal ministries should be aligned. With its new Africa policy framework, the German government seeks to intensify its partnership with Africa, guided by the principles and goals set by African countries in their 2063 agenda.

Resolution - Federal Foreign Ministry (in German)

Germany

German development minister criticizes decision by Finance Ministry to count portions of development funding towards NATO goal

German Minster of Finance Olaf Scholz faces criticism after deciding to count several hundred million euros in funding for global development toward the German defense spending quota as of 2019. These are primarily development funds used for building schools or hospitals in fragile countries. German Development Minister Gerd Müller strongly opposes this decision because it will take away funding available for development. NATO expects its member states to spend at least 2% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on defense. In 2020, Germany is expected to spend 1.37% of its GDP on defense. According to the midterm financial planning from March 2018, Germany's defense spending is projected to decrease between 2021 and 2023, and Germany will thus continue to miss the NATO spending goal, with 1.25% of GDP planned to being spent on defense in 2023.

News article - ZDF (in German)

Germany

Germany passes benchmark figures for 2020 budget and plans to cut development and defense budgets after 2020

The German Cabinet has passed the benchmark figures for the 2020 federal budget, as well as the medium-term financial plan for 2019 to 2023. The budget of the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is set to remain stable at €10.2 billion in 2020. However, due to decreased economic growth, the Finance Ministry has decided to cut the development and defense budgets between 2021 and 2023. With these budget projections, Germany will fail to meet both internationally agreed targets, the 0.7% official development assistance (ODA) to gross national income (GNI) goal, as well as the NATO defense spending target.

Development advocacy organizations ONE, German Foundation for the World Population (DSW), Global Citizen, OXFAM Germany, Plan International, Save the Children, and World Vision have made a joint appeal to the German government to stick to its development commitments, as enshrined in the coalition agreement.

Newspaper article – Spiegel (in German)

Newspaper article – Deutsche Welle (in German)

Germany

Donors raise almost US$7 billion in development assistance for Syria

International donors have pledged close to US$7 billion for the victims of the Syrian war at a donor conference in Brussels. The money will be spent on food, medical products, and education. More than half the funding is earmarked for the support of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries.

According to the United Nations (UN), although the money raised exceeds expectations, US$7.8 billion in total is needed to meet the needs of Syria and its neighboring countries. 90% of the money is provided by only 10 countries and Germany is the second largest donor, providing €1.4 billion (US$1.6 billion) over the next three years.

News article – Deutsche Welle

Press release – Federal Foreign Ministry

Germany Global

German Development Ministry and International Labor Organization sign emergency action plan against child labor

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) signed a joint emergency action plan to step up their cooperation in the fight against child labor, adherence to fundamental labor standards in global supply chains, and better local job opportunities for young people. According to German Development Minister Gerd Müller, concrete targets for the action plan will be set by June 2019.

Press release - BMZ (in German)

Germany

Global Health Hub Germany launched

The Global Health Hub Germany was launched with a high-level event hosted by the Federal Ministry of Health, with speakers including Jens Spahn, German minister of health,  and Heike Baehrens, chairwoman of the Global Health Sub-committee of the German Bundestag.

The Hub aims to serve as an independent and interdisciplinary platform that connects stakeholders and experts from academia, civil society, politics, and the economy across various sectors. Until 2021, the secretariat of the Global Health Hub will be hosted by the GIZ, the German development agency, in Berlin. The Global Health Hub receives start-up funding from the Federal Ministry of Health. Interested actors working in the field of global health are able to sign up as members. 

Website - Global Health Hub

Germany

German Federal Foreign Office launches campaign warning about dangers of fleeing from Africa to Europe

As part of the Better Migration Management program, which aims to improve migration management in Europe and curb human trafficking, the German Federal Foreign Office is implementing an information campaign warning Africans of the risks of fleeing to Europe. The campaign will use stories of hardship from Africans to discourage people from starting the journey to Europe. In 2015 the office also developed the website 'Rumors about Germany – Facts for Migrants' to provide migrants with information about the journey to Europe.

News article - Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German)

Germany

Merkel champions multilateralism at Munich Security Conference

German Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasized the importance of multilateralism during a speech at the annual Munich Security Conference, which brings together more than 35 heads of government, foreign and defense ministers, representatives of international organizations, and thought leaders to discuss international security policy. Merkel also noted that Germany has increased its defense and development spending in recent years, saying that "Germany must make changes" to develop a common European defense culture, and further engage in the dialogue with France.

Other themes on conference agenda were transatlantic cooperation and possible consequences of a renewed era of competition between the world's great powers.

Newspaper article – Spiegel Online (in German)

Germany Global

Parliamentary State Secretary of the German BMZ becomes SheDecides Champion

Dr. Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is the first German politician to announce her commitment as a 'SheDecides Champion.'

Founded in 2017 at the initiative of the Dutch government, the SheDecides movement is committed to promoting the sexual and reproductive health of girls and women globally and mobilizing both political and financial support for the issue.  SheDecides champions show their support for involvement in women's health and family planning.

Website - She Decides

Press release- BMZ (in German)

Germany

German African Business Summit opens in Ghana

The Parliamentary State Secretary to the German Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy, Thomas Bareiß, has opened the third German African Business Summit (GABS) in Accra, a three-day event from February 11-13. The Summit is Germany’s signature business event, held every two years in Africa, and brings together business and government leaders from Germany and sub-Saharan Africa to discuss and promote economic relations between Europe and Africa.

German Development Minister Gerd Müller (CDU) is participating in the summit and announced a vocational training and employment initiative aiming to create 25,500 new apprenticeships and 15,000 jobs in Ghana.

Press release – BMWI (in German)

Press release – epo (in German)

Germany