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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

Germany’s governing party organizes workshop to discuss migration policies

The new party leader of Germany’s governing CDU party, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, organized a workshop on migration policies guided by the question of what Germany has learned since the refugee crisis in 2015 and if that is enough to prevent something like it in the future. Participants where members of the CDU and its sister CSU party, scientists, legal experts, social workers, etc. They discussed migration policies and developed recommendations on how to address issues.

Some of the recommendations are already integrated in the current coalition treaty, such as fighting the root cause of migration, more consistent deportations, and faster asylum procedures. But participants also developed new policy guidelines, such as the shortening of legal procedures and the withdrawing of social benefits or introduction of preventive detention for deported asylum seekers. Kramp-Karrenbauer will now engage in policy dialogue to discuss how to implement recommendations.

Newspaper article – Zeit Online (in German) 

Germany

Slower economic growth could lead to cuts to German development and defense budget

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) warns that, due to a reduced forecast of economic growth, Germany will face a financing gap of approximately €25 billion (US$27 billion) by 2023. He emphasized that he wants to maintain a balanced budget and that he will have to cut spending, which could decrease the German development and defense budget after 2020. The coalition treaty of the current federal government committed to development spending at 0.51% and defense at 1.35% of gross national income (GNI). Scholz has signaled this goal could be abandoned. 

Newspaper article - Spiegel (in German)

Germany

European donors solidify financial and political commitments to SRH/FP

A trend analysis of European donor financing for sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and family planning (FP) reports strengthened financial and political commitments in the past year. SRH/FP funding was largely protected, even where cuts to official development assistance (ODA) were made. 10 of 12 European countries either increased or maintained funding to SRH/FP. They also featured it strongly as a component of humanitarian and long-term development policies. Denmark showed the most significant increase in percentage growth in funding for SRH/FP, and together the 12 European donor countries in the analysis increased funding by 17% over 2016. The UK, Norway, the Netherlands, and Sweden remain the largest donors.

Report – Countdown 2030 Europe

Fight against global corruption making little progress, finds Transparency International

The 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index, published by Transparency International, shows little progress in the fight against public-sector corruption. Sub-Saharan Africa scored worst, followed by Eastern Europe and Central Asia and the Middle East and North Africa. Western Europe and the European Union scored best in the fight against public-sector corruption.

Germany scored worse than in the previous year but still scored among the best at 11th. German Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU) voiced his concern in response, pointing to weakened constitutional and democratic institutions and the restriction of freedom for civil society and independent media.

Report – Transparency International

Newspaper Article - Welt (in German)

Germany Global

German president emphasizes support for Ethiopian reforms

During a three-day state visit to Ethiopia, German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier emphasized Germany's support for sweeping political reforms taking place across the country and signed a memorandum between Volkswagen and the Ethiopian government to jointly establish a car industry in Ethiopia Steinmeier also met with Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and representatives from business and civil society

News article - All Africa

Germany

German Chancellor recommends reform of international organizations in Davos

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) recommends to reform the composition and operation of international organizations at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos. She emphasizes that some countries, such as China and India, are increasingly influencing the global economy and existing system need to respond the change in global powers.

News article - All Africa

Germany Global

German agriculture minister launches initiative to establish council on digital agriculture

At the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) in Berlin, German Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner (CDU) launched a new initiative to establish a council on digital agriculture. The concept for the initiative will be developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with a focus on how new technology can tackle hunger and solutions to decrease the worldwide digital gap.

News article – Tagesspiegel (in German)

Germany Agriculture

German development minister calls for fight against child labor

At Germany’s Green Week (IGW) in Berlin, German Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU) called for a stronger global fight against child labor. He says that, "We build our wealth far too often on the backs of people in developing countries." Müller particularly encouraged consumers to look at what they buy and stated that, if a voluntary self-commitment of companies is not sufficient, legal regulations will be implemented in 2020.

News article – Handelsblatt (in German)

Germany Agriculture

German federal budget for development and defense spending at risk

Despite four years of budget surpluses in Germany, experts warn that the future budget plan of the Federal Ministry of Finance is not fully covered by future revenues, which leaves expenditures for defense and development particularly at risk. The German government has promised to maintain official development assistance (ODA) at a level of 0.51% of gross national income (GNI) and to raise the NATO quota to 1.5 percent. To keep this promise Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) would need to raise the federal budget.

News article – Spiegel (in German)

Germany