Germany’s Development Minister urges Europe for more support to millions affected by the current drought in Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA – With the words of former German President, Horst Kohler, spoken at his inauguration a decade ago used as inspiration, Germany has opened up a new bold and a pioneering engagement with a new plan for Africa.
With this soon to be finalized plan, Chancellor Angela Merkel and her officials are keen to bolster the economies of Africa, create jobs and slow the flow of migrants from the continent to Europe.
Named ‘A Marshall Plan’ for Africa– some are even drawing a direct parallel with the huge U.S. investment program that kick-started the ravaged German economy after World War Two.
Germany’s Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Germany Gerd Muller said it is an “expression of our will and our optimism that we can truly find a path to peace and development in our cooperation between Europe and Africa”.
German officials are anxious to stop growing numbers of migrants risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean Sea, are pushing for increased public and private investment in Africa.
Minister Muller was on a two-day visit to Ethiopia, where he launched the “Marshal Plan” for Africa.
The plan has 10 principles, including a new equal relationship with the continent, the creation of African solutions to Africa’s problem, job creation for the youth, focus on entrepreneurship instead of aid, the avoidance of exploitation of African resources without real benefit, among others.
“Human dignity shall be inviolable,” the plan reinstates.
The minister pinpointed the need to invest in the youth and Germany’s commitment to invest and help create employment. He reflected on Ethiopia’s industrial parks as great examples in this regard.
He hoped the Ethiopian textile industry, with the right combination of investment, will help create the jobs of the future.
“The textile industry of Ethiopia has 50,000 people working in it today and maybe in five years, 5 million can and will work in the industry,” he reflected.
During his visit, the minister was accompanied by the president of the Somali region and officials of the UN children agency, UNICEF and the Head of OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, part of the United Nations Secretariat.