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The Time Has Come For A Real And Genuine Marshall Plan For Africa – Analysis

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Marshall Plan for Europe

As is well known, the Marshall Plan (1) was an American initiative adopted in 1948 that allowed, (2) through the provision of financial facilities, substantial investment in the economic recovery of Western European states after the end of the Second World War. It is generally accepted that the Marshall Plan was an economic and political success, (3) making this twentieth-century initiative a historical reference that is still present in people’s memory.

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The idea of a “Marshall Plan” was first mentioned on June 5, 1947, in a speech given at Harvard University by General George C. Marshall, then US Secretary of State. 

This plan to combat “famine, poverty, despair, and chaos” in Europe, which had been ravaged by nearly six years of conflict, was passed into law in the United States in April 1948. 

Entitled the European Recovery Program (ERP), it offered all European countries, including the USSR and other communist countries, American assistance in material reconstruction and financial recovery for a period of four years. 

As Soviet-American antagonism, which would soon lead to the Cold War, developed, Moscow, followed by the communist countries of Eastern Europe, rejected the offer. 

Intended to revive the economy “in order to provide the political and social conditions necessary for the existence of free institutions,” the Marshall Plan was accepted only by Western European countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, France, Great Britain, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland) and by Turkey. (4)

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Its start in the spring of 1948 coincided with the Berlin blockade, a year-long East-West showdown, and the beneficiaries of the plan were soon joined by the new Federal Republic of Germany, after its birth in 1949. (5)

A total of 13.35 billion dollars at the time (the equivalent of about 160 billion dollars today) was injected into the economies of the countries assisted, on particularly advantageous terms: 85% free of charge and 15% in long-term loans. 

Two organizations administered the plan: the Economic Cooperation Administration (ECA) and the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC). The Americans had, in fact, set as a condition economic cooperation and a program of self-help between the recipient countries. 

The results of the Marshall Plan were particularly rapid and did not only benefit Europe. Economists believe that American industry benefited greatly from the accelerated expansion of markets in the Old World, where the dollar quickly supplanted the pound sterling as the principal trading currency. (6)

This is why I would like to use the expression of a new “Marshall Plan” in the context of a plea for a massive investment plan to accelerate the ecological and energetic transition of the European Union, but also to build the infrastructure necessary for the development of Africa. (7)

Germany advocated a Marshall Plan for Africa

The question is whether this is not just wishful thinking. Will Germany be able to succeed where other countries have failed in their attempts to boost the development of the African continent?  One thing seems certain, the content that Germany wishes to give to its new initiative is not very innovative: a revision of the North-South cooperation model, a better presence of German companies in Africa, an increase in German official development assistance (+20%), without giving the slightest indication on the amount of the envelope dedicated to the Marshall Plan; to date, only 300 million euros of additional bilateral aid have been announced by the German Ministry of Development. (8)

Nairobi Kenya Streets Matatu Urban City Africa
Nairobi, Kenya

Moreover, no indication has been given at this stage on the criteria for choosing beneficiaries, the economic sectors to be favored, the financial contributors, the question of whether Germany is going alone or with the European Union, or even the G20.

By stating in the plan that aid will be conditional on the return of migrants to their countries of origin, one senses a desire on the part of Europe’s leading economic power to resolve a domestic political problem caused by the migrant crisis. Even if, by the way, the refugee issue seems to have had a fairly favorable impact on the German economy, with stronger growth in 2016 (1.9% compared to the average of 1.4% achieved in the last decade) possible thanks to the revival of consumption and public spending.

J; Peter Pharm, on the question of taking back migrants as a condition for benefitting from such aid, writes: (9)

‘’The German offer of development assistance for Africa to help deter migration is the latest such proposal since the Valletta Summit on Migration in November 2015 set up a €1.8 billion emergency trust fund to help development in African countries and encourage them to take back migrants who reached Europe. Last month, Dutch officials announced that the European Union had reached a deal with Mali stipulating that the West African country would receive an aid package in return for taking back citizens whose asylum claims had been rejected. Whether the aid spurs growth in African economies and whether greater prosperity, at least in the short- and medium-term, actually curtails migrant flows, are different questions which may or not be answered when European Union (EU) leaders convene again in Malta next month. An outstanding concern is how to address countries that do not cooperate in taking back their citizens. Some in Germany’s governing coalition have suggested the aid to these countries be cut, raising the issue of lack of “sticks,” or penalties, in Müller’s approach. The same questions will become a recurring theme when the G7, a group comprised of the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom, convene in May in Taormina, Italy, for a summit focused on Africa and migration.’’

And goes on to say:

’In any event, according to its drafters, the Marshall Plan for Africa will concentrate on fair trade, increased private investment, bottom-up economic development, entrepreneurship, and job creation and employment. While emphasizing African development, the German government did not ignore the opportunities which fast-growing African economies present to German businesses. Citing data showing that 400,000 German companies were active internationally, but only about 1,000 did business in Africa, Müller lamented: “We cannot leave Africa to the Chinese, Russians, and Turks.” Without providing specifics, the plan envisions a shift of development funding to leverage private capital: “Public funding can be used to directly boost private investment in Africa… Every euro of tax revenue can leverage many more euros in private capital. And then investing becomes attractive even for large institutional investors such as insurance companies or pension funds,” said Müller.’’

To this migratory cause seems to be added another, linked to a desire of Germany to take advantage of the loss of leadership of the United States under the Trump era, to better establish its diplomatic influence in the world starting in Africa.

By unilaterally launching such a far-reaching initiative, because of the hopes it raises, is Germany not committing a triple strategic error? 

  • First, it seems to be underestimating the effects of the negative reactions that could come from European Union member states, such as France, which are anxious to manage African countries in their own way;
  • Second, the priority should be to improve existing aid mechanisms, by making a convincing case to those G20 countries that do not respect their contribution commitments: the target of allocating 0.7% of GDP to development aid set in the 1970s has only been reached by four OECD countries; and
  • Third, the draft plan that Germany intends to implement seems fundamentally motivated by considerations of economic competition with the BRICS on an emerging continent.

The term ‘’Marshall Plan’’ used seems to be a priori an attractive commercial packaging intended to better sell the project, seduce world public opinion, and restore the tarnished image of the G20.  The ultimate goal is to open up market shares for German companies and for a German economy that could suffer from the difficulties encountered by Europe in finalizing Economic Partnership Agreements with Africa, but also from tensions in Ukraine and with Russia.

africa black man

Concerning the Marshall Plan in question, Mike Gardner argues: (10)

‘’The Marshall Plan for Africa is based on the assumption that, stimulated by financial incentives and a favorable economic framework, investment will bring economic growth, job creation and reduced migration. Christine Hackenesch, a senior researcher at DIE, is skeptical of this. She also notes that EU efforts to improve migration management should not come at the expense of regional measures. And she insists that the EU and Germany should do much more to promote human rights in Africa. Christine Hackenesch notes that, on average, African democracies have much higher economic growth rates than elsewhere on the continent.’’

A serious Marshall Plan for Africa’s development must take into account several basic parameters:

  1. Refocusing actions around a small core of countries that would serve as locomotives. These countries could be chosen according to criteria such as political stability, democratic anchoring, quality of governance, demographic weight, diplomatic influence, and economic potential; by striving to have at least one locomotive per geographical area; this choice would make it possible to avoid the dispersal effect and to bank on greater efficiency;
  2. To stop the return of illicit capital from the African continent to Europe, estimated by the African Union at between 50 and 60 million dollars, often recycled from official development assistance; to improve cooperation between nations with a view to eradicating tax havens and to make the IMF assume its responsibilities as guarantor of the proper functioning of the international financial system; 
  3. Bring the African countries benefiting from the Marshall Plan to change their economic policy paradigm by observing more rigor in the quality of public spending and in the choice of investments that will bring healthy long-term growth. A good Marshall Plan for Africa should place greater emphasis on strengthening the local productive base through innovation, technology transfer, and relocation. It should also promote the local processing of raw materials with the support of solid North/South joint ventures before thinking about building gigantic infrastructures that could be like “white elephants” in some countries;
  4. Change the mindset of the OECD countries and the Breton Woods institutions by taking Africa more as a partner than a “cash cow”. When the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank welcome high levels of growth and congratulate certain African countries for their “good macroeconomic performance” while knowing full well that the investments that have led to such results are not very productive and that real wealth-creating policies are not being implemented, there is a suspicion of complacency and encouragement to do less well in order to accentuate economic dependence; and
  5. Organize commodity markets more fairly and equitably and open European markets to African products; non-tariff barriers, as a real obstacle to trade, should be abolished.
Map of Africa. Credit: CIA World Facebook
Map of Africa. Credit: CIA World Facebook

The Marshall Plan with Africa (MPA)

The Marshall Plan with Africa (MPA), (11) also known as the Merkel Plan, named after the former  German Chancellor Angela Merkel, is a pathway being explored by Germany to develop the African continent. (12) It is based on three main pillars:

The first is economic activity, trade, and employment: (13) According to the plan, training opportunities are few and do not meet the needs of the private sector. In addition, demand is generally declining, which is causing Africa’s economic growth to decline. The MPA is proposing measures to address this situation and promote employment rates that are conducive to economic growth. For example, it proposes the development of stable financial systems, the promotion of intra-African economic exchanges, the increase of German investment in Africa, and the development of economic and political relations between the Mediterranean states. (14)

The second pillar is peace, security, and stability: (15) It is emphasized here that instability and repeated conflicts in Africa are major factors that are at the heart of the continent’s difficulty in development. The plan, therefore, proposes investing in prevention and in Africa’s national security policies. In addition, it recommends the establishment of a possible alliance for peace and security between the European Union (EU) and Africa. Interestingly, this aspect allows for a parallel between the old and new Marshall Plans. Indeed, if the original plan could be seen as an economic weapon to fight the spread of communism in Europe, the modern plan can be seen as an economic means to fight terrorism in Africa.

Finally, the third pillar is democracy and the rule of law. (16) In this regard, the MPA plans to put in place favorable conditions to attract private investment and ensure the equitable redistribution of wealth to the population. To achieve this goal, the MPA plans to universally implement the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (17) and the UN Charter on Corruption. (18) It also emphasizes the goals of Agenda 2063, (19) promotes development cooperation, and attempts to stop, to the extent possible, illegal financial flows and tax evasion and avoidance. 

The MPA has four specific aims:

– First, it aims to meet the food needs of Africans by implementing technical, organizational, and systemic innovations, (20) such as simplifying access to agricultural finance services; 

– Secondly, the MPA wants to enable the continent to adapt to climate change, thus ensuring “the natural basis of life”; 

– Then, the third goal of the MPA is energy and infrastructure. This is reflected in the desire to electrify the continent and develop its infrastructure; and 

– Finally, public services are also targeted in the MPA, as it provides for measures to ensure the development of education and health systems throughout the continent.

While the idea of an MPA has charmed important American figures such as Bill Gates, it does not meet with the same approval everywhere. (21) Dr. Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, a German politician of Senegalese origin, based her criticism on the fact that Africa is not to be rebuilt, unlike Europe in 1947. (22) Moreover, she said that the Merkel Plan is interpreted by many as a way to ensure the control of rich countries over Africa. Non-governmental organizations have also expressed concern about the plan’s strong tendency to focus strictly on foreign investment. They say this could lead to land grabbing by agribusiness giants. Kenyan political analyst Jacob Kayenya concurs, adding that “the plan risks turbulence if it generalizes the continent’s varied problems’’. (23) Finally, despite the support of the President of the European Parliament, the MPA is not unanimously supported within the EU. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has said he is against the initiative, stating that the African challenge is more of a civilizational nature. (24) 

However, the MPA has attracted several positive reviews, notably from the African Development Bank (AfDB). The AfDB welcomes the plan’s objectives, which are comparable to its own goals. In addition, it emphasizes the importance of the MPA approach to other African states. According to the AfDB, this is the first time that such an initiative has been set up with African countries, rather than excluding them and taking into account only Western interests.(25) The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) also welcomed the German initiative. (26)

China wants Africa

The irresistible Chinese breakthrough in Africa is causing great controversy in the international community. Is it a lever for the future political and economic emancipation of the continent or a brake on its development, or even a factor of instability?

File photo of China's President Xi Jinping speaking at Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. Photo Credit: FOCAC
File photo of China’s President Xi Jinping speaking at Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. Photo Credit: FOCAC

While China is not a new player in Africa, its presence has been greatly strengthened over the past twenty years. China’s growing interest in Africa has been the subject of various criticisms (over-specialization, re-debt of African economies, increased corruption, etc.). However, statistical data and field surveys show that the situation is more nuanced. The intensification of relations between China and Africa represents an opportunity for Africa to adopt an economic strategy that creates jobs, and for traditional donors to reform their cooperation systems.

China is actively present in almost all African countries, investing 35 Billion Dollars in 2015, and she dismissed the USA as the largest trading partner of African countries. The Chinese are in the process to drive the former colonial powers out of the market. Europe wants to save what is to be saved. (27)

What makes Africa attractive to industrialized countries is its wealth of raw materials, especially its precious metals and important minerals for all electronics. A central part of the EU’s African policy is to ensure access to these raw material resources. (28)

The financial policy of the USA, Japan, and the European Union flooded the markets with capital financiers looking for profitable investment opportunities. (29)

Africa at the same time has a huge need for capital; in the domain of infrastructure alone, this need is estimated at 100 billion dollars per year. The solution envisaged is to join supply and demand with the support of public development agencies. (30)

The actual beginning of the renewed interest in Africa is the growing number of migrants from Africa to Europe. What is scary is the rapid population growth in Africa, which according to the estimates of 1.4 billion, today, (31) could grow to more than 4 billion men in 2100.

On this particular topic, Nick Van Mead points out: (32)

‘’It is now nine years since China overtook the US as Africa’s largest trading partner. Although Kenya and Ethiopia were the only two African nations among the 30 countries signing economic and trade agreements at the Belt and Road Forum (Barf) in Beijing in May last year, China has been busy on the continent.

The flagship Belt and Road project is Kenya’s 290-mile railway from the capital, Nairobi, to the port city of Mombasa, which opened to the public last year. There are plans to extend that network into South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi; it was already the country’s largest infrastructure project since independence.’’

According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, the volume of trade between Africa and China reached $167.8 billion from January to November 2020, with the decline in the first half of the year retracting by 8.5% in the following five months. During the same period, imports of agricultural products from Africa increased by 4.4%, representing positive growth for four consecutive years. South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Egypt, and Congo (DRC) are China’s top five partners. Mineral products, machinery and equipment, and base metals (and related products) ranked in the top three in terms of trade volume between Africa and China. Trade in major bulk commodities remained broadly stable. (33)

City Cape Town South Africa Architecture Building View
Cape Town, South Africa

It is worth noting that economic trade between Africa and China has faced many challenges due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic. In the face of these challenges, China has always worked hand in hand with African countries to maintain a relentless China-Africa relationship. From January to November 2020, China’s direct investment in Africa’s overall industry amounted to $2.8 billion, an increase of 0.04% over 2019; the value of new contracted projects signed by Chinese companies in Africa amounted to $55.1 billion, an increase of 13.3%. (34)

Trade between China and Africa rose 40.5 percent year-on-year to $139.1 billion in the first seven months of the year 2021, Chinese Vice-Minister of Commerce Qian Keming said on Sept 3. (35)

China’s imports from Africa climbed 46.3 percent year-on-year to $59.3 billion in the first seven months of 2021, with imports of rubber, cotton, coffee, and other agricultural products doubling from the same period last year, Qian said at a press conference on the impending second China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo. (36)

China is the first economic partner of the African continent. But like the economist and political scientist William Gumede, (37) more and more Africans are criticizing the China-Africa relationship, which they consider very favorable to Chinese interests: (38)

‘’Some African leaders are naive enough to believe the Chinese when they say they are less hypocritical than the Europeans and want to help them. Trade flows tell a different story. How many African products are sold on the Chinese market? What useful infrastructure has been built in Africa with Chinese support?

In recent years, increasingly critical rhetoric has emerged among heads of state in Africa about China and its investments. In an effort to correct the record and provide answers, Chinese President Xi Jinping made an official visit to Zimbabwe and South Africa in December 2015, followed by the chairman of the Chinese National Assembly in March 2016, who visited Zambia, Rwanda and Kenya. These countries, along with Uganda, Ethiopia, and Ghana, were the strongest supporters of the Chinese presence, but have become more critical. In Zambia, the relationship with China has become such a domestic political issue that opponent Michael Sata won the 2011 election, due to resentment generated by the Chinese presence in the country’s copper mines, with violent social conflicts.’

The threat of African mass youth immigration to Europe

Climatic or political crises, demographic boom, low per capita income, promise of a better future made possible by globalization: massive migrations are ahead. Europe must push the global community to get involved in failing African states, as it has been able to do elsewhere.

The tragedies of immigration are before Europeans because tensions have become extreme within more and more countries of the Union where populism has imposed itself. They are ahead because, if the flows are temporarily in decline, they will resume with increased force in the decades to come, the African continent being subject to climatic, demographic, political, and economic crises over which it has no control.

Migrants arriving on the Island of Lampedusa in August 2007. Photo by Sara Prestianni / noborder network, Wikipedia Commons.
File photo of migrants arriving on the Island of Lampedusa, Italy. Photo by Sara Prestianni / noborder network, Wikipedia Commons.

Today’s solutions are not without effect. It is paradoxical to see that the migratory issue is exploding in public opinion, today in Italy and Germany, when there were only 40,000 arrivals from the Mediterranean in the first half of 2016, compared to more than 1 million for the whole of 2015. The policies put in place, in particular, the fight against smugglers and the creation of asylum examination centers upstream in the countries of departure, are effective. But Europe would be wrong to believe that these ebb solutions will be sufficient, even if it listens to the populists who invite it to “toughen” them further to discourage potential migrants.

First of all, it is to mistake the era. Globalization and access to information have created the irrepressible desire to live a better future than that imposed by one’s birth, village, or country. The freedom to try one’s luck elsewhere, the journey of hope, has shattered borders. “Residence arrest”, as Emmanuel Macron puts it, no longer exists. The error of the populist-sovereigntists is to believe that it is still possible to lock people up in countries. If Europe believes it is possible to padlock itself, migrants will go elsewhere, starting with other African countries, as is already the case. The ensuing disorganization will lead to blockages, pogroms, and wars on a scale that will inevitably have repercussions in Europe itself; if only under the moral opprobrium of being partly the cause.

It is then reassuring too quickly. Europe will have 700 million inhabitants in 2050, and Africa will have doubled to 2.6 billion. In 2100, the respective populations will be 650 million and 4.4 billion. That says it all. In this context, massive displacements of African populations are unavoidable, primarily for climatic reasons. The World Bank estimates that 86 million people will be forcibly displaced in 2050, due to lack of water or the collapse of agricultural yields, particularly affecting already poor countries and regions. For demographic reasons, then. African women still have 4.8 children on average, 8 in Niger. The “transition” seen around the world that lowers fertility as development progresses is not happening in sub-Saharan Africa, or far too slowly. Consequently, the economic growth of the region will stabilize “a little below 4%”, according to the outlook of the IMF, which may seem satisfactory at first glance. But, reduced to GDP per capita, this increase falls to 1% per year, a small figure which prevents any real take-off.

If you take a closer look at individual countries. In 2017, per capita income declined in 12 sub-Saharan countries that are home to 33 percent of Africa’s population, or 320 million people. A similar decline was already observable in 2016 and, according to the IMF, this decline continued in 2018. (39) If some countries manage to take off (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, and Tanzania), others are failing: their governments seem incapable of recovery, and the populations of these countries are getting poorer year after year. In addition, and because of this, internal conflicts “continue to present latent risks in several countries, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and parts of the Sahel,” adds the IMF. The future of Africa is, in short, written: too many countries with high demographics, low growth, and dubious political regimes will be sources of migratory flows of several tens of millions of people. This is the problem the Europeans have to face.

Nothing is hopeless, many good policies are conducted by European organizations and states, for health, agriculture, aid to private investments, etc. But all actors recognize that this will not be enough and that there is a need to act differently. May the first migratory crisis experienced sound an alarm. Fatalism should not support populism to send Africa back to its mistakes. Europe must break the deadlock created by the right-wing that sticks to the too short policy of reflux and by the left-wing that paralyzes any voluntary action in the debate on the colonial past. Europe must push the world community to get involved in the failing African states, as it has done elsewhere.

Family planning should be scaled up and women should be helped to free themselves from religious and cultural burdens, with appropriate funding; all international aid should be made conditional on the holding of supervised democratic elections, without any further accommodation; sanctions should be put in place and, finally, since it is known how to help better, one should help much more. It is time for Europe to stop deluding itself about the scale of the tragedies that will be born on its doorstep and to decide on an African policy with much more money but also much more strength. (40)

France wants to help Africa

In an interview with the Journal du Dimanche -JDD-, (41) the French president has indeed largely highlighted the possibilities in the African continent “full of promise, the youngest in the world, the most vibrant, and where everything is possible’’. However, he asked that the international community become aware of this and organize itself for development. 

We need to invest massively in the aftermath of this pandemic with the equivalent of a Marshall Plan“, he insists. It is for this reason that several companies accompanied the head of state on his trip to Africa on May 2021. 

France's President Emmanuel Macron. Photo Credit: Mehr News Agency
France’s President Emmanuel Macron. Photo Credit: Mehr News Agency

But this is not the only request made by Emmanuel Macron: “The international community must have the generosity to say that we will erase part of the debt to help Africans build their future’’. This is not the first time the president has made this request. In a televised address on April 14, 2020, when he announced an extension of containment because of the Covid-19 epidemic, he already called for a “massive cancellation” of the debt of African countries. 

But in addition to the possible economic fallout for France in the long term, the president is concerned about a consequence for Europe if nothing is done to relieve the continent. “If we are complicit in the failure of Africa, we will be held accountable, but we will also pay dearly, especially in terms of migration,” he prophesies.

To support his statement, Emmanuel Macron explains that “most” of the migrants no longer come from countries eligible for asylum: “We must therefore accelerate the economic development of these countries because that is what these young people want. None of them want to take all the risks, cross the Mediterranean in atrocious conditions to come and work here“. It remains to be seen whether he will find interlocutors convinced enough to follow him in his vision of exchange between Europe and Africa to carry out this policy. 

Of course, for many, Emmanuel Macron’s numerous summits and African trips over the past four years have gone somewhat unnoticed or have sometimes seemed disconnected from French social reality. But for the convinced European that the head of state is having moved the EU on Africa is a source of pride. “We managed to build a Europe-Africa axis that is at the heart today of all our multilateral struggles. When I launch in 2018 the global partnership for education in Senegal, alongside President Macky Sall, with European funds, when I invite African leaders to the One Planet Summit in Nairobi in 2019, when we associate them with our presidency of the G7 in 2019 and then with the United Nations Generation Equality Forum this year, we are including all this in this Euro-African axis under construction. This is what allowed me, at the beginning of the pandemic, to invite myself to a meeting of the African Union’s office to convince them to work with us, so that in turn I could convince my European and G20 partners to launch the Act-A initiative, a novel concept of solidarity-based coordination to address the crisis.”

Clearly, despite a stream of criticism on a number of disputes between France and African capitals, if there is one issue on which his African peers thank him for advocating for them, it is that of the pandemic and vaccines, as in Rwanda and South Africa, but especially on the anticipation of the economic shock to come on the continent. ‘’We need our generation to be more relaxed about this continent full of promise, the youngest in the world, the most vibrant, and where everything is possible,” says Emmanuel Macron. ‘’But we need to invest massively in it as we emerge from this pandemic with the equivalent of a Marshall Plan. The international community must have the generosity to say that part of the debt must be erased to help Africans build their future. On the condition that we also let their civil society take responsibility, that they do not allow themselves to be dragged into the networks of corruption and closed governance. That is my bet. It’s a bet for Africa, which in 2050 will have a quarter of the world’s population and half of the planet’s youth.

The European ‘’Marshall Plan’’: myth and reality

During the autumn of 2017, the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani announced an ambitious project to launch a “Marshall Plan for Africa” and to mobilize, for this purpose, 40 billion dollars in the next multiannual budget 2020-2026.

The idea, which basically belongs to the former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and one of her ministers, Gerd Müller, has the potential to seduce both the black continent and Europe, which is very concerned by the waves of illegal immigration from Africa that are massively and systematically flooding its territory. But the great beneficiary will be Africa: with an aid whose amount can, through a leverage effect and the contribution of private investors, exceed the sum initially planned and amount to hundreds of billions of euros, it will be able to experience prosperity and finally see the exodus of its daughters and sons forced by economic, political and climatic problems to seek a more dignified life elsewhere come to an end.

A “Marshall Plan”… just the mention of this act of solidarity which, between 1948 and 1951, contributed to the recovery of Europe in the immediate post-war period, has a mobilizing and highly motivating effect. The original Marshall Plan, like the current financial aid project for Africa, was not a completely disinterested act of generosity. America, the donor of the 1940s, was seeking, among other things (or primarily?) to ensure its own security in the face of an extremely impoverished post-war Europe that was easily won over to communist ideas of subversion, revolution, and the overthrow of the existing system. 

A little more than seventy years later, the same Europe that had once risen up essentially thanks to the Marshall Plan to enjoy decades of great prosperity and excess abundance, is now preparing to make the same gesture of goodwill towards Africa, combining gratuity and self-interest, as the America of General Marshall and Harry Truman had towards itself. Boosting the development of the black continent, Europe has two wishes that could be assumed to be equally sincere and authentic: to see Africa prosper and to protect itself from an increased risk of an influx of illegal migrants with possible infiltration of radicalized individuals. (42)

As for the gratuity in question, it is not in the sense of a charitable gift and a gracious donation. Far from the old “donor-recipient” logic, the financial assistance that the EU is about to grant is aimed at a modern Africa that has already proven its capacity for economic growth and that wants to persevere in this way. As the President of the European Parliament himself has emphasized, the billions granted will be invested in the development of infrastructure, in the promotion of private initiatives, and in the activities of SMEs. This aid will engage the responsibility of the Africans themselves. The main objective would be a further propulsion of economic growth and the reduction of unemployment. (43) 

In the 1940s, the initiative of Secretary of State George Marshall had radically transformed post-war Europe. Thanks to American aid, the Old Continent experienced unprecedented economic growth. For many European countries, this was indeed the beginning of a period of great prosperity – that of the Thirty Glorious Years. In the political sphere, the Marshall Plan encouraged the first steps towards an institutional Europe: the Paris Conference inaugurating the implementation of this Plan in 1947 gave birth to the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC), which ten years later became one of the cornerstones of the foundation of the EEC, the predecessor of today’s European Union.

It is precisely this EU that, through the voice of its former leaders (Angela Merkel and A.Tajani) announced its willingness to contribute to “change the destiny of Africa“. But what will happen to this ambitious project after the European elections when the political landscape of the European Parliament will be changed and a new president elected at its head? The outgoing president of the Parliament, A. Tajani, was, as we have seen, a leading figure in the initiative for a new Marshall Plan.

Migration crisis

The migration crisis is becoming an increasingly debated topic. Everyone gives their opinion, and among them, some propose to reduce the number of migrants by developing the African continent to prevent the poor populations from fleeing. But how to develop the continent on demand? (44)

Africa and the European Union. Credit: European Parliament
Africa and the European Union. Credit: European Parliament

Germany was bruised by the attack on the Berlin Christmas market in December 2016 committed by a Tunisian terrorist. With the confusion, the feeling of the Germans towards the waves of migrants will undoubtedly always be less characterized by an outstretched hand and an open door. In this context, there is a good chance that calls to “stem the flow of migrants at the source” through various programs will intensify. The idea was put forward by Merkel during her African tour in Autumn 2019 (when she was indirectly engaging in a political exercise “from a distance” to appeal to her party’s electorate). (45) The idea is for European countries to provide aid to “stabilize” African countries that are sources of emigration to Europe. 

The idea is not new, of course. It was in fact mentioned at the 2015 Africa-Europe summit. In fact, aid policies since the 1960s have been of the same ilk. Of course, engaging in military cooperation to address the challenges of terrorism and to help countries with limited defence resources seems to make sense. On the other hand, engaging in yet another “Marshall Plan” – as called for by President Issoufou of Niger or proposed by Gerd Müller, the German Minister of Cooperation, for example – based on development aid seems, upon analysis, somewhat dubious, for several reasons:

The first is that aid is really only a palliative that is not intended to generate economic opportunities for sustainable economic development – and thus stability. There is confusion here: the Marshall Plan was intended to help rebuild a Europe ravaged by the world war, its millions of dead, and its razed cities: that is quite different.

Secondly, after more than half a century and more than 3,000 billion dollars poured in, aid is obviously not working that well. Is this surprising?

The incentives of the different actors involved, and posed by the system that could ultimately be described as co-dependent, are not exactly “aligned” with the general interest. Do politicians and bureaucrats “manage” aid in recipient countries where the degree of corruption is high having an incentive to manage the aid windfall properly? What is the interest of donor countries – altruism or geostrategy? We know, for example, the ravages of “tied aid”, which, at least officially, is tending to disappear. Not to mention the incentives of the bureaucracies of what has come to be called the “aid industry” which can be a lucrative business. As in other areas, the provision of “other people’s money” for “co-development” is problematic. In this respect, one remembers, for example, the “management” of the French agency ERA (Entreprendre et Réussir en Afrique) under Sarkozy. In short, aid does not end up where it is supposed to and therefore will not offer new “opportunities” to Africans in general, who will thus always seek to migrate.

In addition to divergent incentives, the limitations of aid can also be explained by knowledge problems – as in planned economies. The knowledge of Western “experts,” recently criticized by William Easterly (1957-) (46) for their “tyranny,” is in fact too limited in the face of the institutional complexity of local situations. There is no real continuum between the real needs of local African populations and the experts in Brussels or Washington, on the other side of the “aid corridor’’. Here again, because of the failure to respond to real local needs, aid will not have a truly positive impact on the opportunities of Africans, nor therefore on the reversal of migration flows.

The third reason is that aid can have the opposite effect to that intended. Stability in a country means – or should mean – essentially that the rule of law prevails and that everyone is free to pursue the opportunities available to him or her. A good indicator of this institutional context is the degree of economic freedom. Of course, economic freedom requires a relatively functional state, including a functional judiciary, which may be costly in the first instance and may warrant assistance in financing. It seems, however, that the vast majority of African countries have incomes that more than cover this kind of essential expenditure, without having to resort to aid.

Instead, aid can disrupt progress toward institutional reform to increase opportunities for all. This is because aid can obviously corrupt and give bad ideas to leaders. More profoundly, when a state is not dependent on its citizens but on international donors, the link between state and citizen is broken – a link that is fundamental to the rule of law, since the notion of accountability to the people cannot really emerge. In this context, the fundamental reforms so long awaited by the citizens will be delayed. Moreover, coming back to Niger and President Issoufou, putting an end to nepotistic practices such as putting his own son in charge of the communication of the presidency would be a good start… (despite a recent improvement, the country is ranked 150th in terms of business climate).

Aid can also lead to a phenomenon of “competition in predation” between clans trying to monopolize the “manna”, resulting in conflict and instability, which will only displace populations in search of peace and survival.

There is no doubt that it is urgent to stop the number of unfortunate Africans drowning in the Mediterranean, in pursuit of an undoubtedly deceptive European El Dorado. (47) The problem of migration is complex, but if European states are to “help”, it is by pressing for fundamental institutional reforms that will free up opportunities for Africans in Africa, and not illusory “Marshall plans” that risk aggravating the problem by their perverse effects.

On the European migration crisis, Elizabeth Collett and Camille Le Coz: (48)

‘’Much has changed since 2015, when irregular migration flows across the Mediterranean spiked, leaving EU and national policymakers scrambling to expand reception and registration capacity, coordinate aid and services, and manage onward movements across Europe. A great deal of learning and progress has taken place in areas such as information collection and sharing, coordination, leadership, and resourcing. Yet officials remain concerned that, should a new migration crisis arise, the European Union may still struggle to respond.

In late 2017, the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union commissioned MPI Europe to reflect on the formal and informal crisis-response mechanisms that have evolved in Europe since 2014. This report builds on that analysis, drawing on interviews and roundtable discussions with senior officials involved in EU and Member State responses to the 2015–16 crisis. It first traces the evolution of the crisis, before breaking down the strengths and weaknesses of the EU response.

And while “crises rarely look the same twice,” the authors note that “this does not mean governments cannot prepare for them.” Based on the lessons learned since 2014, they offer a range of recommendations for EU policymakers, including:

Ways to ensure the European Union can switch smoothly between crisis and non-crisis mode, retaining the benefits of heightened coordination but without the urgency

The appointment of a migration coordinator to help set clear operational priorities, delineate tasks, and signal when coordinated action is needed

The introduction of greater flexibility into EU financial systems to ensure the European Union can quickly translate funding into critical supplies and services to support Member States affected by migration influxes.

In short, the European Union will need to build out sustainable, resilient mechanisms to manage future emergencies if it is to avoid squandering the progress that has been made in recent years.’’

The Compact with Africa

The Compact with Africa (CwA) was launched following the G20-Africa Partnership Conference held on June 12-13, 2017 in Berlin and the G20 Summit held on July 07-08, 2017 in Hamburg. It aims to help African compact countries improve their macroeconomic, trade, and financial frameworks to attract private investment, strengthen their financial and public sector debt management, and encourage private investment from G20 countries. (49)

The CwA Finance Ministers discussed at the meeting the critical role that the Compact can play in Africa’s collective economic transformation agendas and how to overcome some of the challenges in its implementation. They were called upon to express commitment and support for the Compact agenda, assess progress to date, and outline next the steps, including a peer learning framework to address common challenges over the next three years. The meeting was an opportunity for CwA Finance Ministers to discuss how to leverage the compact with Africa, ensure that a platform is in place to support it, and make it sustainable through enhanced private sector investment.

Currently, 12 African countries have joined the initiative: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo, and Tunisia.

The Compact contains the word ‘’pact’’/agreement and ‘’com’’ means together. The G20 countries sign an agreement with voluntary countries. Germany will agree on an investment partnership with three partner countries, Tunisia, Ghana, and Ivory Coast. The task of the African partner country is to carry out reforms in accordance with international institutions that make the country attractive to investors and to propose concrete projects to German investors in areas it considers important: e.g. infrastructure, energy, water, or agriculture.

The German side commits itself to search for private investors/companies and promoting them. Promotion means: giving concrete guarantees that reduce the investment risk.

Within the German Federal Government, there is a division of labor: the Ministry of Finance accompanies the reform agreements with the partner countries, communicates with the international and regional development banks, and leads the initiative within the G20 procedures. The BMZ (50) is responsible for the implementation of the three investment partnerships with Germany. In Ghana, and Ivory Coast the cooperation is in the field of renewable energies; in Tunisia the promotion of the national banking and finance sector. The concrete contribution of the BMZ is the reduction of the risk for investors.

The main objective of the CwA is to make private investments in Africa through significant improvements in the macroeconomic, business, and financial frameworks. It aims to create a leverage effect to stimulate private financing of infrastructure projects, through blended financing, and thus mobilize foreign direct investment (FDI) flows. The Pact brings together some African countries, international organizations – mainly the IMF, the World Bank, and the African Development Bank (AfDB) – as well as bilateral G20 partners with the bilateral partners to coordinate national reform programs, support individual country policy measures, and promote private sector investment opportunities. Through the African Advisory Group (AAG), the G20 monitors progress on governance and cross-border capital flows.

In principle, any African country can join the Pact. Nevertheless, the current composition of the CwA is reminiscent of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative launched in the early 1990s, suggesting that political connections may have influenced the selection of CwA partner states. Of the twelve CwA participants, the nine low-income countries (LICs) have benefited from the HIPC initiative and debt relief from Paris Club bilateral creditors beginning in 1996. In addition, the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) adopted in 2005 has resulted in the cancellation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank Group (WBG), and the African Development Bank (AfDB) in countries that have reached their completion point (countries that have met all the conditions of the Initiative). It is precisely these multilateral institutions that are now managing the Compact initiative. In this sense, the CwA is déjà vu for Africa’s heavily indebted poor countries.

 Peter Fabricius Introduced the Compact with Africa in the following terms: (51)

“At the 2017 G20 summit, the German hosts introduced the Compact with Africa as the latest iteration of the international community’s long and often anguished development relationship with Africa. Instead of dishing out dollars for socially uplifting projects in the traditional way, the compact proposed that individual countries enter into compacts with individual G20 states to help improve their environments for mainly private sector investment.

The reward for African countries would be measured not in dollar terms but in increased investment including for infrastructure, to stimulate development through normal economic activity, boosting growth and creating employment. So in their compacts the African countries have focused on reforms such as making it easier to start a business, improving contract dispute resolution, reducing import and export time, and strengthening insolvency law.

Two years later, the picture is a little mixed. For one thing, only 12 of Africa’s 54 countries have entered into compacts with G20 countries – Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, Tunisia and Togo.

That list is interesting. West Africa is well represented, so is North Africa and to a lesser extent, East Africa. Central and Southern Africa aren’t represented at all. South Africa, which is a G20 member and co-chairs both its development working group and the Africa Advisory Group that manages the Compact with Africa, is absent – perhaps because it feels it is adequately managing its investment environment alone.”

Criticism of the Marshall Plan and the Compact is also coming from Africa. Organizations such as AFRODAD and ADIN fear that these initiatives are a new edition of the structural adjustment programs of the 1980s and 1990s or that they function as an add-on to the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). It would be important that civil society in Africa is involved and that the investment plans be aligned with national, regional, and continental development plans as well as the African Union’s Agenda 2063. (52)

Private industry investment has become the new sesame of development policy. The history of private investment in Africa, mostly in the commodity sector, is one of disillusionment. The lion’s share of the gain remains with the multinationals, with the crumbs going to a small, corrupt local political elite. The population rarely benefits and is most often the big loser: its assets are taken away and its environment is destroyed.

The credits that the African partner countries receive to finance the projects worsen their indebtedness, but this is ignored by both the G20 and the German federal government. The debt relief alliance Erlassjahr.de (53) has been warning for a long time about the threat of a future debt crisis. All of Germany’s partner countries, including Ghana, Tunisia and the Ivory Coast, are already facing a debt crisis, according to erlassjahr.de analyses. The receipt of new loans could further deteriorate their debt situation.

There are other reasons for doubting whether the Africa Compact will actually stimulate development in the partner countries. The interest of German companies in investing in Africa is low. Asia and Latin America offer better chances of success. Moreover, it is not clear that African governments are really willing to respect the principles of the rule of law and to seriously fight corruption, the great obstacle to development. In the last two decades, there have been a good dozen initiatives in Africa that have not achieved the desired results. (54)

Despite reservations, the renewed interest in Africa is welcome. The governments of the G20 countries see more clearly that an initiative is needed to revive development and to prevent more African countries from becoming failed states. One must also prevent more and more young Africans from following terrorist groups or risking their lives to seek a better future abroad.

The Marshal Plan and the Compact with Africa are underdeveloped attempts at a new development strategy and need to take the 2030 agenda of the SDGs (55) more clearly into account before they can hope to become effective development instruments.

Conclusion: Africa, the land of the future of humanity

Despite its infernal media image of wars and calamities, disasters, and violence, Africa remains a continent with tremendous assets that looks confidently to the future. (56)

And in many sectors – transport, energy, mining, distribution, communication, tourism, etc. – activity is booming. -Africa wants to catch up with its major backwardness. Africa wants to make up for its major infrastructure backlog and has launched titanic projects everywhere. Almost every country now has a major construction site. Will one see a repetition of the mistake of the oversized “pharaonic projects” of the 1960s, which were financial abysses, triggered the tragic spiral of debt, and constituted corruption pumps for the dictators of the time? It is not impossible. But the under-equipment in terms of roads, highways, railroads, ports, airports, electrification, water supply, tele-communications, etc., remains abysmal. And it is precisely this under-equipment that dissuades many investors from investing in Africa.(57) 

Foreign investment is no longer attracted solely by Africa’s natural resources, but by the services sector. The extent of the ongoing conversion, the spread of change, the significant improvement in the political climate in some countries, the quality of local graduates, the transformation of the macroeconomic base, the relative prosperity of certain regional areas, and the more active participation of the private sector are all part of an economic and sociological framework that is still too little known. And they provide hope for a true African renaissance.

For a long time, many economists have been saying that Africa will be the continent of the 21st century. The reasons are well known: arable land, unexploited mineral resources, and the demographic transition that will increase the population from 1.3 billion in 2019 to 2.5 billion in 2050. These are all assets, but one can legitimately think that all this involves many difficulties. Demography is a source of youth, innovation, and energy, but it can also be a brake on social and therefore economic balance. But above all, Africa today, whatever its positive prospects, is cruelly lacking in infrastructure in terms of water, energy, transport and mobility, training, and access to digital technologies. Everyone, therefore, is convinced of the absolute necessity of massive investment by the rest of the world in this extraordinary group of 54 countries. (58)

But more than that, I am convinced that if the global economic slowdown were to be confirmed, followed by major financial and then macroeconomic disruptions, a large part of the solution would be to rely on this continent. This is in fact what we can see in the massive investments made by China, India, and Russia, which have understood how important this is for their own future.

Africa is now ready for all these upheavals and many countries are already experiencing a very rapid evolution. We talk a lot about the great organization of Rwanda, and the strong growth of Ethiopia, and Kenya. But another country that has largely initiated a positive trajectory, is Senegal.

In the long term, one will have to at least double the amount of investment in infrastructure, to allow the greatest number of people access to energy, drinking water, and training. African countries are fast and efficient in their ability to adopt innovations, as can be seen in the remarkable technological breakthrough in the field of digital banking and in the use of new means of communication. But, in fact, one needs to go much further: one needs to launch a truly exceptional plan over a period of fifteen years which, as always, will demonstrate that massive investment, provided it is accompanied by the necessary training for its proper use and maintenance, yields very positive results. (59)

This approach must not be exclusively financial. One of the absolute priorities is the use of all the continent’s agricultural capacities and the transport of these agricultural products in satisfactory, rapid, and efficient conditions. Perhaps one should also consider temporary customs protections that will only counterbalance the generalized subsidies that the major producing countries use to establish their leadership in these markets. (60)

The African continent has enormous potential in terms of mining, agricultural and demographic resources. But to take its full place in the global economy, Africa needs massive investment in infrastructure and training. Will the developed world respond favourably, genuinely and fast? Only time will show…

You can follow Professor Mohamed Chtatou on Twitter: @Ayurin u

End notes:

  1.  Wala, Michael. Marshall Plan by Allen W. Dulles. Providence, RI, U.S.A: Berg, 1993.
  2.  Mueller, Antony. “The Marshall Plan: Fiction and Facts”, American Institute for Economic Research, December 7, 2018. https://www.aier.org/article/the-marshall-plan-fiction-and-facts/
  3.  Soutou, Georges-Henri. « Le Plan Marshall : un recalibrage politico-stratégique », Revue Défense Nationale, vol. 804, no. 9, 2017, pp. 5-9. https://www.cairn.info/revue-defense-nationale-2017-9-page-5.htm
  4.  Behrman, Greg. The Most Noble Adventure: The Marshall Plan and How America Helped Rebuild Europe. New York City: Free Press, 2008.
  5.  Steil, Benn. The Marshall Plan: Dawn of the Cold War. New York City: Simon & Schuster, 2018.
  6.  Kunz, Diane B. “The Marshall Plan Reconsidered: A Complex of Motives.” Foreign Affairs, vol. 76, no. 3, 1997, pp. 162–70. JSTOR, https://doi.org/10.2307/20048105
  7.  Tedajo, J. “QUEL PLAN MARSHALL POUR L’AFRIQUE ?”, Africa Development / Afrique et Développement, vol. 8, no. 1, 1983, pp. 85–101. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/24486555
  8.  Pham, J. Peter. ‘’Germany’s ‘Marshall Plan’ for Africa‘’, Atlantic Council, January 23, 2017. https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/germany-s-marshall-plan-for-africa/
  9. Ibid.
  10.  Gardner, Mike. ‘’L’Afrique a-t-elle besoin d’un Plan Marshall ?’’ Rural 21, October 17, 2017. https://www.rural21.com/francais/de-nos-partenaires/detail/article/lafrique-a-t-elle-besoin-dun-plan-marshall.html?no_cache=1
  11.  Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. ‘’ A NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR DEVELOPMENT, PEACE AND A BETTER FUTURE. Cooperation with countries in Africa’’, BMZ, https://www.bmz.de/en/countries/marshall-plan-with-africa
  12. Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.  Africa and Europe: A new partnership for development, peace, and a better future. BMZ, January 2017, 34 p.
  13. Ibid., pp. 16-18. 
  14.  Berthélemy, Jean-Claude. ‘’ Comme l’Europe en 1948 …’’, Géopolitique africaine, 6, 2002, pp. 121-127.
  15.  Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.  Africa and Europe: A new partnership for development, peace, and a better future, op. cit., pp. 19-20.
  16.  Ibid., pp. 21-23.
  17.  http://archive.ipu.org/idd-E/afr_charter.pdf
  18. https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CAC/
  19. https://au.int/fr/newsevents/20200206/africa-union-member-states-reporting-agenda-2063
  20.  Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.  Africa and Europe: A new partnership for development, peace, and a better future, pp. 24-32.
  21. Baril, Hélène. ‘’Un plan Marshall pour l’Afrique’’, La Presse, February 2002, pp. 1-2.
  22.  DEUTSCHE WELLE. Plan Marshall : “L’Afrique n’est pas à reconstruire”, July 2017,   https://www.dw.com/fr/plan-marshall-lafrique-nest-pas-%C3%A0-reconstruire/a-39605478 Dr. Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana is a city councilor in Erlangue, Bavaria. Originally from Senegal, in this contribution she discusses the German government’s commitment to invest massively in Africa.
  23.  Koigi, Bob. ‘’L’Allemagne propose un « Plan Marshall » controversé pour l’Afrique’’, EURACTIV, December 2016. https://www.euractiv.fr/section/aide-au-developpement/news/africa-has-mixed-reaction-to-germanys-marshall-plan-proposal/
  24.  Blum, Elena. ‘’Après les déclarations de Macron sur la natalité en Afrique, que disent les chiffres ?’’, Le Monde, July 12, 2017. https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2017/07/12/apres-les-declarations-de-macron-sur-la-natalite-en-afrique-la-verite-des-chiffres_5159751_3212.html
  25. Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.  Africa and Europe: A new partnership for development, peace, and a better future, op. cit., 34 p.
  26.  Bouessel du Bourg, Charles. ‘’Un plan Marshall serait « bienvenu » pour l’Afrique, affirme la Cnuced qui appelle à un « vrai New Deal » contre l’austérité’’, Jeune Afrique, September 15, 2017. https://www.jeuneafrique.com/474259/economie/un-plan-marshall-serait-bienvenu-pour-lafrique-affirme-la-cnuced-qui-appelle-a-un-vrai-new-deal-contre-lausterite/
  27.  Van Mead, Nick. ‘’China in Africa: win-win development, or a new colonialism?’’, The Guardian, July 31, 2018. https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/jul/31/china-in-africa-win-win-development-or-a-new-colonialism
  28.  Alden, Christopher.China in Africa Partner, Competitor or Hegemon? London: Zed Publishers, 2007.
  29.  Bart, François. ‘’Chine et Afrique, une longue histoire, une nouvelle donne géographique’’, Cahiers d’Outre-Mer, Chine Regard Croisé, no. 253-254 | janvier-juin 2011, pp. 193-208. https://journals.openedition.org/com/6243
  30.  Nassiri, Sarah. ‘’China’s Investment in Africa’’, Mineo Info, May 8, 2017. https://infomineo.com/chinas-investment-in-africa/
  31. https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/africa-population/
  32.  Van Mead, Nick. ‘’China in Africa: win-win development, or a new colonialism?’’, op. cit.
  33. https://www.iisd.org/articles/chinese-investment-africa-bilateral-trade-decline
  34.  Ibid.
  35. Subban, Virusha. ‘’Africa: China’s trade with the continent grows to record highs’’, Global Compliance News, September 26, 2021. https://www.globalcompliancenews.com/2021/09/26/africa-chinas-trade-with-the-continent-grows-to-record-highs-16092021/
  36. https://english.www.gov.cn/news/internationalexchanges/202109/03/content_WS61320d2ec6d0df57f98dfa05.html
  37.  William Gumede is a South African political scientist and economist, who has worked on the topic of China-Africa relations. He is a former economic advisor to the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).
  38.  Gumede, William. ‘’La relation Chine-Afrique de plus en plus critiquée sur le continent africain’’, iD4D, February 2, 2017. https://ideas4development.org/chine-afrique-relation/
  39. https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/REO/SSA/Issues/2017/10/19/sreo1017
  40.  Gahungu, J., Vahdaninia, M. & Regmi, P. ‘’The unmet needs for modern family planning methods among postpartum women in Sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review of the literature’’, Reprod Health 18, 35 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12978-021-01089-9
  41.  Clemenceau, François. ‘’EXCLUSIF. Immigration, terrorisme, colonisation… Les confidences de Macron en Afrique’’, Le Journal du Dimanche, May 29, 2021. https://www.lejdd.fr/Politique/exclusif-immigration-terrorisme-colonisation-les-confidences-de-macron-en-afrique-4048401
  42. Balfour, Rosa, et al. DIVIDE AND OBSTRUCT: POPULIST PARTIES AND EU FOREIGN POLICY. German Marshall Fund of the United States, 2019. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep21237
  43.  European Union. ‘Speech by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the opening session of the High-level conference “Towards a renewed partnership with Africa” at the European Parliament’’, Brussels, 22 November 2017. https://www.eeas.europa.eu/node/36059_en
  44.  Collett, Elizabeth & Camille Le Coz. ‘’After the Storm: Learning from the EU Response to the Migration Crisis’’, Migration Policy Institute, June 2018. https://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/after-storm-eu-response-migration-crisis?
  45. https://www.dw.com/en/opinion-angela-merkel-in-africa-a-transparent-tour/a-45317704
  46.  William Russell Easterly is an American economist specializing in development economics. He is interested in issues of economic growth and development aid. He is a professor of economics at New York University (NYU), and co-director of the NYU Institute for Development Research. He is associate editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Economic Growth, and the Journal of Development Economics.
  47.  Chtatou, Mohamed. ‘’Some of the Main Challenges Facing the Mediterranean Region’’, Eurasia Review, July 20, 2022. Some Of The Main Challenges Facing The Mediterranean Region
  48.  Collett, Elizabeth & Camille Le Coz. ‘’After the Storm: Learning from the EU Response to the Migration Crisis’’, op. cit.
  49. https://www.compactwithafrica.org/content/compactwithafrica/home.html
  50. https://www.bmz.de/en
  51.  Fabricius, Peter. ‘’G20 Compact with Africa is a long game’’, Institute for Security Studies, July 5, 2020. https://issafrica.org/iss-today/g20-compact-with-africa-is-a-long-game
  52. https://au.int/en/agenda2063/overview
  53. https://erlassjahr.de/
  54.  UNESCO. Futurs africains : vers une émergence durable ? Paris : UNESCO, 2015. https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000243004
  55. https://mentorsinternational.org/un-sdg/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw_viWBhD8ARIsAH1mCd7HhqQgRxiHOF2m-FmRtuCuFT6cVT-qUyhcDAxzZlff2IzS-yubXtAaAnXDEALw_wcB
  56.  Lopes, Carlos. L’Afrique est l’avenir du monde : Repenser le développement. Paris : Seuil., 2002.
  57.  Moungou Mbenda, Sabine Patricia ; Barnabé Thierry Godonou & Lucain Some. ‘’ De belles perspectives économiques pour l’Afrique subsaharienne et cinq raisons d’y croire’’, The Conversation, June 10, 2019. https://theconversation.com/de-belles-perspectives-economiques-pour-lafrique-subsaharienne-et-cinq-raisons-dy-croire-117219
  58.  LaTribune/Enedis. ‘’Le moteur de notre croissance future, c’est l’Afrique’’, July 19, 2018. https://afrique.latribune.fr/entreprises/la-tribune-afrique-de-l-energie-by-enedis/2018-07-19/le-moteur-de-notre-croissance-future-c-est-l-afrique-785386.html
  59.  Brunel, Sylvie. L’Afrique est-elle bien-partie ? Paris : Editions Sciences Humaines. 2014.
  60.  Faleg, Giovanni. ‘’Le futur de l’Afrique : libre échange, paix et prospérité ?’’, Le Grand Continent, March 14, 2021. https://legrandcontinent.eu/fr/2021/03/14/le-futur-de-lafrique-libre-echange-paix-et-prosperite/

Dr. Mohamed Chtatou

Dr. Mohamed Chtatou is a Professor of education science at the university in Rabat. He is currently a political analyst with Moroccan, Gulf, French, Italian and British media on politics and culture in the Middle East, Islam and Islamism as well as terrorism. He is, also, a specialist on political Islam in the MENA region with interest in the roots of terrorism and religious extremism.

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