Germany’s G20 Presidency: Focus on Africa
Starting December 1, 2016, Germany will be holding the presidency of the G20 in 2017. The summit of the heads of state and governments of the world’s leading industrial countries, emerging economies, and representatives of international organisations will take place in Hamburg on July 7 and 8 next year.
Enlarge image The official G20 logo (© BPA) “Growth that all states can afford”, is Chancellor Angela Merkel’s main goal for the German presidency of the G20. Starting December 1, 2016, Germany will be holding the chairmanship in 2017, taking it over from China. The summit of the heads of state and governments of the world’s leading industrial countries, emerging economies, and representatives of international organisations will take place in Hamburg on July 7 and 8 next year.
These cooperating states account for almost two thirds of the world population with more than 80 percent of gross world product and three quarters of world trade. Annual summits, which have been held since 2008, therefore traditionally focus on issues relating to global economic growth, international trade and financial market regulation.
“The discussion shows that sustainable growth together with social security is very important […]. Growth, from which all demographic groups benefit: emerging countries, industrialised countries or developing countries“, said Angela Merkel during a press conference in September. The German government outlined three key focuses for its presidency: stability in terms of resilience for the world economy, sustainability by implementing international agreements (for example the 2030 Agenda or the Paris Agreement on climate change), and responsibility in the areas of fighting terrorism and other causes of flight.
Focus on Africa
Enlarge image Heads of states at the 2016 G20 meeting in Hangzhou, China (© picture alliance/dpa) Another focus of the German chairmanship will be the African continent. German Minister of Finance, Wolfgang Schäuble, announced a “Compact for Africa” to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth by strengthening the ability to invest. “There are ten times more direct investments within the European Union than in Africa, even though Africa’s population is twice as big. This shows how urgent it is to directly invest in African countries. This cannot be compensated by development aid only”, says Merkel. In the initiative, G20 members will therefore support the efforts of African countries and international organisations to boost private investment and infrastructure, such as in the area of transportation, communication and energy.
South Africa is the only G20 member state from Africa and represents the entire African continent in the forum. The African Union presidency and the New Partnership for Africas Development will attend the summit as well. Prior to this, an entire conference will be dedicated to the topic of “cooperation with Africa” in June in Berlin.
G20 Ministers meet prior to the summit
Enlarge image China had the G20 presidency in 2016 (© picture alliance/Photoshot) A number of G20 ministers’ conferences are scheduled prior to the summit in July. The Foreign Ministers will meet in Bonn on February 16 and 17 providing an increased opportunity to discuss current international challenges and to raise awareness of new issues in international affairs. For the first time, Ministers for Digital Infrastructure will meet, as well.