Germany has pledged a substantial investment of 4 billion euros until 2030, as announced by Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday. The initiative aims not only to contribute to the sustainable development of the African continent but also to assist Germany in achieving its ambitious target of carbon neutrality by 2045.
Speaking at a German-African business forum in Berlin, Chancellor Scholz emphasized the crucial role of green hydrogen imports, including from Africa, in Germany's transition towards a net-zero emissions economy. Recognizing the considerable initial investment required for hydrogen production, Scholz highlighted the necessity for clear signals of long-term and durable cooperation.
The commitment will be directed towards the common EU-Africa Initiative for Green Energy, with the European Union already earmarking 3.4 billion euros in grants for the initiative. This collaborative effort underscores the significance of international cooperation in addressing global climate challenges.
The announcement comes ahead of the “G20 Compact with Africa” summit, designed to mobilize investments for the world's fastest-growing continent by aligning the development agendas of reform-oriented nations and identifying lucrative business opportunities. Chancellor Scholz reiterated Germany's commitment to being a reliable partner, emphasizing the need for sustained collaboration.
African nations have long voiced concerns about the disparity between European rhetoric on investment and China's more pragmatic approach of providing financing without moral posturing. While Chinese lending in Africa is reportedly decreasing, European interest is on the rise, reflecting a shifting global order where major powers vie for influence, critical resources, and economic opportunities on the African continent.
Germany's trade with Africa, reaching 60 billion euros ($65.4 billion) last year, has shown a notable 21.7% increase from 2021. Despite being a fraction of its Asian trade, this growth signals a deepening economic engagement with the continent. Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara highlighted a tripling of German companies in the past five years, while Morocco's Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch noted a sixfold increase in German investments since 2015.
As the G20 Compact with Africa summit convened its fifth meeting since its establishment in 2017, leaders from more than a dozen African states gathered to discuss and advance collaborative initiatives. German Finance Minister Christian Lindner emphasized the evolving global landscape, stating that Europe and Germany cannot afford to remain passive observers as geopolitical dynamics and economic opportunities in Africa undergo transformative shifts.