On 22nd June 2017 the German Embassy organized a press meeting to brief a section of the press on the outcomes of the recent G20 Africa conference which took place from 12th to 13th June 2017 in Berlin ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg.
The objective of the press conference which was addressed by Ambassador Christopher Retzlaff, Mr. Henry G. R. Kerali, country director of the World Bank and Mrs. Natalia Koliadina, country representative for IMF, was to explain on the one hand the frameworks of the G20 Africa Partnership, an initiative of the German Federal government in the context of its 2017 G20 presidency and on the other hand to throw more light on the Compact with Africa which is coordinated by the German Federal Ministry of Finance within the G20’s finance track.
Ambassador Christopher Retzlaff stated that the G20 Africa conference was a successful conference as for the first time it put Africa high on the Agenda of the G20 countries, the 20 most important industrialized countries of the world. It brought together seven African countries namely Ghana, Tunisia, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Rwanda, Morocco and Ethiopia which have already been selected to be part of the Compact.
The Compact with Africa is a long-term sustainable agreement, open to all African countries that are interested and will be negotiated between theses African countries, the G20 countries and major international financial institutions like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the African Development Bank with the purpose of creating conducive business climate for investors and making more private investment and capital available for Africa. In addition to the Compact with Africa and also in line with the government’s policy to position the country beyond aid, Ghana and Germany signed a bilateral memorandum of understanding for a new reform partnership. Germany will thus invest 100 Mio EUR this year in Ghana in the areas of renewable energy, technical and vocational training and financial sector development.
Mr. Henry G. R. Kerali, country director of the World Bank emphasised the need for government to implement trade policies that will attract foreign firms and investors and noted that institutions such as his commit to provide incentives and guarantees that will encourage them to invest in Ghana. He added that the purpose is not to create unfair competition for local companies with limited capacity but to make sure a level playing field is created for all and to create more employment and build the capacity of the youth.
Mrs. Natalia Koliadina, country representative of IMF, pointed out that the mandate of her institution in Ghana is to support the country set its macroeconomic structures right. Unlike other existing programs the Compact with Africa will not lead to direct financial assistance for the government of Ghana, but to an accompaniment of the country in its policy formulation towards a healthy overall economy through more investment and more and better paid jobs.
Three weeks before the G20 summit in Hamburg, Africa was, for the first time, high on the G20 agenda. A high level meeting was held in Berlin to discuss issues of central importance for the continent’s future and a new partnership between the G20 countries and Africa.