EU-Africa strategy must focus on energy transition – German development minister
Germany and the EU must make a sustainable energy supply the focus of the new EU-Africa strategy, write Gerd Müller, Germany’s economic cooperation and development minister and Claudia Kemfert, economist at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in an op-ed in business weekly WirtschaftWoche. The people of Africa and other developing regions are hardest hit by climate change and without the help of the global North they face an uncertain future, they write. Energy transformation is key to their development and economic well-being, they add. “The energy transition in Africa requires an investment and innovation offensive: German and European technologies can make it the green continent.” The pair call for the EU’s New Green Deal to include a strong African component and for the bloc to involve Africa in the global transformation of energy systems. This means investing in solar and wind power and hydrogen. They add that such a turnaround not only gives people in poorer countries a livelihood and economic development opportunities, it also helps to tackle social injustice, defuse regional and geostrategic conflicts, and protects global resources. “This major task must become the focus of the new EU-Africa Treaty,” they conclude.
The EU aims to agree a new EU-Africa strategy at an EU-African Union summit in October. The two blocs are currently discussing partnerships in ten policy areas, including the green transition, digital transformation and sustainable growth. The EU has lost ground in Africa to China in recent years, but wants to cement itself as the continent’s largest investor and intensify political co-operation with the new strategy.