In an interview with the German newspaper "Bild", Chancellor Angela Merkel underlined the fact that Africa must be treated as an equal partner, a partner who has both rights and obligations. The money we give must reach the people it is intended to help. Merkel sees the independent development of Africa as one of the key challenges of the 21st century. It is also an ethical imperative and a question of providing credible support for human rights that the problems facing the African continent be resolved.
Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, emphasised that this increase in development funding is not a one-off action, but that it will be continued over the next four years. This is a good starting point to achieve the declared goal of raising the ODA quota to 0.51 percent of the country's gross domestic product by 2010, she declared.
According to Wieczorek-Zeul, "To achieve this goal we will also need more innovative financing instruments". She gave the example of the plan to auction off CO2 emission reduction certificates, and use the revenue thus generated for climate protection measures in developing countries.
One hundred million euros could give 600,000 children an education. With 50 million euros, 22.5 million households could be fitted out with life-saving impregnated mosquito nets for their beds.
Growth and responsibility in Africa
One point the German G8 Presidency has placed on the agenda of the G8 Summit to be held from 6 to 8 June in Heiligendamm is scaling up partnership with the African continent. The summit will be looking at the following fields of action:
- Good governance: legal certainty, the fight against corruption, and transparency as a major precondition for investment and growth in Africa.
- Strengthening the partnership for reform between G8 and pro-reform African governments. Strengthening regional integration and trade through cooperation with the African Union and regional economic communities.
- The fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, the establishment of effective health systems, and of peace and security are basic preconditions for social and economic development on the African continent. In particular the inner-African crisis management capacities are to be strengthened, while at the same time underlining the responsibility of the people of Africa for their own development.