Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said Africa will be on the top of the agenda at the upcoming G8 meeting which will be held in Heiligendamm, Germany, in a week’s time.
Chancellor Merkel, who is also the chair for both the G8 and the European Union until end of June told President Festus Mogae and Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, on the side-lines of the Africa Partnership Forum that the summit would try to tackle poverty levels in the world’s poorest continent.
“Africa is one the main items on the G8 agenda,” she said.
In the run-up to the summit, the chancellor told the Africa Partnership Forum in Berlin on Tuesday that Europe had a special responsibility to help the continent.
Merkel, Mogae and Rasmussen opened the Africa Partnership Forum in Berlin on Tuesday.
The two-day meeting is looking at how the G8 can help the world’s poorest continent. It will “make recommendations for the preparations for the G8 and African Union summits,” the German government said.
The initiative was established in 2003 in the aftermath of the G8 summit in Evian, France, in a bid to encourage dialogue between Africa and the world’s wealthiest nations. This year, it comes just two weeks ahead of the G8 summit, where Merkel is due to unveil new initiatives to fight poverty in Africa.
On Monday, the chancellor had met with German business leaders in Berlin and urged them to invest more in Africa.
“Whoever accepts Africa as an investment location today will reap the rewards tomorrow,” Merkel told the group of high-ranking managers, including the chief executives of automaker Volkswagen and telecommunications giant, Deutsche Telekom. The meeting was also attended by representatives from medium-sized businesses, trade groups and international organizations.
“Africa is a continent with an unbelievable development potential,” Merkel said.
The meeting at the chancellery discussed investment opportunities in Africa, as well as good governance and ways to integrate the continent in the global economy. Merkel said she and business leaders agreed that political efforts to improve governance in Africa should be coordinated with economic activities.