Rabat - Morocco and Germany have signed a joint declaration of intent to encourage reforms as part of the G20 "Compact with Africa" initiative in Berlin.
Minister of Economy Mohamed Benchaaboun and German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Muller signed the declaration Tuesday, October 30, at the G20 Investment Summit.
The aim of the declaration is to launch discussions under the name “Partnership to Encourage Reforms,” Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) reported.
Benchaaboun and Muller held a previous meeting during which “they commended the quality of bilateral relations, which testifies to Morocco’s central place in German cooperation policy with the Mediterranean.”
Benchaaboun thanked Germany for choosing Morocco as a priority country eligible for the “Partnership to Encourage Reforms” initiative, according to MAP.
Benchaaboun asserted that the new partnership “will give a new impetus to Moroccan-German cooperation.”
Muller stressed, for his part, that Africa is the continent of opportunities, located near Europe with which Africa shares common objectives and interests. The continent will be younger in 2025 with a population close to 2 billion inhabitants and will face many challenges related to fighting famine, Muller said.
The challenges can be addressed through country-specific instruments, increasing production, and the industrialization of agricultural products, he said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel launched the G20 “Compact with Africa” initiative in 2017 to encourage African countries to introduce reforms. It also aims to promote private investment, particularly in infrastructure, for Africa’s sustainable economic development.
In addition to Morocco, 11 African countries joined the G20 Investment Summit: Senegal, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Tunisia, Egypt, and Ethiopia.
During the summit, Merkel urged German companies to shift focus from Asia to Africa’s “huge” economic opportunities.
“For many years we have been very focused on Asia. I think that in future we should turn our sights more on Africa,” Merkel said.
According to Merkel, the development of Africa could help curb undocumented immigration to Europe.
“Apart from strengthening Africa as a location for investment, it is also important to establish fair trade relations between Europe and Africa,” German outlet Deutsche Welle quoted Merkel as saying.