The young Africa – its people, its hopes, its visions – is a topic which keeps busying me again and again, even during discussions on events it rapidly comes down again to similar questions: what can be done specifically to give the African youth sufficient stability and motivation in their home countries so that they will stay and, which long-term strategies are necessary to strengthen Africa’s structures, especially economically?
Currently, the first thing that comes to my mind is the so-called „Marshall plan“ for Africa by Development Minister Gerd Müller, the agenda is to use the money from foreign aid organizations more purposeful especially in countries, which reliably adhere to the reform agenda of the African Union. That means to rule of law, fight against corruption, compliance of human rights And good government leadership. In return Countries receive effectively more aid for the expansion of the infrastructure and the economy, which can then lead to a permanent increase of the people’s living standards and avoid possible reasons for escape.
One outstanding example for this is Rwanda: only 22 years ago, Rwanda was suffering from a terrible genocide, which forced countless people to flee, even to Europe. In the meantime, the country was able to establish a tolerant and mostly peaceful togetherness and create the foundation for long-term positive developments in education, politics and economy. The International community of nations awards Rwanda with respect for this, but also with specific economical support: the digitalization of the country is in full swing thanks to international investment programs. This creates the basis for Rwanda to participate in the future in the global network of communication and economy. That’s why the plan of the German Development Minister creates hope: for the people in Africa and for the German economy.
Fact is: if the plan works, the number of especially young economic refugees can decrease significantly and the lesser people leave the African countries, the more people are there to implement the foreign investments, even the German one‘s…Politics as well encourage this course: encounter and discussion journeys to Africa, like Angela Merkel‘s in October show: Africa is perceived more increasingly and gains more importance on the priority list of Germany – as well as international politics. The increased attention for the structures and circumstances in Africa – be it by official observers or social networkers – puts the focus of global politics and economy on numerous corrupt or dictatorial governments. And they are held accountable more fiercely for their decisions, actions and non-actions. Until recently, many of them have accepted thousands of dead Refugees annually in silence. They die on illegal sea crossings on their way to Europe. Now however, due to increased international attention – those governments have to answer questions why people are leaving countries, which aren’t torn by war; why are there no sufficient perspectives created by the own government for young people, especially when a country is free of crises for the most part? Questions, which are not only asked by the international community but also by the local people.
Especially young people demand their right on a future and co-determination more rigorously – current elections are speaking for themselves. Corrupt heads of government have to step down, decade-long dictators are suddenly voted out of office….much is happening. Specific plans, like the one from Germany, create justified hope for a brighter tomorrow for all young people in Africa.