Why is Africa not being developed?

Development in Africa

Andreas Eckert

To person

Dr. phil, born 1964; Professor for the history of Africa at the Humboldt University of Berlin, Institute for Asian and African Studies, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin.
Email: [email protected]

The question of why we should be interested in Africa is often linked to the question of the meaning of development cooperation. What is missing, however, are differentiated explanations.


Why should Germany be interested in Africa? "This question was posed by" Der Tagesspiegel "some time ago to a politician from each of the parties represented in the Bundestag. Almost all of the respondents pointed out that Africa's diverse problems had an impact on Europe and that the Federal Republic had decided interests south of the Sahara. "We endeavor to stabilize states through support because we have an interest in ensuring that the people in their countries have an independent perspective on life. Otherwise, migration to Europe will proceed explosively, "said Hartwig Fischer (CDU / CSU), chairman of the parliamentary group West and Central Africa." African states could be important economic partners, "added Werner Hoyer, Deputy Group Chairman of the FDP in the Bundestag." Particularly With regard to raw material reserves, Germany would be well advised to take Africa seriously as an economic partner - before it is sold off to China, the USA and others. "

Not surprisingly, Thilo Hoppe von den Grünen, Chairman of the Bundestag's Development Committee, set a little different accents: "Of course, Germany is interested in getting raw materials from Africa as cheaply as possible, and certain companies are hoping for easier access to Africa's growth markets But we also have government representatives and many NGOs who are firmly convinced that it is also in Germany's self-interest to support African states in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and helping to limit global warming. " The Social Democrat Herta Däubler-Gmelin, Chair of the Human Rights Committee, remained very general: "Europe and Germany need a neighbor, Africa, who solves its problems and is available as a partner." Monika Knoche, Deputy Group Leader of the Left in the Bundestag, did not respond to the question at all, but practiced criticism of imperialism: "Germany (...) can be identified as a European player in the group of former colonial powers. Its Africa policy is not determined by the Situation on site, but primarily aims to expand the international spheres of influence of the EU - in competition with the USA and China. "[1]