For the first time, Germany and China want to work together in Africa. To that end, Minister Gerd Müller and Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan jointly opened a centre for sustainable development in Beijing. The two sides’ cooperation will begin with an effort to identify suitable countries and projects in Africa.
Minister Müller said, “With the help of German expertise on vocational education and on environmental and energy technology, we will jointly be able to foster economic development in African countries. Foreign investment must benefit the local people and create training opportunities and jobs for young Africans. German knowledge on green environmental and energy technology can also help Africa embark on a low-carbon development path. This has the double benefit of helping the environment and facilitating leapfrog development. Together with our Chinese and African partners and the private sector, we are creating new win-win situations that make it possible to pursue a totally new dimension of development cooperation.”
China is already the world’s largest infrastructure investor in Africa. From 2015 until the end of this year, China’s leaders want to invest about 60 billion euros in Africa, mainly in infrastructure. In preparation of the work of the joint centre for sustainable development, Minister Müller had talks with Finance Minister Xiao Jie and Commerce Minister Zhong Shan. The Minister also agreed with the Chinese side that there would be closer cooperation with the Development Research Center, an institution of the Chinese State Council that pursues some activities in the field of development policy.
Minister Müller said, “Only together with China will we be able to meet the global challenges we are facing, from climate action to a world without hunger all the way to reaching a new dimension of economic cooperation with Africa. Only together will we be able to achieve the international community’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”