Does democracy promote economic growth? An immense body of literature already exists on this topic but there is, as yet, no hard consensus among scholars and policymakers alike about the general link between democracy and growth. This question is particularly relevant to sub-Saharan Africa—a region where two broad trends of fast economic growth and democratization concurrently happened over the past two decades.
The next EU-Africa summit is due to take place in Abidjan in November. This requires a vision of peaceful, legal partnership with and for each other. This can only be the creation of self-supporting economic development in Africa. Although development cooperation has a catalytic function here, private investments are decisive. In this case, it is advisable to ask oneself the following: which elements of mutual interest can and should we change? The EU’s Economic Partnership Agreements with African countries and country groups should be named in this context as an example.
All low-income countries have the potential for dynamic economic growth. We know this because we have seen it happen repeatedly: a poor, agrarian economy transforms itself into a middle- or even high-income urban economy in one or two generations. The key is to capture the window of opportunity for industrialization arising from the relocation of light manufacturing from higher-income countries. That was true in the past and remains true for Africa today.
Traditionally strategies aimed at accelerating economic development in Africa have focused on strengthening domestic resource mobilization and attracting more external capital to fill the large financing gaps faced by the continent. Much less attention has been paid to the illicit export of Africa’s capital – capital flight. This approach has perpetuated Africa’s dependence on external financing while ‘normalizing’ the plunder of Africa’s wealth through unfair trade and illicit financial flows.
Germany’s assumption of the G20 presidency kicked off on 1 December 2016 with a concerted presentation of its priorities, as the multilateral economic and financial forum looks towards its Hamburg Summit of July 2017. Of note among these priorities is the Compact with Africa through which Germany seeks to intensify partnerships with Africa