tv Quadriga - EU- Africa Equal Partners Deutsche Welle December 1, 2017 1:30pm-2:01pm CET
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african union was officially dedicated to the future of africa's youth but it's the troubling present that was largely in the spotlight catalyzing that focus once again images of suffering and despair like that of the would be migrants from sub-saharan africa who land in detention camps in libya where they are mistreated abused even sold into slavery those images reinforce the pressure on european politicians to stem both the flow of migrants and their suffering pressure that has severely tested even the end of medical. she sees a common interest on both sides can europe and africa truly work together to give young africans a future on their own continent are they not only neighbors but truly equal partners that's the question we want to pose today on quadriga and here are the guests so after it it's a pleasure to welcome christine wondered why she is a business journalist who's reporting focuses on southern africa she says africa is
changing rapidly but much of the way the west approaches the continent is still caught up in the old ways and it's a pleasure to welcome thorsten he's co-founder and director of the global public policy institute here in berlin he says more development in african states will in the short to medium term likely increase migration flows to europe and finally very glad to have carefully merriam grammar of old with us once again. he worked for twenty years in the field of development and now cover security and development policy as a freelance journalist he says african presidents are being a misused as bouncers for the e.u. for the sake of keeping migrants out of europe they are ready to sell their heart and soul partnership becomes a permanent pain for africa. let me start out by asking you christine whether you think a summit like the one that the a you in the e.u.
have just held really can make a an authentic difference can it break break through those old ways that you mentioned in your opening statement to really deliver a more equal truly fundamental partnership for change you know melinda i am skeptical as much is a lot of people my age back on the continent we've talked about these summits and the fact that the average young person on the continents doesn't even know that such as i mean it's taking place if these people are meeting about young people young people aren't even aware about that just how much change can they really be hoping to bring to young people without that the engagement of the young people by and large as i say africans odd even aware of these talk shops so to say. but i know if i take a look at actually all three of those opening statements that i just read off i'd have to conclude that the common thread in all of them is the sense that if
anything european african relations may take a turn not for the better but for the worse i think that's after all the decision makers to decide that i think we will we're not headed for an equal partnership because european countries and african parties countries are not equals african countries also vastly different what does gonna presently have in common with south sudan for example but i think if we're respectful and if europeans approach this clearly explaining their interests africa much rather than talking about africa as a basket case or a charity case but not rather we have an interest in economic development that's good for our business we have an interest in migration control because we have problems at home rightwing populism and then you can approach this in a respectful way but based on then arguing out your interests i think that would be a sound approach going forward. there was a lot of stress amongst the european politicians meeting at the summit that they
seek common interests in both sides would you agree with that where do you see truly common interests well that is i think a certain flair which president mccrone always tries to show us the common interests. are that we are two continents that are historically bound together that we have a very close relationship whether we like it or not it is the continent that is in proximity to europe so the europe needs a lot of agricultural minerals and other materials from from africa there's no no doubt about it these colonial business lines are there and will continue to be there so i think the real clue is whether the. third of these are in a position to transform this into some sort of partnership the methods they're using the poster they're making the language they're using is not convincing
christine when you are speaking of not convincing you come from zimbabwe your country has had an octogenarian octogenarian leader until just recently when mr mugabe was removed from power but you have a population with an immense youth bulge like many african countries europe on the other hand has a rapidly aging population and a very big demographic problem that seems like it could be the basis for a fruitful partnership but is it actually on the radar screen it is and i've spoken to a lot of young africans who are aware of that young zimbabweans young south africans are reported much inside africa who are aware of what's going on in the and the demographic that's taking place in europe and aspire to to get educated and come to europe to fill those gaps or to say so yes in many ways it looks it is a partnership can be reached there but i think by and large what africans young africans are appealing to is to say c.s.
is equal partners we're tired of the sort of cosmetic rhetoric where we had to help you the reality is we can both give something we've talked about the resources for example the skills that are on the african continent you're talking about zimbabwe it's a very educated country with the highest literacy rate on the continent so at some point young africans are demanding not just from the west by the way even from their leaders part of the reason why robert mugabe fell out with a lot of young zimbabweans was they looked at him as somebody who was old school and thinking robert mugabe thought if you gave somebody land and they could be a peasant farmer and they could you know be a subsistence farmer for example look off to grow potatoes and and tomatoes and feed the family at night that he has done his job but young people said no we want to hold i phones we we want to drive a mercedes benz for example and so they're out of touch by and large so we're sitting with with young people on the. didn't feel that their leaders don't understand them but also feel like they being talked down to by the western world to us and that is something that often strikes me when i'm in africa is an
asymmetry of you might call it information we've just heard christine linda telling us young africans are very well aware of the demographics in europe but we in europe tend to have a pretty one dimensional view of africa when we talk about these negative images of africa as a continent of hunger of despair of migration are we in the media partly responsible for the fact that this that the story is so perhaps one dimensional think hunger and disaster always sells misery you know misery is what's kind of drives people to the screen but i think in the media you should have more interviews with for nurse from africa whole building up businesses for example or entrepreneurs from europe that are investing in africa because that would kind of even out the picture a little bit of course they're basket cases and as a distinct we need to do reporting on south sudan the horrible conditions there or on the conditions in libya because otherwise there's no pressure for change on
these but at the same time you also need to do reporting on industrial parks being built in ghana. that will then help a more nuanced and informed view on africa in the west in europe those negative images that i mentioned were certainly very much on display in the run up to the a u. e.u. summit after c.n.n. broadcast footage of what appears to be a slavery auction in libya libya has become the jumping off point for desperate people seeking to migrate to europe and that is putting pressure on european leaders european pressures yet leaders in turn are pressuring their african counterparts to stop the migrants before they reach libya let's take a look. a blurry photo is all david bengal has left his friend died of thirst when they tried to cross the sahara to libya ninety percent of all refugees from west
africa risk their lives using this route through niger. my friend came and the syrians through island in my hand through. and over the years you. know david's in a detention camp in niger like tens of thousands of other refugees niger's government set up the camps under pressure and with support from the european union . mali mauritania and wiki know faso have also been called upon to keep the refugees in africa and stop the gangs of traffickers if necessary by force of arms . is this what a partnership between the e.u. and africa should look like. give them i am a good provider you said in your opening statement that europe is misusing african leaders as bouncers but don't european politicians have
a point when they say that both sides actually have an interest in ensuring that people who have essentially no chance of obtaining legal residence in europe don't wind up as victims of libya's law and this lawlessness or dying at sea that is correct but let's wind up let's one back if you see the situation in libya the european union signed an agreement with the libyan government nobody knows which government they are talking about there are three governments and at least one terrorist group operating in libya so how do you manage when you. agreement with such in such a chaotic situation that leads directly to this kind of slave trade this is appalling for us as africans we never thought that in the twenty first century we would see an african sword such kind of image so as i hope the foreign minister of . mali said it in the european parliament a few years ago they signed a deal with libya without any plan and vision and that's what they have produced
now directly or indirectly strafe slave auction markets in africa yes there is an interest also for the african side nobody in africa is interested to see the sons and sisters and brothers. been dying in the in the in the sea certainly african leaders have got to do their part which is to generate for the young people. income generating activities that make it viable for africans to remain back home. but nobody is taking them to task partnership starts with of course this kind of. the this kinds of commitments on both sides and sorry to say but the whole issue of migration is basically because the twenty seven e.u. countries are not able to agree and manage their own crisis that is the starting point. as i said come in there if i could you know i i also find it you know slightly ironic you know this this is sort of selection process if you will is sort
of like a we want certain africans but we don't want the racist you know i know of young africans who are sitting in very powerful positions at contributing to european wissen economies they've been taken out of the continent and they're improving economies yet those people could have been very much useful at home we can arrange our india brain drain we cannot compete in keeping those people i mean how do you take somebody who sat on president obama's economic advisory panel how do you bring that person back to zimbabwe you simply just don't have the incentive so in many cases if you're going to take the best people they're not going to be available back home to improve the conditions and so if your body else is going to look to europe as that place where the dreams of that have come true because the best of africans awhile come to europe and into the western world and what they do unfortunately doesn't have much benefit for the people that they need back home we can't compete with those incentives just invent our how do way fix what is clearly a very very broken system we're hearing essentially here that the whole
concept of the kind of immigration laws that german politicians now say germany must adopt would suck out even more talent from africa and leave those with few prospects behind i think first of all we need to fix the horrible situation that we have in the via and yesterday mr mccaughey to mrs merkel together with some african leaders outlined a plan to do that maybe it will work. the libyan authorities. i know it's sketchy there are many governments and many militias operating they give unfettered access to all international organizations and unitarians to these camps then they determine who under the geneva convention has a refugee status those will be flown out to neighboring countries and eventually be resettled in europe other african countries or other countries are willing to accept them and the rest will be returned to their countries of origin but that at
least that clears the libya situation longer term i think you need to have a situation i think europe has a right to say we want to control who comes to our shores i mean that's at least that's i think a rightful approach on the part of europeans so you need to open up the legal migration both for refugees being directly resettled and also for workers coming and you're very right this shouldn't lead to brain drain that's why their ideas they should be low skilled actually workers who come and being trained partly also as a circular migration that they then can go back to african countries so the ideas are there whether they will work whether those slated for circle immigration will actually want to go back later on you cannot force them to it's very hard to force individuals then to go back but i think the ideas are on the table and leaders are mindful of the fact that we shouldn't be encouraging brain drain reckless recklessly but. how it will work in the end that's still fairly clear let me come
back to one point that we saw in that short report just now given i am gay provide namely the idea of other. camps detention areas if you want to call them that centers migration centers whatever euphemism you use the idea has been something that president mccaw of france strongly spouses but is there any reason to believe that these other centers would work any better than the holding camps. in libya libya is particularly lawless but is this aspect of the plan that thorsten has just outlined do you think really likely to function i doubt it but at least the situation would be somewhat better compared to leave you because at least you would give one government a government that has also a track record like in where you can find some kind of authority and
it's not a failed state as such even though they have their internal program. so re problems nevertheless taking this kind of measures is what europe is now doing is is actually always trying to enforce through coercion we have this plan for africa we have a marshall plan we have africa initiative we have a compact for africa it's a confusion even the bureaucrats in berlin don't know who is talking about which blah so it's a massive scale in amount on a massive scale they're trying to push something within a few years just to satisfy their own clientele in europe don't we also christine one to have a certain short term long term discrepancy here europe perceives itself at least as having a very severe short term political problem with migration and is seeking also at this summit that has just been held to address it in part with measures that take a long time to work namely development aid and education yes and that's immediate
problem if you educate somebody but the country does not have the infrastructure for them to build a business for example they're not going to be able to use that educational the continent and you're quite right some of these plans really are going to take a long time and people are looking at the needed situation i mean young african sitting in nigeria have no job prospects now ten fifty years from now whether or not i'm going to be better educated than i am today we're not there's going to be a road to the city and i would have to travel the long distances that i currently have to. doesn't make a difference and i think when we see people risking their lives the way that they're doing it speaks to the urgency of the situation and these long term solutions unfortunately just don't resonate let's take a closer look at this carrot that is being dangled by the european union education and training for would be migrants who say they are willing to stay at home. these refugees have been flown back to the ivory coast from camps in libya they've
got the clothes on their backs and their lives they're greeted by the lead singer of the hit band magic system from abidjan it's good p.r. we have to discourage young people from leaving and make them want to stay we have to offer better living conditions here to remove. job training might be a good start the youth minister visits some apprentice carpenters he tells them the country needs young people however. at the end of the tunnel after this training there is no follow up guidance or support or we just don't finish what we've started. to become self-sufficient and give young people prospects for a future in africa the training center director says they need loans and investors not handouts helping young africans to help themselves is that a solution. what do you think can such programs work even if the follow up is spotty and the prospects for truly.
good employment are pretty thin yeah well i think generally i have never seen a country that has been developed through development aid hence it has to come from inside nevertheless at least these kind of schemes guaranteed to a certain extent that speak people can stay at home not only when they have income generating activities but also market outlet and the political system that allows them to florus in their own system and that is i think the key issue now we're talking about forty billion investment the european union is planning these are gigantic figures most likely they're doing it in the back head because the chinese are already on the continent and rolling up that is one other issue without conditions and the second is whatever one mindset. about the chinese i have my problems with them but at least what we can see with them is that they are talking
on equal terms and that there are certain things that africans can push through nevertheless it does not allow the african states to simply neglect their continent cash the money and then don't do anything so good governance is a central issue but good governance has to be claimed from both sides. to aspects to that first of all the development assistance piece christine window i wrote my ph d. quite a long time ago on development assistance projects that were essentially trying and failing to anticipate market needs and were embedded in macro economic frameworks that were completely dysfunctional that was quite a while ago would you say things are any better now you know and i think you know a lot of people tell you on the continent you know we don't like the word age you know we're not sitting here with big bills for example but you know i'm sitting and i'm saying if i'm getting a scholarship for example to study and it's coming through
a development that's not really my concert aid in itself i think we've seen is not working effectively the way it should be but i want to talk about put aid aside and for instance talk about the fact that are we having the conversation about what's happening when multinationals are evading taxes to the point that those amounts far exceeds what comes in via eight that's the money that's supposed to go into developing continent and then we then talk about aid in the fact that europeans need to give us aid and we talk about forty billion figures dollar figures for example but in actual fact we need to have a conversation about money that's being siphoned out of the country and of course we've got capital centers like london who facilitate tech savings to help multinationals steal money that's supposed to develop the continent so i think that's also a conversation with having just briefly if you would because governance was mentioned you come from zimbabwe certainly you've had a decades of experience with bad governance can africa sic an african civil society partner with europe in
a way that can truly effectively fight that kind of corruption and mismanagement briefly. yes and yes and. yes and no and i say that because when we talk about you know with our governments i think we can safely say that a lot of our politicians are compromised in many ways partnerships with civil society has to be the way forward is a lot of a c. things but the way that is approached is crucial so thorsten several the open issues there first of all. international approaches to tax reform to close exactly those kind of opportunities for money laundering that feed corruption point number one point number two areas where partnership could work on governance issues lots of lip service is paid to govern it's got a whole essence they nibble development goal of its own but where do european and other development partners have real leverage to influence governance i think i
would say christine like fair tax regimes also making sure that african kleptocratic elites have a much harder time hiding their assets in western financial systems fair trade deals oftentimes to trade deals we currently have with african countries are not on the advantageous terms from any of these countries and don't necessarily encourage development and then good governance yes but also be aware of our limitations we cannot force it upon rulers there if they don't adopt it themselves but whenever we do kind of resource investments and so on that there's more transparency that's for sure but i would go away a little bit from the devolvement logic more to an investment logic and that's what i think also these forty billion you mentioned that's the idea of the european union there's also the there isn't many of these plans that for example the germans
under the g twenty presidency there were all about encouraging investment of western companies in africa and if that's done on fair terms and if that investment actually increases i think there's more of a chance that that will actually eight development later on than many of the development corporation schemes that are currently being rolled out give them. lots of lip service is also paid to investment and the need to get the private sector involved what holds investment back and where are there areas there for partnering perhaps to create a more effective investment climate i think first of all to late to do. they should not investing in africa many years ago like all the people in other countries have done meaning china and india secondly it's good that the number of jobs are very few but some african leaders and business people have now started to invest into
their continent and for example nigerian millionaires who are paying two hundred million u.s. dollars for the next ten years for african startups and it has it's working for news corp and i think those kinds of perspectives are good investment is better than. thank you very much thanks to all of you for being with us and thanks to you for tuning in see you soon.
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