“It will take time, but Africa will be a rich continent”
Manager of KfW, the Credit Bank for Reconstruction, explains the new policy of cooperation with Africa drawn up by the German government led by Olaf Scholz and which brings together social democrats, ecologists and liberals. DN spoke, in Portuguese, with Helmut Gauges during a seminar co-organized in Cascais by the German Embassy in Portugal and the European Academy in Berlin under the motto “German European policy at the historic dawn of a new era”.
Germany had a very brief colonial experience in Africa, starting at the end of the 19th century and ending in 1918. But that will still be in the memory of some people. When someone like you, a representative of a German development support organization, visits an African country, they look at you as someone coming from a former colonizing country or a German no longer has that label stuck on as it happens to a Frenchman, an Englishman or a Portuguese?
Germany has a very brief history of colonization and today this is almost forgotten in Africa. In general, the image of Germany is quite positive in most African countries, the credibility in cooperation with Germany is very high because we have a vision of development for the African people. And we have no interests, so it’s easier for us to establish cooperation than other countries with a different history. These European countries often have a strong connection in economic and financial terms with African countries, which is more a mixture of interests. Germany, as traditionally it was very little interested in economic cooperation with Africa – although today it is more, of course -, it has more of an interest centered on the development of Africa.
Germany, when it cooperates with Africa, and now comparing it to two other major players, Russia and China, has the difference of affixing very demanding ethical, human rights and environmental criteria…
Exactly. So, this German cooperation only works when these countries, governments and local bodies agree in terms of accepting these criteria. If they don’t accept it, then there is no financial cooperation, it’s impossible.
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Este artigo está disponível em: Português